There are few river trips on this planet that can compare with the Athi River expedition. Classified as one of the top ten river trips in the world, the bountiful Athi River provides a combination of exhilarating white water and stunning views of African wildlife in its natural habitat. We raft a section of the Athi River that borders Tsavo National Park, perfect for viewing bushbuck, giraffe, buffalo, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, baboons and hippo. The bird life is also spectacular and to date our guides have recorded over 120 species. Rafting in Athi River is a “pool/drop” river where areas of calm water, perfect for viewing the wildlife allow you to catch your breath after navigating stretches of class II to IV white water.
All 450 km of the Athi is raftable and the stretch bordering Tsavo National Park is especially scenic with good game viewing and exciting rapids ranging from class 2 – 4.
Depart Nairobi around 0800, for the 3 hour drive down the Mombasa road to Kibwezi. Here we will leave the tarmac, and take a dirt road for the 35 km to our put in point on the river. Lunch of cold cuts, salads, bread and cheese, cold beer or soft drink, then the afternoon spent drifting / paddling slowly down six kilometres of river. Superb bird life all around, particularly the kingfishers, heron and weavers. The night’s camp as with all our night stops on the river, will be upon a sand bank, at a point accessible to our Land Rovers which carry all food and equipment. Four course evening meal, plenty of cold drinks and the evening around a camp fire. Retire to one’s sleeping bag as you wish with the sounds of the river and “Africa”, lulling one to sleep.
After a leisurely breakfast and having packed up and loaded the camp onto the Rovers, we continue down river. During the first kilometres or so we will recap on the previous afternoon’s safety briefing and continue to practice the basic techniques of paddling the raft, ready for the class III white water sections soon to follow. Again aviflora abounds and as we approach the boundary with Tsavo East National Park, so to does the animal life: Numerous species of antelope, giraffe, buffalo; sometimes elephant, and more rarely, one of the big cats come to the river to drink. Crocodile are a certainty, hippo almost as certain.
Four kilometres of calm water then it’s into the class IV white water proper, for about 6 km. Larger and more exciting than on the previous day. This superb section is followed by several sections of calm water interspersed with more, though shorter sections, of exciting class III white water.
Quite a short day on the river today, again with several sections of good class III rapids, with scenic calm water between. Arrive at the parking lot near Tsavo Safari Camp around 1100, and after an early lunch and having packed away the boats and river gear, we depart by road for Nairobi.
Total Distance covered on the river – about 82 km. but is dependent on time available and prevailing water level and conditions
Transport from Nairobi hotel or private arragement can be made,Safety briefing,refreshments ,Bar-be-que lunch with vegeterian option available with complimentary drinks
Mid April to the end of June, October and November. Small group rafting in Kenya suitable for minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 24 people.
Crew capacity of each boat is licensed at 8 pax + one guide, though we very seldom have more than 6 crew per boat. Helmets are used on most sections of river as well. All rafting trips carry a very comprehensive first aid medical kit with guides trained in its use. Guides all carry a, throw bags, binas and pulley.
We prefer client participation, and hence, unless requested in advance, the participants themselves paddle all boats. A guide in each boat just gives the commands and steers the boat. “Oar frame”, or “guide paddled” boats are available standard on all scenic float trips.
• A professional and experienced guide in command of each boat.
• A full river briefing before you set off, plus specific briefings before each set of major rapids.
• Comprehensive safety (3A) and first aid equipment. All guides are cpr trained.
• The opportunity to bring cameras or video in our water proof boxes, or to rent proper waterproof still cameras
• Customized food catering, including complementary beer and soft drinks
• Courtesy transport from Nairobi to and from the river.
Due to safety considerations, we use two or more boats and guides on the athi or ewaso-nyi’ro rivers, the minimum number of clients on each of these trips should be four. We do take provisional bookings for lesser numbers and are often able combine those persons with other groups, particularly if one group is flexible over dates.
The lower age limit to run all the rapids is usually 14, with parental consent. We have no fixed upper limit as it’s dependent on the individual’s fitness and health.
Night’s camp is set up at a scenic point, either on the side of the river or upon a sand bank. Tents are small 2-man dome types, and airbeds and sleeping bags are provided.
First class all the way. All perishables are carried in a freezer trailer, as are soft drinks and beer. Breakfasts are in the full “English” style with cereal, bacon and eggs, toast and coffee. Lunch, because it is carried on the boats each day, is more basic, consisting of bread, salad, cheese and cold meat cuts. For dinner, our usual 5 course meals consist of a starter, soup, barbecued main meal and vegetables, followed by fruits and coffee. The guides cook it all over a wood fire, while you relax over a glass of wine or a cold “tusker” beer.
Shorts (or swimming costume) and a shirt, (long sleeves and pants for those with sensitive skins and essential on all multi day trips). A wide brimmed hat. Pair of fasten able shoes or “teva” type sandals. Sunscreen of factor 25 or more. Additionally, on multi-day trips: personal toiletries and malarial prophylactics. Optional – camera, and sun glasses (with retainer cord), gloves and socks, (anti sunburn). A light weigh nylon rain jacket worn under your life jacket is also useful in cool weather or if it does rain while you are on the river.
Please also bring spare warm clothing to change into at the end of the trip. What you wear on the boat for the white-water will get wet. Probable water conditions