As someone who embraces off the beaten path forms of travel and “adventurous” outdoor experiences and someone who refuses to be limited by societal norms and standards of me based on my gender and race, I bring you five countries that boast the best white water rafting in the world and why you should try it.

Before we get into the where, let’s get into the why.  There are many reasons white water rafting is an amazing experience and should be a part of your vacation if the option is available.  For starters, white water rafting is great exercise. Most of us are so busy and don’t have the luxury of maintaining a regular fitness and exercise routine.  What better way to get in some exercise than to do it while you are having fun?

The next two reasons are no brainers but bear mentioning.  White Water Rafting gets you outside into the great outdoors and offers an opportunity to experience nature in a way we don’t often get to on the water or a beautiful and natural river.  The third reason is the wildlife. The number and variety of animals you can see while seated a safe distance in a raft is quite extraordinary. Finally, white water rafting is one of the purest forms of enjoyment that exist in every sense of the word.  When I have gone white water rafting, I have never felt more alive and there are few things in life that invoke this feeling.

IMG: Michell Zappa. Rafting in the Nile. Flickr. Creative Commons

If you are looking for something different, something new, and something unique then you have found it in white water rafting.

If you are ready to indulge your sense of adventure and wonder on the amazing rivers of the world, then here are the top 5 countries for white water rafting.

United States

From, Alaska to Idaho and beyond there are many rivers that boast amazing rafting opportunities.  In Alaska, the views of glaciers and icebergs are among the attractions on the major rivers that flow through the northern wilderness and wends their way through the mountains and tundra that border Alaska and Canada creating some of the best white water in the world.  Rafting in Alaska is an amazing experience from seeing spawning salmon, moose, grizzlies, and being able to pick the tastiest blueberries on earth, there is something for everyone.

In Idaho, you will find some of the most popular rapids in the world set against the backdrop of not-to-be-missed forest scenery in the largest wilderness area, in the U.S, after Alaska.  

IMG: Paxson Woelber. Chelsea packrafting on the Anaktuvuk River. Flickr. Creative Commons.

Ecuador

The Amazon jungle runs through much of South America and Ecuador is no exception.  In parts of Ecuador and on the Rio Upano, hence a tributary of the Amazon river, the tropical rain forest surrounds you.  The verdant greenery and amazing wildlife all around you can feel almost otherworldly. The river takes you from gentle rapids to a fun and bumpy ride through the canyons and gorges.  You will see amazing waterfalls and experience the Amazon in a way you cannot otherwise experience it.

Zimbabwe/Zambia

The Zambezi river is one of the largest and most powerful rivers in sub-Saharan Africa.  The river bubbles and churns over 15 miles below Victoria Falls through the Batoka Gorge and offers one of the best and most thrilling white-water rafting experiences in the world.  

IMG: melalouise. Rapids. Queensland. Flickr. Creative Commons.

Australia

Australia is home to many amazing natural wonders and spectacles and of course in the tropical far north of Queensland where ancient rain forests and volcanic gorges abound so too does some of the best white water rafting to be found in the world in Palmerston National Park.

IMG: Jon Evans. sun-kosi. Flickr. Creative Commons.

Nepal

The Sun Kosi river in Nepal near the border with Tibet offers views from the plains that follow the Sun Kosi river to the Ganges that it feeds to some of the highest peaks in the world of the amazing Himalayas. As you move through the forested gorges and canyons you can experience some truly exciting rapids and end your journey in a more tranquil stretch of river in a tropical jungle where wildlife and animals abound.

There are many places in the world where you can find the opportunity to sight-see and be a “tourist” by the river, these are a few of the most amazing. If you want to break the mold and truly do something different, fun, exhilarating, and rewarding then get out there and do some white water rafting.

 

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