Ep. 78: Oscar Scafidi - Kayaking the Kwanza


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Adventure is about much more than excitement and novelty. It is also about facing challenges and solving problems. It is about venturing into the unknown. It is about moving forward following setbacks. It is about making decisions, and dealing with risk. And yes, adventure can be about wonderful, curious, and frustrating things in far-off lands. This episode is about all of those things and more.

My guest is adventurer, teacher, writer and political risk consultant Oscar Scafidi. In 2016, he and Alfy Weston kayaked the full length of the Kwanza River, the longest river in Angola – from the source all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. They did this for and with the Halo Trust, a charity that removes land mines around the world. The remoteness of the journey, natural and human hazards, the country’s civil war legacy and associated land mine problem meant that this was no ordinary journey – it was fraught with risks.

Along the way, Oscar and Alfy were chased by hippos, sank their kayak, dealt freezing temperatures (yes, you read that correctly) and even got arresting at gunpoint. We get into all of that as well as:

  • Angola’s post-colonial history of civil war and the tragedy of land mines in the country;
  • Where Alfy and Oscar got the idea to do this journey;
  • Preparations, including the risks they faced;
  • The journey itself;
  • Lessons Oscar took away;
  • Much more!

Show notes:


Kayak the Kwanza, the book

Kayak the Kwanza on Facebook

Kayak the Kwanza on Twitter

The Halo Trust

Kayak the Kwanza Documentary on YouTube

Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuśiński

Science weighs in on “bad vibes”

Episode 5 with Tarran Kent-Hume – Kayaking the Amazon – did you know that Angola and Brazil were once part of the same land mass?


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