This August a team of intrepid adventurers will attempt to cross the Indonesian island of Sumatra using a variety of human powered methods in a daunting three week feat of endurance.
The expedition- which is still recruiting for participants- will be led by Richard Brown, an experienced adventure guide and expeditioner, who recently cycled the entire length of South America. The journey will consist of river rafting, cycling, trekking a volcano and kayaking through a swamp.
Sumatra is the world’s sixth largest island and although it attracts thousands of tourists each year, in recent times it has suffered a bad press due to violent civil unrest in the 1990s and suffered badly in the 2004 tsunami.
“Sumatra is famous for its rare wildlife” said Richard, “especially the endangered Indonesian Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros, both of which are close to becoming extinct. And of course there is the famous Orang-Utan- which is also under threat from rampant deforestation.”
Despite a small increase in tourism and an interest in promoting sustainable agriculture, the island is struggling to encourage protection of its natural resources. “The forest is shrinking daily as a result of massive deforestation and poaching of endangered species” said Richard, a keen environmentalist.
The 220 km challenge was dreamt up by Richard back in 2011, when he joined the pioneering expedition company Secret Compass, which aims to promote awareness through exploration and has taken team members to remote areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan South Sudan.
“It will be hard work” Said Richard. “Trekking up to 20 kilometres per day through Jungle, Rafting some very remote rivers, trekking across rocky plateaus and kayaking through dense swamps. Many of the indigenous tribes will have had very little contact with outsiders and of course it will be a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the famous flora and fauna of Sumatra. However this expedition is open to anyone and we welcome novices to apply.”
The team will be literally living off the land, staying with villagers where possible and rough camping along the way. What is unique is that although several participants are industry professionals- Photographers, filmmakers and doctors- others are ordinary people just along for the challenge, and of course to be involved in a record breaking world first.
Editors note: The team is limited to ten places and it is on a first come first served basis- pending application and screening of applicants. The cost of the trip is 2350 GBP. Visit www.secretcompass.com for more information.