Human-powered adventurous descent of Sierra Leone's Moa River

On the 8th February, a team of adventurers will descend Sierra Leone’s Moa River on foot and by packraft on a human-powered east-west crossing of this vibrant African country.

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “This is an incredible opportunity to explore the Gola Rainforest and the Tiwai Island Nature Reserve and to experience the unusual communities that live in this remote part of Sierra Leone.

“Packrafting allows us to be flexible, without limiting us to the Moa River. We can paddle then trek then paddle, exploring interesting opportunities, sites and villages as they arise.”

Ex-army officer Paul Taylor will lead this adventure. Having lived in this region of Sierra Leone for years, his expertise will add valuable local knowledge to the expedition team.

Bodkin said, “Sierra Leone is trying hard to shake off its image as a dangerous place, as perceived courtesy of films like Blood Diamond. In reality, Sierra Leone has been peaceful for over ten years and the locals could not be more welcoming to visitors and adventure travellers.

“As an ambitious expedition and adventure travel company we like to push the boundaries and to pioneer tourism into less visited places. We were the first company to take a group into the world’s newest country, South Sudan, and the first to cross the African island of Madagascar on foot.

“Though shunned by many at the moment, coastal and inland parts of Sierra Leone will no doubt soon begin to enjoy the benefits of increased adventure travel and tourism, which can help fledging economies protect their cultural heritage and wildlife areas.

“It’s down to adventure companies like ours to lead the way and to show the world what a beautiful, warm-hearted country Sierra Leone really is.”

Sierra Leone: Expedition Highlights

  • Gain an insight into rural Sierra Leone life

  • Visit the Gola Rainforest and the Tiwai Island Nature Reserve

  • Become one of a handful of explorers to paddle the Moa River

  • Experience an optimistic nation, peaceful for over 10 years

  • Visit the unusual Tribewanted community at John Obey Beach

  • Relax on the shores of Freetown’s paradisiacal beaches

With its military background, expedition company Secret Compass is renowned for offering adventurous and exploratory travel experiences to countries eschewed by most operators due to their remoteness, post-conflict reputations or inaccessibility.

Adventure travel and expedition destinations for 2014 include Panama, Iraqi Kurdistan, Madagascar, Siberia, Afghanistan, Arunachal Pradesh and Ethiopia.

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Your info here: Secret Compass is a pioneering expedition company creating world-first experiences for teams of like-minded adventurers. Through group and bespoke adventures, Secret Compass helps each team member achieve the extraordinary in the world’s wildest places. Founded by ex-British Army Parachute Regiment officers, its expeditions reach the planet’s most remote regions in the spirit of exploration’s earliest pioneers. Its highly trained professionals deliver well-planned and safe experiences, while encouraging daring leaps out of comfort zones. Secret Compass is passionate about returning tourism to post-conflict zones and emerging economies to stimulate local development and challenge preconceptions.

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Additional info here: Secret Compass also takes film crews, journalists and photographers to remote and previously inaccessible areas thanks to its unrivalled location management expertise. Clients to date include the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Channel 4, in countries from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.

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