The Nile is one of the world’s longest and most dangerous rivers. It flows over 6,850 km along some of the toughest terrain. It’s my goal to paddle the length of this river, and in doing so be the first woman to achieve this feat.
I moved from the UK to Australia in 2003, initially to Melbourne and then to Bondi in Sydney. Once here I joined North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club as a volunteer lifesaver patrolling the beach and keeping tourists, unfamiliar with the rips, surf and the local wildlife, safe on the beach and in the water. It’s thanks to being a member here that I developed my passion for kayaking by becoming a surf ski paddler. That put me on the path to this expedition.
The idea came to me in my search for the need for more fulfilment. It’s a dangerous and challenging expedition to undertake, but the hope is to achieve much to inspire others to go out and create their own firsts than mean something to them and are impactful in their lives.
I’m undertaking this challenge in aid of CARE Australia by fundraising and creating a community of ‘Winning Women’ encouraging and inspiring each other to go out, be brave, be bold and have some adventure and do things they’ve always wanted to.
The expedition will involve a mix of rafting and kayaking paddling through large and powerful rapids, infested with crocodiles and hippos. I won’t be doing it alone. I’ll have paddlers with me from the countries the expedition goes as well as friends and team mates. Plus, there’ll be guides and security as needed.
I also want to use this trip to show the world the amazing countries I travel through – to share their culture the beautiful landscapes and the people. The expedition is expected to last approximately seven months.
There has been significant progress as the plans come to life. In August 2016, I went on a reconnaissance trip to Uganda. More recently I returned from a trip to Egypt and Sudan. There I met with officials to get approvals process underway and gauge the support for the expedition. There were visits to the Embassies, along with meetings with CARE International as well as kayakers.
The feedback was incredibly positive for the expedition. The officials were all extremely supportive and willing to assist with and approve the expedition. Kayakers I met are keen to join the expedition and even took me out for a paddle on the Nile. I also went into the local CARE offices to hear about the initiatives underway and talk about ideas to promote the expedition and create exposure for the incredible work they do.
Now I just can’t wait to get the expedition started!
To find out more about the expedition check out the website www.paddlethenile.com.