Whitewater Rafting - Holiday Activity Guide
"Whitewater rafting is one of the more exciting outdoor pastimes the world has to offer. For adventure seekers it is a mix of the thrilling (and at times dangerous) but also of the beautiful as many of the greatest whitewater rapids are found in some of the most picturesque areas around. There are rivers for every type of rafter with a corresponding class system designed to let people know how dangerous the river can be. Class II and III rivers are for beginners while Class IV and V types are for more advanced river rafters. A Class VI river is too dangerous even for those with plenty of experience. Most of these journeys cannot be taken without a guide who usually will enforce strict rules regarding life vests and swimming abilities, making whitewater rafting one of the safer outdoor excursions available. With such safeguards in place, whitewater rafting is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone from ages 10 to 65, as long as the person is in good health and a capable swimmer."
Suggested Whitewater Rafting Holidays:
There are so many different opportunities to whitewater raft in some of the more beautiful parts of the world. Here are a few of the better spots on Earth for rafting, both in terms of scenery, but also strength of the river.
Zambezi River, Zambia
Considered by some to be the Mt. Everest of rivers, the Zambezi River is the fourth largest river in Africa. With some of the more beautiful African scenery, this river ride is best for beginners or those with intermediate experience. The highlight of the trip is the Victoria Falls, considered by some to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The best time of year is to go between August and October when the water levels are at their lowest.
Colorado River/The Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
Looking down from atop the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world. But, to look up to the top of the canyon from the bottom is something else entirely. The view is breathtaking when rafting through the Canyon on the Colorado River, with the natural cliffs towering above like giant sentinels. Interspersed with 18th century adobes along the cliffs and excellent hiking, the river is perfect for those wishing for a mix of an intermediate river run and great trails. Please note that the river can quickly turn from quite calm to deep rapids. While this is part of the charm, sightseers need to be properly ready for anything.
The White Nile River - Masindi, Uganda.
For those looking for a more challenging river, the White Nile in Uganda presents plenty of them. A wide river with a variation of drops and sharp turns, it is known for the exotic animals that can be seen on the riverbanks. The 300-mile river connects Lake Victoria and Lake Albert. Visitors can raft all year round, but the best time to do so is away from the rainy season (which usually occurs in April, November, and December).
Sun Kosi River – Nepal.
Beginning at Mount Shish Pongma in Tibet, this Class III/IV River is a multi-day excursion with a little something for everyone. Acting as a tributary of the Arun River in Nepal, the Sun Kosi contains views of the Himalayas and a variety of unexpected rafting obstacles. The river is wide and varied, with spots of calm followed by roaring rapids filled with rocks and drops. This is for the more experienced of rafters, but pays in dividends with the breathtaking size and views that it has to offer.
Tatshenshi-Alsek – Alaska, United States.
This is for the more adventurous rafters out there. A 14 day journey through Alaska, this trip is noted for its lush beauty and amazing scope. However, the Tastshenshi can be known for the wildlife around it, namely bears that have no problem coming into the river, so be sure to find travel down the river with an experienced guide. There is also the obstacle of the river being a major shipping lane, so river rafters need to be aware of the correct path to take to avoid any larger ships.
Great Bend of Yangtze River, China.
Catering towards the experienced rafter, the Yangtze River makes the Grand Canyon look tiny. Six times more powerful than the Colorado River and twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Yangtze is known for its challenging terrain, claustrophobic surroundings and tight quarters leaving a tough yet rewarding trek for experienced rafters. Beginning at the Tiger Leaping Gorge, this seven day run ends with the gorgeous Dragon Shan Snow Mountain looming in the distance.
Cherry Creek/Upper Tuolomne – California, United States.
Stretching nine miles beginning outside of Yosemite, Cherry Creek is a Class V river that is one of the more challenging rivers in the United States. Holes, falls, and ledges are only some of the perils that rafters have to face. This river is designated a National Wild and Scenic river by the United States. For experienced rafters only.
Magpie River – Quebec, Canada.
500 miles north of Manhattan lay the Magpie River. Far from the hustle and bustle of the city in both distance and appearance, this remote river is a class V rafting experience. A 40 mile river filled with treacherous terrain, the experience peaks with the 80 foot Magpie Falls. Since it can only be reached via airlift, be prepared for a harrowing experience that is sure to thrill the more experienced rafters, but could possibly scare off the less experienced for good.