What’s not to love about sitting in a raft with nothing but a paddle and your team’s manpower to navigate raging rivers? From Africa to Asia to the America’s, here is our pick of the top rafting rivers in the world, and some adventures to take them on.
Colorado River, Grand Canyon
Winding 226 miles from Colorado to Arizona is one of the most quintessential rafting rivers around. Powerful rapids, combined with calm stretches, allow for a unique view of the canyon. What’s more, the route is populated with hiking trails and Native American ruins. Camp on some of the most beautiful beaches with some of the most beautiful vistas.
Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers, Alaska and Canada
These two rivers flow through incomparable wilderness areas chock full with mountains and tundra terrain. These are the rivers to raft to get your fill of icebergs and glaciers. The white water is superb, of course, but the extracurricular on this adventure are unbelievable. Experience grizzlies, moose, spawning salmon, and delicious blueberries growing near your campsite.
Zambezi River, Zimbabwe
Adrenaline junkies will love the Zambezi. Located at Victoria Falls (the world’s tallest waterfall), almost half of the rapids have been graded as Class IV. You’ll experience dramatic drops and massive swells – as well as hippos and crocodiles.
Río Upano, Ecuador
This is a journey that begins with gentle rapids, accelerates to rowdy rapids, and ends with Namangosa Gorge – Class IV rapids and uncountable waterfalls plunging into the gorge from both sides. Plus, you get to see Ecuador in all of it’s natural glory. Visit the village of Macas along the Amazon Basin, and meet the local Shuar people along the way.
Sun Kosi River, Nepal
The Sun Kosi begins among the world’s highest peaks along the border between Nepal and Tibet. This is your chance to see the Himalaya Mountains in full splendor. Class V rapids characterize this rafting adventure. You’ll steer through narrow gorges, canyons full of lush forests, and dense tropical jungle – filled with monkeys saying hello.
Magpie River, Canada
The start of this rafting trip is via float plane that takes you to Magpie Lake. You hit the rapids as soon as you leave the lake and they continue to grow in intensity all the way to the end. The climax is the spectacular Class V rapids just downriver from Magpie Falls. Camp on islands each night and, if you’re lucky, get a peak of the aurora borealis.
This incredible Mozambique river expedition takes two weeks during which time you’ll raft down 250km of river surrounded by exotic wildlife. See the mountains rising across the plains as you discover Mozambique.
Another of our favourite trips is this Peak to Sea adventure in Madagascar that combines your love of trekking with your love of rafting. Summit Pic Boby on the world’s eight continent and then spend three days rafting down a remote river in two-person rafts.
Çoruh River, Turkey
Turkey is home to one of the world’s fastest-flowing rivers. It cuts through awe-inspiring gorges in the equally awe-inspiring Kackar Mountains. Visit historical ruins, Byzantine castles, and plenty of wildlife as you navigate this spectacular river.