Recently I read a Huffington Post article titled “Ten Adventures You Can Only Experience in South Africa”. They missed one – rowing to a private game reserve, having lunch – with Nigel the Nyala – and rowing home. So I decided to compile my own list of adventures you can only experience on a rowing trip. Admittedly, with South Africa on my mind, the first two on the list are from our South Africa Rowing Safari.
- Have lunch with exotic wildlife after rowing up the Kariega River to Sibuya Game Reserve, Eastern Cape.
- Row with penguins and maybe the occasional whale or giant ray in False Bay, near Cape Town, Western Cape.
- Spend a week exploring a beautiful destination with 59 other international rowers – possible on a World Rowing Tour or some offered by national or other federations.
Be able to stop and have a drink of water while everyone else keeps rowing – and not affect the boat. Possible when rowing church boats, perhaps on a tour in Finland or Germany.
- Have a glass of wine or beer at lunch and then keep rowing in the afternoon! Not on every rowing trip of course, but especially ones in Europe.
- Try out new boats – either different manufacturers or different types. Such as rowing coastal boats on big lakes in Italy or tidal rivers in South Africa or a traditional Thames skiff in England.
- Bump up your annual mileage in the most pleasant way possible. On a trip you might row on average 25 km per day for five or six days. Suddenly you have added 125 or 150 extra km to your log – at a nice sustainable pace in beautiful surroundings.
- Row famous water without racing. Think Bled, Slovenia or the Royal Henley course on the Thames. Cruise the course, barely breaking a sweat.
- Expand your rowing vocabulary, potential adding multiple languages. Different traditions exist for basics like stopping the boat or pulling harder on left or right. Best to ensure common calls before the boat leaves the dock.
- Combine two of your favourite things into one amazing experience – travelling and rowing!