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Kayak The Kwanza

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In June 2016, Oscar Scafidi and Alfy Weston set out to complete the first ever source-to-sea expedition along Angola’s longest river, the Kwanza. Paddling and carrying a forty-year-old collapsible wooden kayak, they embarked on a journey of 1,300km in support of The HALO Trust, the oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation in the world.

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Published 2019 by Unbound
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  25 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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I read this book through The Pigeonhole, a free online book club and read it with other readers on the web. It was split into 10 parts, called staves, that I read through the nifty Pigeonhole app. I really enjoyed reading in this format, it suited being split into the 10 staves, sometimes leaving us readers on a terrible cliffhanger until the following day.

Oscar Scafidi’s writing was a so engaging, even when explaining Angola’s heartbreaking history, I never feel bogged down by unnecessary facts
Shelagh Wadman
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating, gripping and well written account of the first source to sea kayak of the Kwanza river in Angola, undertaken by the author and his friend in June 2016 to raise money for HALO (a humanitarian charity which clears unexploded ordnances). I binge read this in two days and really enjoyed it, learning a great deal about Angola’s history, HALO and hippos :)
Lel Budge
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pigeonhole
Oscar and Alfy spent many months planning their expedition to Kayak the Kwanza...I found this part very interesting, I had no idea just how much goes into these plans, from the route, equipment, medical supplies and the English essentials....PG Tips and Marmite !
This is their true story of the quite amazing expedition from Luanda in Angola to the Atlantic Ocean in a kayak.

The trip was in aid of the HALO trust, a non-political charity which remove debris left behind by war, in particular land mi
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-reads
A brilliant, engaging account of an epic adventure along the 1300km Kwanza river in Angola, by kayak and by foot. This has everything you could want; just enough background and history to bring context to the modern day, recounts of the intense preparations for the journey which makes the failings throughout that little bit funnier (dodgy tents and fake leather Italian loafers!!), great descriptions of the environment and the encounters with people along the way, rogue hippos and even more rogue ...more
Diego Echeagaray
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An extraordinary adventure in the most strict sense of the word.
1. Ingredients: rapids, hippos, machine guns, diamonds, crocodiles, waterfalls, policemen, near-drowning, civil war, anger, mosquito bites, incarceration, portages, despair, beer, collapsible kayaks, sore feet, sponsors, dams and reservoirs, lions, fishing traps, politicians, The Guinness World Records, freezing cold weather, fear, sweltering heat, hope, ambassadors, malaria, humor, landmines, deportation, hunger, broken gear, home-
Amelia B. Kyazze
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent read, worthy cause:

I really enjoyed reading Oscar Scafidi’s Kayak the Kwanza. As someone who had worked in Angola in the early 2000’s, it was so great to read about Angola in the recent years, and yet recognise a lot from the earlier era. Scafidi writes about a record attempt to kayak in a home-made canoe down Angola’s longest river. A pair of friends pull together this idea in order to challenge themselves and to raise money for The Halo Trust along the way – one of the important de-
Mr Roman
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I had zero prior knowledge of Angola before reading this, and at first I thought I would struggle to relate to what happens to Oscar and Alfy. How wrong was I! It's very engaging, it captures the atmosphere well, and it keeps you in suspense. Oscar managed to capture the emotional tensions really well, which made the two guys very relatable. Their journey had a lot of challenges which makes for a very entertaining read. The overall impression it leaves of rural Angola ...more
Tom Shields
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As someone who lived in Angola for many years, I found this book captures the essence of Angola perfectly. The ups and downs. The frustrations of government and pure beauty of the people. If you are interested in a great adventure against the backdrop of a meticulously-described setting, read this book.
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I found this a really engaging read. It was interesting to learn something of both the history and geography of Angola.
This journey was an amazing challenge and I admire both the physical and mental stamina Oscar and Alfy needed to complete there journey.
Mrs Georgina L Goddard
Unfortunately I struggled with this book. I appreciated the amazing work of the HALO Trust and finding out about a country that I know little about but I think it was the pace of the book I found hard. I might come back to it at a later date.
James Barber
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exciting and educational

Very exciting read about the struggles and excitement of completing a first of its kind challenge. I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommend
Crystal Blake
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: the-pigeonhole

Another offering from The Pigeonhole, this one is a non fiction account of the trip taken down the Kwanza river for charity by Oscar Scafidi and Alfy Weston. I am the first one to admit that I know nothing about the authors, the setting or the charity and I will even admit that I originally thought this was a fictional book but it was fascinating to read it.
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