Alt 900 - 750m.
When water levels are suitable, this river is without a doubt the best combined white-water river / scenic river expedition any of our guides have ever done. Like the Athi River, the minimum time required is 3 days, however because there are much longer and more difficult sections of white-water, a lesser distance is covered each day. We start from about 10km. west of Barsalinga and are able to raft for over 30km. on almost continuous class II, III and IV rapids, plus there are several rapids of class V.
This trip can also be extended, to cover a further 100km. of river. From our usual take out point near Kipsing, we can continue rafting eastwards, through Samburu National Park, to as far as Chandler Falls in Shaba National Park. It's a scenic river all the way, with plenty of game to be seen, particularly elephant and crocodile, we've even seen lion from the boats.
Depart Nairobi around 0700, for the 5 hour drive towards Samburu National Park. At Isiolo we will leave the tarmac, and take a dirt road for the 65 km to our put in point on the river, (another hour ½), to near Barsalinga. Lunch of cold cuts, salads, bread and cheese, cold beer or soft drink, then the mid to late afternoon spent drifting / paddling slowly down six kilometres of river. Reasonable class II and III rapids so suited for learning the paddle skills required to run the bigger rapids next day. Superb bird life all around, particularly the kingfishers, heron and weavers, and quite a lot of the smaller game as well. The nights camp as with all our night stops on the river, will be up on the rivers bank, well above any possibility of a "Flash flood" taking out the camp. Four course evening meal, plenty of cold drinks and the evening around a camp fire. Retire to ones 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 ½ kilometre or so we will recap on the previous afternoons safety briefing and continue to practice the basic techniques of paddling the raft, ready for the class III, IV & V white water sections soon to follow. Again aviflora abounds and as we get nearer to Samburu National Park, so to does the animal life: Numerous species of antelope, giraffe, warthogs; regularly elephant, and more rarely, one of the big cats that must come daily to the river to drink. Crocodile are a certainty, hippo less frequent. During the afternoon we will exit the gorge we've been in all morning, out onto the plains. From here to our selected campsite its all calm water.
Day 3 - 8 or more
Calm water all the way to, and through Samburu N.P. as far as Archers Post and the start of the river through Shaba N.P. Minor rapids, interspersed with calm sections leads one into another section of gorges. Spectacular scenery. Longer and more demanding than on the upper section. This superb section is followed by several sections of calm water, again interspersed with more, though shorter sections, of exciting class III white water.
Quite a short day on the river today, dependent on where we are pulling off the river ready for the long drive back to Nairobi
Total Distance covered on the river - up to about 180 km. but is very dependent on time available and prevailing water level and conditions
Cost: US $460.00 per person for the first three days,
thereafter $95.00 per person per day.
Minimum group size 4