Tours of a Lifetime: Rafting in Siberia
Ready for the ultimate rafting trip? ECHO River Trips’ “Rafting Siberia’s Kaa-Khem River,” one of Traveler’s 2011 Tours of a Lifetime, takes white water rafting to the next level.
The 15-day tour features 9 straight days of powering through rapids on the Kaa-Khem River, located in the Sayany region of Siberia just north of the Mongolian border. The location is so rugged and remote that participants will be taken to the launch point on a Russian Mi-8 helicopter. At night the rafters will camp outdoors in the surrounding taiga forest, populated by bears and Siberian elk.
In between Class III and IV rapids on the 166-mile expedition, quieter spots on the river allow anglers to fly-fish for taimen, the Eurasian giant trout that can reach six feet long.
Experienced guide and Russian native Vladimir Gavrilov first rafted the Kaa-Khem in 1986. His return 25 years later was originally planned as a one-off trip, but so much interest has been generated for the tour that the operator will likely arrange another trip on the Kaa-Khem or a different Siberian river for 2012.
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Shot from Vladimir Gavrilov’s original 1986 trip on the Kaa-Khem River. Photo courtesy of ECHO River Trips
- Nat Geo Expeditions