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Mission: Angola

Olympian Mike Dawson and American Aaron Mann team up for kayak first on Angola's Kwanza River

PRESS RELEASE – Angola Expedition

Mission: An exploratory kayaking adventure into Angola, a country whose rivers and whitewater have never before been paddled.

The Expedition Angola team departs from Frankfurt Airport on the 4th of October, traveling first to the capitol city, Luanda, before continuing inland to the remote highlands.

Sponsored by Ortlieb, the expedition will be led by Olympian Mike Dawson of New Zealand and American Aaron Mann, with the aim of completing the first-ever kayak expedition in Angola. The trip will include the first descents of both the Kwanza River and Keve River as well as filming, mapping and documenting the rapids and flow of the rivers in these remote, uncharted gorges.

The Kwanza River has a rich history in Angola and is home to their largest dams supplying energy to the mineral rich nation. Paddling plastic whitewater kayaks the team will be completely self-supported on the river, while facing the full dangers of remote exploration as the river twists and turns through a tight and committing gorge, dropping off waterfalls, cascading down massive rapids, and carving a path through one of Africa’s most inaccessible regions. The route will begin at the Cambambe Dam and descend over 120km of whitewater in 10 days. This mammoth journey into the unknown whitewater of the Kwanza will showcasing the beauty of–and conservation threats to–Angola’s landscape. During the 120 km the team will encounter numerous Class V-VI whitewater rapids visible from satellite imagery.

The Keve River is the Kwanzas' lesser-known sister river. Boasting more gradient than the Kwanza through a narrow gorge, the Keve will be the crux of the expedition. Only accessible by kayak, the planned route down a 56km section will take the team deep into a remote, untouched part of Angola. The secondary aim of this descent is to map out and make people aware of the current land mine risk present in this part of the country. Angola was ravaged by a 27-year-war of independence that evolved into a brutal civil war that ended in 2002. It is thought that as many as 10 million unexploded land mines remain as a reminder of the country’s bloody past.

Follow the journey online:

https://share.delorme.com/mikedawson 

www.facebook.com/dawsonmj

www.instagram.com/mrmikedawson 

Fast Facts ANGOLA :
Population:18,500,000
Language: Portuguese
Capital: Luanda
Civil War: 1975 – 2002
GDP Per Capita: US$ 5,873

KWANZA RIVER
Length: 965km
Mouth: Barra do Cuanza
Source: Bie Plateau.
Whitewater: Class 5/6
Flow: 400 – 1000 Cm3

For regular updates from the expedition please follow
Hashtag: #kayakangola #angola2015
Twitter handle: @mrmikedawson
Instagram Handle: @mrmikedawson
Facebook: facebook.com/dawsonmj