We picked Madagascar as the destination for our expedition for its kayaking potential; its geography lends itself perfectly to a huge variety of different rivers from long multi-day expedition kayaking to huge waterfalls. There a have been a few kayaking expeditions to Madagascar before which have started to reveal the huge potential out there, but we believe there is so much more to be found!
That said, going kayaking is not the only aim of our expedition; we are all enthusiastic about giving something back to the people of Madagascar as part of our expedition. Just one of the ways we would like to do this is create a short guide book for kayaking in Madagascar, and promote Madagascar as the next big place for kayaking holidays.
In summary, what we would like to achieve in the course of our expedition is:
- Kayak on some of the best whitewater Madagascar has to offer
- Discover previously un-run white water and claim the first descents
- Document all the rivers we run and present the information as a mini guide book
- Promote Madagascar as a world class destination for kayaking holidays
- Assist with scientific research and understanding wherever possible
While we are in Madagascar, we plan on travelling down some of the previously documented whitewater rivers the Island has to offer. The Ikopa, Onive and Mananjary for example are all previously paddled, Grade 5 Rivers of which we hope to complete successful descents.
As a central goal while on the expedition, we wish to complete a full descent of the lower Mananara River, a section beginning when the last of the main tributaries has joined. This River begins in the mountains of the South East of the country and flows into the Indian Ocean at Ampatsinakoho, it is a massive river, draining a huge amount of land and this section lasts for 140km. In this time, it drops almost 600m vertically; resulting is big volume rapids and at times, multiple branches where the river splits around islands.
While completing this descent we will have to not only navigate the entirety of the river and its whitewater challenges but also avoid the crocodiles, all while paddling gear laden boats as this descent will take multiple days of hard paddling. This really will be an incredible section of whitewater, starting up in the highlands, descending down through the dense jungle and ending at the coast where industry has stripped the land and the river banks are densely populated.