Whitewater kayaking has to be one of the most exhilarating sports in the world, definitely it is the Formula One of the paddlers world, for speed, danger and skill. It is man against mother nature at its most brutal and satisfying. So where is the best whitewater around the world? In this blog we travel far and wide to find the most aggressive whitewater on the planet, which brings with it the most difficult challenges for any experienced paddler.
The Zambezi – Zambia
Zambia is of course home to the amazing three hundred and sixty four foot high Victoria Falls which has the distinction of being the highest waterfall in the world. Today modern paddlers can be seen both above and below the falls pitting their skills against the fast-flowing waters. Up top, above the falls, is a plethora of calm water perfect for kayaking and to get close to the wonderful wildlife such as hippopotamus and elephants.
Below the falls is a different story, and around the waters of the Batoka Gorge, which is the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, there is some excellent Class IV-V whitewater and some of the best fast running kayaking in the world. In this area there are so many rapids that they have not even been named, which sort of tells its own story.
The Ottawa – Canada
The Ottawa River has been described by competitors at the Freestyle Kayak Championships in Ottawa as the best freestyle river in the world. There is a five mile stretch between two separate channels in the river which has an average 15,000 cfs (cubic foot per second) in the summer months, and both channels share the same input of water and output.
Main channel is the big daddy with massive waves and great hydraulics, whereas the other channel offers a more technical problem to paddlers. On the way kayak enthusiasts can pass one hundred and seventy-five islands combining waterfalls, rapids and if you want great sandy beaches.
The Sun Kosi – Nepal
Sun Kosi translates into River of Gold and has been home to Nepal’s commercial kayaking and rafting business since 1984. The main whitewater section is the one-hundred-and-seventy-mile Crown Jewel section, which winds its way through the great Mahabharat Lekh mountain range as it races to join the mighty Ganges. There are plenty of white sand beaches that can be used for camping for those kayakers who wish to tour and paddle Class III-IV rapids.
This part of the river has many similarities with in the Grand Canyon, apart from the multitude of monkeys that inhabit the area, which all adds to the fun. If you want to partake in this great whitewater excursion, the whole 170 miles can be undertaken in about ten days as an epic touring adventure.
In part two of our worldwide whitewater kayaking experience we are going to visit even more exotic rivers and travel to Costa Rica, Uganda, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. We are going to experience even greater and faster flowing water, rapids, waterfalls and of course whitewater.