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Kayak the Kwanza: a World-Record Paddle Down Angola's Longest River with Travel Author Oscar Scafidi

There are hippos, angry hippos ... a lot of them

Follow travel author Oscar Scafidi on his world-record paddle down the Kwanza River in Angola. Stretching 600-miles from its source in the Angolan Highlands, in the centre of the country, to the Atlantic Ocean on the country’s west coast, Oscar and his partner Alfie Weston kayaked the entire length and hiked an additional two hundred miles to circumvent rapids, waterfalls and dams.

The going was tough and they were unprepared for the dangers and hardships ahead. But, that’s also part of what’s so inspiring and unique about this story – Oscar and Alfie aren’t professional adventurers, explorers or African bush experts. They’re just two young guys with a crazy idea and a lot of guts.

They faced man-eating crocodiles, angry hippos and even angrier police. But over 33 hard days, camping beside the banks of the river and in small settlements along the way, they reached the ocean and in doing so did something no one else had ever achieved before, which has since been recognised as an official world-record by Guinness World Records

This is a story about that adventure, but it’s also a story about dreaming big, taking risks and achieving something extraordinary. If two ordinary guys, with very little kayaking experience, can paddle the entire length of one of the longest rivers in Africa, why can’t you achieve your travel dreams too?


· Facing 600-miles of man-eating crocodiles, deadly rapids and pods pod of angry attacking hippos

· Kayaking the entire length of one of the least explored rivers on the planet – an official Guinness World Record

· Discovering Angola, one of Africa’s least visited and most misunderstood countries, still reeling from the aftermath of a brutal civil war. But one that’s also filled with incredible wildlife, surfing, hiking and more

· Getting arrested in the middle of the night at gun point by the security forces

· Being inspired to follow your own dreams of adventure and hearing what it takes to get it done

If you want to connect with Oscar directly his Instagram is @oscarscafidi and his twitter is @scafiditravels. He also has an awesome YouTube channel which charts this trip and his other adventures

The book of this journey is called Kayak the Kwanza: Source to Sea Along Angola’s Longest River -



Here's the full documentary of their journey

And here's a talk Oscar did about the trip for the Royal Geographical Society in London

And here's his latest crazy adventure, kayaking from Tunis to Tabarka in Tunisia ... this is part 1, check out the final 2 instalments on his YouTube channel

Thank you to our Sponsor!

Thanks to Wondrium for sponsoring this episode. Wondrium is the new name for The Great Courses Plus, now expanded with more content: documentaries, world-cinema, tv shows and lots of new courses. You can check it all out for free for one month by heading over to

Here's a trailer for the film 'Breaking Their Silence' I mention in the show

Support the HALO Trust

Oscar and Alfie were raising money for the HALO Trust who are removing landmines from Angola and other war-torn countries around the world. Their goal is a landmine-free wolrs by 2025. Help them get there at

Here's a video about some of the work they're doing in Angola

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