Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Madagascar: a Whitewater Paradise that will 'change your life'.

Madagascar:A short flight form Denver International Airport, up and over the Atlantic Ocean will land you in Paris France. Where I must say the Flight Attendants become very attractive! Another leap South from Paris will send you and your dream girls over the African Continent to the 4th largest island in the word and your final destination, Madagascar.

Here you will face one of Life’s biggest dissensions, do I stay on the plane and try to make eye contact with Pènèlope the Flight Attendant, one last time… or do I go kayaking? I voted for Pènèlope but my companions, Matt Wilson and Henry Munter won the vote to go kayaking, sending us into one hell of an adventure.

Madagascar will certainly change your life and I would highly recommend it. The Malagasy are by far the nicest people, beer and food are dirt cheep, the crocodiles are huge and the exchange rate is $1US to 2,050 Malagashie. Therefore, total group funds will probably land you in the millionaire range if you ever wanted to know what it feels like.

Matt, Hennery and I had 40 days of unforgettable experiences in this whitewater paradise and below you will see a small summary of our trip, through the lens so to speak.

Sunrise in the 3rd world
Welcome to the Madagascar country side

In Mada even you shuttle bunny needs go be ready to giver!

Once the truck is stuck in the mud and you’ve spent the night sleeping by its side in a downpour, its time to continue the trek by foot.
After all that traveling yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I see some action. One of the small channels of the Manangar River.

Mat and Henry drying out at camp on day 3 of 5 on the Manangar River

The west coast of Mada is much drier then the east coast which you’ve seen above. Here on the Ikapo River, the whitewater is warmer then your Sunday bath, the air temp is nearly unbearable and the crocodiles are nothing like the big furry teddy bears we have back here in the states. Paddler: Henry.

When we arrived in Mada we saw ourselves as the cocky bad-asses from America, that could run anything and everything she could offer. So for are fist of many self-support trips, we pored over the maps and found the largest, steepest river we could. It was in the 100k + length, so us packed breakfast for 2 days, dinner for 3 and one big bottle of Whisky. Here Hennery is seen givenr on day 3 of the unplanned 6 day first decent on the Onive River.

Henry seems to be pondering why he didn’t get any sleep the night before, as he stairs down the pointy rocks that made up his bed. This portage took us somewhere around 10 hours, with way to many huge spiders, two rappels, one pendulum and a section where we lined kayaks? Ya, I too thought you only did that with rafts.

The Mada shuttle rig.

Time to rap this photo sesh up with one of the many local parties.

As I was looking through these photos I just wanted to see more whitewater, so here’s one last bonus pic, of your day to day ledge drop action. Paddler: Matt Wilson.

Story and Photos: Evan Ross

Paddlers: Evan Ross, Matt Wilson, Henry.

Evan’s Gear Picks for Madagascar:
LiquidLogic Jefe
Werner Stikine Bent Shaft
WRSI Helmet
Book: Kayak by Nealy
Wag Bag (poop in a bag!)


Yakers.co.nz said...

Good work! have been looking at boating in Madagascar for the last couple of years. Do you have more photos?

Anonymous said...

Tons. I also have a really good contact on the island who is looking to promote kayaking in Mada. There is really no other way to travel in that area without him. So if you do get serious about going to Mada, let me know
By the way, are you from New Zealand Yaker?
Evan Ross

Anonymous said...

I'm getting married to a Malagasy girl over there next month and was looking to paddle something while I was there. Do you mind giving me info on your contact over there? Thanks!


MoKa said...


i read your article and that strengthened
me in the desire to go to mad next year. can you please provide contact details. i would appreciate this.

cheers flo from austria ( lordriot@gmx.at )

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