Chaz Powell Becomes One of the First to Walk the Length of the Gambia River

After 47 days, 1120km and 1.5 million steps, adventurer, expedition leader and Water-to-Go ambassador Chaz Powell along with his fellow adventurer and expedition photographer Tim Roberts have become the first people in known history to walk the length of the Gambia river from its source in the Fouta Djallon, Guinea to the Atlantic Ocean on Africa’s Western coast.

This epic journey took them through Guinea, Senegal and the complete length of The Gambia to become the first people in known history to walk the river’s length. The map below shows the route they took.

The 1120km shown on a ZeroSixZero map

“It was an incredible life changing expedition that’s taken us through, wild, rugged and breath-taking landscapes from day one!”

Chaz Powell and Tim Roberts

They said it was “a challenging adventure that’s seen us trek through extreme temperatures and harsh landscapes, whilst enduring constant hunger, dehydration and walking amongst the wildest of animals! But also it’s been the most incredible of journeys where we’ve experienced unending hospitality and kindness from the most humble of people.”

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz is no stranger to adventure and has over 15 years of remote travel and expedition experience. In 2016/17 he spent 137 days walking the 3000km length of the Zambezi River, Africa’s fourth longest and wildest river; becoming only the second person in known history to complete this wild and dangerous journey by foot. Roberts joined Chaz on this latest wildest journey as expedition photographer and to help document this historic feat. He’s also no stranger to adventure and has walked various challenging treks all over the world.

This expedition will go down as one of their biggest challenges but also achievements to date as they have now both written themselves into the history books. Whilst they both wanted to test themselves on another wild journey, an important aspect surrounding the expedition was to experience Africa and learn about the wildlife, the culture and the people that live and depend on the Gambia River.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz and Tim experienced cultures and communities first-hand that many people would not have known even existed so this adventure was able to provide a real insight to Africa that would have been completely different to what many people had experienced before.

It’s important to remember that this was no walk in the park as Chaz and Tim definitely faced a number of challenges along the way including dealing high temperatures and threats from wild animals. One of the major challenges on the expedition was finding safe drinking water. To solve this, Chaz and Tim were pleased to work with the UK company, Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go is a portable water filtration system that eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This, therefore, allowed them to fill their bottles up from any freshwater stream, local tap or from the Gambia river itself to keep themselves healthy and hydrated throughout the expedition without getting ill.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz has used his trusted Water-to-Go bottle on many of his adventures and this on-going partnership highlights his commitment to sustainable travel and protecting the environment. The Water-to-Go ambassador is keen to eliminate all single-use plastic bottles on his expeditions and showcase a simple alternative that everyone can use.

One of the main reason’s behind this expedition was to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and highlight serious wildlife crimes that are happening along the remote regions surrounding Africa’s rivers. Chaz partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation for this expedition, one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations that focuses on the protection of African wildlife and wildlands. Throughout his expedition, Chaz was providing his observations of Africa’s wildlife, wild lands and people to the charity.

Credit: Tim Roberts

Chaz also highlighted our partnership and current charity project with the African Wildlife Foundation whilst on this expedition. Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do and to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. We have produced a limited edition bottle, that Chaz used on his expedition, to raise awareness and funds for the organisation.

If you want to get involved in the campaign, Water-to-Go’s special AWF branded bottles are still available via our website with £10 from each bottle purchased being donated to the incredible projects and programs run by African Wildlife Foundation.

“Through my ‘The Wildest Journey’ expeditions, I hope to inspire people to take note on what’s happening to the remaining wildlife and wild lands and support my journeys to help me raise the vital funds needed to ensure these places are protected and managed well for future generations.”

Chaz Powell

Chaz has a lot more expeditions in store so watch this space to see where he will be exploring next on ‘The Wildest Journey.’

