We often get asked what the most adventurous rafting trips are that we offer. As a company we have a pedigree searching out and running these off-the-beaten-track destinations, often when others won’t. Why don’t they run them? Because getting rafts, guides and gear to these destinations is often very challenging, but in our experience, the rewards far outweigh this.
From our early days running the 21 day Omo River in Ethiopia, we have thrived on getting our guests to remote destinations, to seek out genuine adventure. We know that work, limited vacation time and life commitments mean you need someone to take care of the logistics for your adventures. And that’s why we do what we do – to give you the fun without the faff. So let’s dive into our most adventurous rafting trips we offer:
An absolutely unique journey into the heart of the wild Morobe Province on the Watut River. Running a trip for the first time can seem incredibly daunting, especially when people warn you not to go due to ‘dangerous’ people. In our experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Since our first expedition to PNG in 2017, we have found the local people to be nothing short of wonderful, welcoming and extremely friendly. On numerous trips we try to support the locals by taking colouring pens and crayons with books for the kids and a range of glasses to assist the elderly with reading. We are treated to exceptional class IV and V rapids, jungle clad gorges and an incredible voyage out by motorised dugout. The word ‘adventure’ is so over-used but this trip delivers it every single time. PNG is best mid September – early October.
This trip has evolved so much since we first ran the Rio Cotahuasi in the 1990’s. In those days we hiked into the river with teams of donkeys carrying gear for two days, but now we drive past the magnificent Sipia Falls to the start point. Before we set off, we run a mini guide course which gives people a lot of confidence when running a challenging river such as this. Then, from the moment we start this incredible river, you get to run Class IV rapids for five days, taking in Centimetre Canyon, Metre Canyon, Marpa’s Mile and Highside For Your Life. The river is dotted with fascinating Inca Ruins, vineyards and even hot springs and is at its best in late May/early June.
We love this trip so much! It feels like you get a real immersion into the culture of Nepal. Starting and concluding in the world’s largest outdoor museum – Kathmandu – the trip heads off with a short flight to Biratnagar where we stay in a tiny village called Hile and stay overnight in a traditional guesthouse. The family cooks dahl bhat for us for dinner and serves local millet beer called Tungba. We have a team of porters gather in the morning, ready to carry our equipment for three days to the river. We walk along a ridge where we are afforded incredible Himalayan views each morning and evening. When we hit the river at Dobhan, standby for one of the best rafting runs in the world. 140 rapids in 160 km. Stunning beaches and wonderful people. This river is at its best late October, early November.
It is very hard to ignore the Zambezi when describing adventurous trips, but if you have the time and like longer trips, we’d highly recommend doing our seven day trip from beneath the majestic Victoria Falls to Matetsi River Mouth, 14 kilometres downstream. You get to experience the first four days of our Zambezi Blast trip, but after this point, the pace slows down and you get the feel of an expedition. There are fishermen, wanting to trade their tiger fish for trade fish hooks with us which we commonly bring down the river. You’ll see more plentiful wildlife including baboons, crocodiles sunning themselves on the hot rocks and even hippos on the final day, before we fly back to Livingstone and stay at our wonderful lodge high above the Zambezi for our final night. The season for this trip is August, September and October.
The Franklin River was protected from having a dam built on it in 1983 and what a blessing that was. Travelling through this World Heritage area by raft is such a gift. While the rafting is excellent, it is the scenery, history, and animals that are staggering. You’ll camp beneath large tarpaulins in the lush forest or in large caves overlooking the beautiful river. Aboriginal history abounds in the area and there are also common sightings of the duck billed platypus on the trip. You’ll get to hike up the infamous Frenchmans Cap and we sail by yacht after the conclusion of the river trip back to our vehicles. The trips are small (only 10 people) so a very personal trip in a stunning part of Tasmania, Australia. The season is best from November – March.
These types of trips are our ‘happy place’. We love nothing more than exploring and sharing these wonderful rivers. We are always seeking out new and exciting destinations. A top secret expedition is currently being planned for next year! If you’re the kind of person that wants to be first to try out a new destination and take on an exploratory trip for a real adventure, then drop us a note and register your interest.
by Hamish McMaster
Hamish McMaster is the Water By Nature owner. He has spent the past 25 years exploring and playing on the world's great rivers. He still loves nothing more than getting out there and sharing adventures.
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