Me rowing the raft in Ethiopia's Blue Nile River Gorge close to the Sudanese border. Photo by Les Jickling.
Scott leaping to catch the empty raft as it rushes through the whitewater at The Gauntlet in the Blue Nile River's Northern Gorge.
The Blue Nile expedition team in the Blue Nile Gorge in Ethiopia at the convergence of the Jemma and Blue Nile Rivers.
Whitewater on the upper Blue Nile River before we committed to the deadly rapids of the notorious Northern Gorge.
One of the colourful Ethiopian kids selling chickens close to the Nile River.
Les and I in our K2 folding kayak paddling down the Nile River in Egypt.
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Imagine spending five months paddling 5,000 kilometres (3,000 miles) down a river where something bad happens almost every day: crocodile attacks, hippo chases, malaria, blood infections, gunpoint arrests, stone throwers, scorpions, damaged boats, Islamic radicals and more. Throw in challenging team dynamics and deception from the locals and you have the first ever paddle down the length of the Blue Nile to the Mediterranean Sea.
In September 2004, with little prior experience in Africa or whitewater, Les Jickling and I began our paddle down the world's longest river. Fumbling through some of the most fascinating and dangerous regions in Africa, our expedition was one of those unadulterated, shoe-string-budget adventures you dream about as a youngster.
The Blue Nile that crashes through the Ethiopian Highlands is considered the Holy Grail of whitewater, with more deaths per attempt than Mt. Everest. Helped by a group of whitewater pros and local armed guards, we made it down the flooded river, descending sections previously unrafted.
At the Sudanese border, Les and I continued in folding kayaks through Sudan's savannah and desert war zones, during some of its most volatile periods in history. Finally, escorted by an unexpected string of police flotillas, we paddled north through Egypt on the home stretch to the sea, five months after beginning our adventure.
Following months of daily challenges, there's much to tell, so I've written a manuscript reflecting our journey and the Nile's colourful cultures and intriguing history.
Click on the links below for a small taste of our adventure from my manuscript:
|Chapter 5 Excerpt: In Khartoum trying to source permits to paddle Sudan Nile River and finding a crocodile school|
|Chapter 10 Excerpt: History of Adventurers on the Blue Nile River|
|Chapter 12 Excerpt: Our first arrest by the Sudanese police close to the Ethiopian-Sudanese border|
|Chapter 12 Excerpt: After arriving at a 'rustic' Sudanese hospital with a severely infected leg|
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Visit niletrip.com to see the official Colours of the Nile web site.
If you're interested in visiting the Nile River, check out the Top-10 Must-Sees along the length of the River Nile.
How do the world's great rivers compare? Learn about the Nile River versus the Yangtze.
Want to test your knowledge of the Nile? Take the Nile River Trivia Quiz.