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Gabon Packraft Expedition_River canoe

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Packraft Expedition through Gabon

This packraft expedition through central Africa is a pioneering adventure. Be a part of a group to cross the equator in a pack-raft as you paddle and trek your way through Ivindo National Park in Gabon.

Part of your time is spent on foot, travelling through dense jungles, while the rest is spent afloat, cruising down grade one and two rapids of the Djidji and Kongou rivers. With its unique ecosystem and magnificent biodiversity, this little explored region is climbing the lists of ‘must see’ adventure tourism destinations.


  • Cross the equator under your own steam
  • Discover Djidji waterfalls, equatorial Africa’s tallest and most spectacular
  • Cruise down the Kongou and Djidji rivers in a dugout canoe and a pack-raft
  • Explore the beauty of Ivindo National Park
  • Trek through the jungles of Gabon
  • Spot some of the most diverse bird life in Africa’s epicentre
  • Get a close look at bull elephants and western gorillas

The expedition is first and foremost a river journey. With pack-rafts and dugout canoes, you’ll float down the river on your own steam, spotting large game, birds, and a wide variety of incredible wildlife. Because of this, team members must be strong swimmers and feel confident paddling in expeditionary Alpacka one-person rafts. You’ll alternate the two river descents with three days of jungle trekking for an unforgettable journey.

In 2005 a group sponsored by Outside Magazine visited the Djidji River and came back telling tales of a ‘wild pristine place, almost untouched by time.’ The great news is that little has changed since then – making this the perfect adventure destination for the next wave of ambitious travellers. Roam through epic tropical rainforests, explore Kongou caverns, and see the idyllic Djidji waterfalls. If you’re a bird lover, you simply won’t believe the distinct and exotic species awaiting your discovery.

This 16 night packraft expedition has a moderate to high level of difficulty but if you’re an active person with a healthy lifestyle, this adventure is both achievable and enjoyable. You’ll be walking up to 25km per day, carrying 20+ kg’s, living in rough jungle for many days, and moving through dense areas with no pre-made path.

When not in the jungle, you’ll stay in basic guest houses, but once you’re in Ivindo National Park you’ll be camping under the stars. Because this is the first packraft expedition of its kind, much of the exact route is unknown. Your guides have a framework which will evolve as the trip evolves but this is adventure travel in the truest sense.

Keen to join this pioneering adventure team through Gabon? Enquire below.


This is the first time we have attempted this expedition and route and much of it is unknown. As a result, we have a framework plan in place which will evolve on the ground. A more detailed outline itinerary will be sent to those who apply to join the team.

More Details


Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition. They should have an adventurous and robust spirit. All our expeditions are achievable by people with an active and healthy lifestyle. This a very tough expedition living rough in the jungle for multiple days. You will be required to move through thick jungle which has no tracks. For this expedition, team members should be capable of (either now or by the time of expedition departure):

  • Walking up to 25km a day
  • Carrying up to 20kg plus a deflated pack-raft when trekking
  • Covering rough terrain in jungles. There is no path and so the going will be very tough moving through thick forest
  • Rafting down fast flowing rivers in one-person pack-rafts, paddling all day
  • Be able to comfortably swim 200m unassisted
  • Dealing with a mainly hot and humid climate

Will you need a visa for Gabon?

For initial advice, visit our travel insurance and visa advice page. The ‘Travel Instructions’ document you receive on application gives further advice on the visa situation for Gabon but our staple advice is to check with your local embassy for correct and up-to-date visa information for your nationality. Procuring relevant tourist visas is the responsibility of each team member; the tour operator will provide you with any other relevant documentation. (Correct at Jan 2016 for British Nationals: It is currently possible to obtain a visitor’s visa from the Gabon Embassy in London.)

Accommodation will be in basic guest houses when in urban areas. Once on the trek and pack-raft section of the expedition, team members will carry their own hammocks and wild-camp en route.

Team members will eat in local eateries in urban areas. Once on the trek and pack-raft section of the expedition, team members will carry all food with them for the duration. This will be a mixture of dehydrated ration packs from Expedition Foods (rehydrated with boiling water) and locally sourced fresh fish and food. Team members will between them carry all stoves, fuel and cooking utensils required for this expedition.
This expedition includes transport by train, in 4X4s, on foot, in dugout canoes and pack-rafts once on the river and potentially in other local vehicles. Team members should be happy to trek and to raft the distances as outlined in the itinerary and be comfortable carrying the weight as described in the expedition grading and in the ‘Travel Instructions’ document that team members receive on application. For clarification, international travel to join this expedition team in Gabon is not included, but all internal transport once there is included.  


Date: 2-18 June 2018

Price: 3,499 GBP (TBC)


  • Tour leader(s)
  • All local guides and drivers
  • All specialist rafting equipment
  • All transport as outlined in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as outlined in itinerary
  • All food/ meals
  • All permits and permissions


  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Tips to local guides (discretionary)
  • Alcohol
  • Personal equipment
  • Personal spending
  • A full kit list will be provided upon booking (kit hire is available)


When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry.

Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.

Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority.

Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.

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