Types of trip
Safpar offers two trips: half day and full day. If you’re worried, opt for the half-day afternoon trip when the tides are gentler. The rapids become increasingly menacing in both intensity and in name, ranging from the scenic Between Two Worlds to The Gnashing Jaws of Death.
The guide will talk through every little step to ensure your safety, from how to move around the boat to how to hold on. Of course, you can get injured doing almost anything, but relax — all the guides are fully trained with advanced first aid certificates — just in case.
You’ll need a tried-and-tested raft, high-floatation life jacket, helmet and an oar. In the colder months, it’s well worth putting on a wetsuit top. Wear light sandals or trainers, a T-shirt, shorts, and swimwear underneath if you fancy a dip in the river.
Before you go
Beginners might want to practise on a man-made course like the Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire, or the natural waters of Wales’ Tryweryn River at the National White Water Centre.
‘High side’: When your guide yells this, listen. This crucial command determines which side to leap towards to avoid capsizing.
‘Wrap’: When the current is so powerful that the boat becomes wedged against a rock or another object.
‘Eddie’: Your SOS spot. An eddie is water flowing upstream behind a rock — ideal for escaping a strong current.
Published in the Adventure guide, distributed with the September 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)