Credit: Tim Roberts

You can help support his remote journeys and be part of helping support his cause by visiting and donating at – www.justgiving.com/TheWildestJourney

Keep up with what Chaz is up to and follow his expeditions on Facebook and Instagram (@thewildestjourney)

Credit: Tim Roberts

Water-to-Go are working with the African Wildlife Foundation

Water-to-Go are delighted to announce that we are working with the African Wildlife Foundation in order to raise money and awareness of the work that they do to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in modern Africa. This is an exciting new partnership for the business as we continue to grow and spread the message about Water-to-Go.

African Wildlife Foundation is improving the lives of local people alongside protecting wildlife and their habitat so both can have a sustainable fugure. AWF works directly with communities and local partners to understand the obstacles faced and find solutions specific to their needs so that livelihoods do not destroy the natural environment or threaten the survival of wildlife. By providing incentives such as economic enterprises, access to better education or sharing income from tourism, AWF’s programmes support communities to develop whilst embracing conservation. We are pleased to be supporting these initiatives through this campaign.

Kirstin Johnson, UK Director of the African Wildlife Foundation; Chaz Powell, UK adventurer and Water-to-Go ambassador; Dave Shanks, CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go

Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) has nearly 60 years of experience working to ensure wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa. As one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations focused solely on the continent of Africa, AWF is the primary advocate for the protection of African wildlife and wild lands.

For this campaign, Water-to-Go has produced a special edition bottle that is available via our website. We will donate £10 from every special bottle sold towards AWF’s work to protect the wildlife and wild lands in Africa. 

African Wildlife Foundation Limited Edition 75cl filter bottle

Water-to-Go bottles protect our planet by providing an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic. On his travels around the world, Water-to-Go founder Dave Shanks was shocked at the piles of plastic waste he saw that were damaging local communities and the planet. He sought to create a sustainable solution to this problem and developed a reusable, recyclable water bottle that contains a unique 3-in-1 filter that provides safe drinking water anywhere. Now, Water-to-Go are working with AWF to ensure the sustainable future of Africa’s people, wildlife and land.

Africa loses 8 percent of its elephants to poaching every year. AWF’s programmes include training and equipping rangers, deploying sniffer and detection dogs, setting aside protected areas for critically endangered wildlife and educating the public and those responsible for law enforcement on how the destruction of habitat and illegal wildlife trade is robbing Africa of its future. You can all get involved in our project to support wildlife conservation and ensure Africa’s elephants do not become endangered.

We are delighted to be working with a charity of the calibre and influence of the African Wildlife Foundation. They align with the visions and goals of our business, and together we are committed to making a difference. Through this campaign, we are doing our bit to help protect Africa’s wildlife and wild lands.

The African Wildlife Foundation joins Water-to-Go in its vision to protect the planet by reducing single-use plastic water bottles on their member safaris, and by distributing Water-to-Go bottles to a selection of rangers protecting wildlife on the front line. Water-to-Go will be donating some of these limited edition AWF bottles to the charity so that these rangers can stay healthy and hydrated wherever they are.

Water-to-Go was delighted to be invited to the Royal Over-seas League in London to hear about AWF’s partnership with the Rwandan Development Board that focuses on Mountain Gorilla Conservation in Rwanda alongside community empowerment and development.

This is just one of many initiatives in Africa that are improving people’s lives as well as protecting the wildlife that is so important to the future of the country. It was fantastic to hear about this and to know that our campaign will be actively contributing to these projects.

We were also delighted to meet Yamina Karitanyi, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK, at the event who has fully endorsed our project with AWF. CEO and Founder of Water-to-Go, Dave Shanks, got the chance to speak with her about the business and our project with AWF so we are very pleased to have their backing and support going forward.

Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to the UK; and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go
We need your help if we want this campaign to be a success. If you want to be a part of this campaign, just click the link below and keep up to date on our social media channels. Thank you in advance for your support.

To learn more, visit www.watertogo.eu/awf

Another big year of adventures planned for Chaz Powell

2018 is sure to be another fantastic year full of adventures for our inspiring ambassador, Chaz Powell, and by the end of this blog post, you will understand why.

