I can’t swim. Can I join the team?
No. Due to the rafting element of this epic expedition and its many river crossings, being a confident swimmer who’s able to swim at least 200m is a prerequisite. Teammates also need to be fit and strong to be able to pull themselves back into the rafts from the water in case of capsize. Training will be given in country and a water session or two before departure are also recommended.
Can I get raft training?
Complete rafting beginners are welcome to join this team, as is training in advance is also welcome. The types of boats are two-person inflatable rafts that are colloquially known as ‘hot dogs’. Local watersports centres will be able to advise on a training day close to you. Basic training for teammates will also be provided once in-country.
Are there porters?
This expedition is supported by local porters. The porters will assist the team in carrying tents, food and cooking equipment. There will be sections of the river that can’t be rafted so all equipment will need to be ‘portaged’ by the team. Teammates must be prepared to carry all kit, equipment and water as outlined in the expedition handbook.
Can I arrive a day late?
As The Plan outlines, there is a chain of transport to get teammates in position to begin this expedition and so start and end dates are not flexible. You are, however, welcome to extend your trip either before or after the expedition dates – please just make sure your visa will be valid for your entire stay.
Can I charge all my electricals?
There will be charging facilities at the hotel in Antananarivo but once the trekking starts there will be no opportunities to charge electronics. Please ensure that you are self-sufficient in terms of charging your appliances by bringing things like spare batteries, lightweight solar panels or power packs to avoid frustration (and bring waterproof, roll-top bags to protect your equipment while rafting).
Will there be raft training in country?
The expedition leader is swift-water rescue qualified and there is a local support team in place for the rafting section of this expedition. The team will be briefed on paddling techniques (steering, capsize, whitewater etc.) at the beginning of the paddling phase.
What if I fall out in fast water?
As with many rafting trips, there is the chance of being taken under water for a few seconds – which might feel like longer! Often, this simply means is that you then swim or float downstream to the next area of calm water to regroup with the team.
Can I walk around all the rapids?
It is always possible to walk around – to ‘portage’ – the rapids, but doing this for each would slow the team speed considerably. Ideally, all teammates need to be ready and willing to paddle to Grade 2 and Grade 3 rapids. Those new to paddling might benefit from a taster day or weekend to get the most out of this epic expedition.
What grade are the rapids?
It’s hard to be specific on this front due to changing water levels. The hardest rapid could be a Grade 4 with many at the Grade 3+ level. The water levels and current conditions will have a large impact on which of the rapids will be run in the rafts and which will be portaged around.
How can I find out more?
Enquire about this expedition team using the button on this page to receive your Expedition Handbook with fuller details.