Kayaking

The Congo

February 21, 2012 13:04

So a quick report from the Congo Expedition. 

I got a call from Steve asking if I wanted to be involved in a mission to the Congo. He explained its in one of the most dangerous places in Africa and the River is the biggest volume most treacherous piece of whitewater to ever be navigated. Do I want to be involved in a filming capacity. My instant answer was of course "Yes". However at that stage I still had no idea about the missing french team that attempted the section in 1985, or the fact that the area was considered extreme high risk and governments advised not to travel here. So I found out more and more as we got closer to flying out, and of course it did start to get a little worrying. I didn't tell my family or girlfriend the worst details about the trip. I figured the extra worry was unnecessary as they where already figuring out that it wasn't the safest holiday destination. 

We spent a couple of weeks in Uganda preparing for the expedition and paddling on the White Nile. Testing rigs and getting some important segments shot for the film. Then we flew out to Kinshasa. Upon arrival we found a hotel to stay for a couple of nights. There was a bullet hole in one of the windows. Great start. 

The rest of the trip is now history and all will be revealed in the film set to be released this year. I can say the Inga Rapids have been paddled in their entirety for the first time in history. However this was not without some nervous moments. Rapid airs had to be used, gear was lost, paddlers where swallowed whole by huge whirlpools. At one stage I even wrote a note on my computer for my family to read if I didn't make it home! Luckily that could be deleted on my way home safely.

I am happy I did make it to the Congo. Thanks to Steve and the team for an epic adventure. 

Jared Meehan