 

After the completion of my 2016/17 source to sea Zambezi journey by foot. I have decided to turn my focus onto 2018 and a whole fresh new year of adventure and challenges.
I decided to kick off my year by walking from Birmingham to London via the Grand Union canal whilst wild camping and learning in depth about the unique history of the British waterways, as well as embracing the beautiful surrounding countryside and urban suburbs that this 130-mile route takes. On reaching London I then delivered a talk at Tuesday evenings Tales of Adventure. It went extremely well and was a truly fantastic beginning to what is set to be an eventful year.
Chaz on his recent walk from Birmingham to London via the Grand Union canal.                           Photo credit: Frazer Waller

Leading and Teaching

Within the next few months when the new UK summer season begins. I  will be back teaching Bushcraft in various forested regions throughout the UK. Both with the Bushcraft Company and with my own group – Wildest Journeys.

 

During March, I will be leading an Outlook Expedition team to the Jebel Sahro mountains in Morocco. We will spend a total of 8 days in the country, with four of the days trekking through the Jebel Sahro mountain range.

 

Then from June until early August, I will be leading 2 youth expeditions with Outlook Expeditions.  One in Malawi and the other in Zambia and Botswana. It’s always very rewarding being able to pass on the skills and knowledge that I pick up from my many personal adventures over the years, especially when leading groups in various parts of their expedition phases that incorporate the regions surrounding the Zambezi river.
As well as leading and teaching. I will be visiting various schools to go through the exciting options for their chosen destination, and helping students plan their own unique summer expeditions.
Chaz giving a talk following his recent Union Canal Walk.                                                                     Photo Credit: Frazer Waller

Personal Journeys

During mid to late August, I will be taking on a personal expedition in Zambia. The plan will be to retrace the final footsteps of Dr David Livingstone, to learn all about his final movements. My journey will then finish at his final resting place in Chitambo village at Ilala near the edge of the Bangweulu Swamps in Zambia. This adventure will be wild yet exciting and will see me trekking yet again through another very remote region within Zambia.

 

I also have plans for various smaller personal expeditions during 2018 both in the UK and throughout Europe, these will all be announced spontaneously just before they happen, and will go towards my goal of training for my International Mountain Leader Award. As was as pushing myself to tackle incredible life-changing journeys and experiences.

2018 is also a hugely important year to plan another big journey in 2019 for Chaz.                          Photo Credit: Frazer Waller.
2018 is also a hugely important year to plan another big journey for 2019. The expedition will see myself and a small team walking in an extremely wild part of Sub Saharan Africa for around 6 months, whilst aiming to cover in excess of 2000 miles. This is sure to be a very exciting endeavour and will be a unique worlds first expedition pushing our physical and mental boundaries to the limit.

 

This expedition is due to be announced later on in the year once the team is in place and all details have been ironed out. With exciting projects for the year ahead. I’m planning to do various talks during 2018. With speaking engagements lined up throughout the year with the likes of the Royal Geographical Society and Explorers Connect. I look forward to sharing my stories about my many past explorations and hopefully inspiring others to take on their own incredible life-changing journeys.

 

It’s sure to be a great year indeed!

 

We can’t wait to hear more about these expeditions and exciting projects ahead for Chaz Powell. All we know is that Water-to-Go will be with him every step of the way keeping him safe and hydrated wherever he is.

 

Photos from the Grand Union Canal Walk and talk taken by Frazer Waller.

Chaz Powell becomes new Water-to-Go ambassador

Water-to-Go is delighted to announce that Chaz Powell has become a new ambassador for the brand. This a fantastic opportunity for the business and for Chaz so we are excited to see what the future holds.

We caught up with our new ambassador – “It is a huge honour to announce that I have now been made an ambassador for the life-saving water filtration system Water-to-Go.

Water-to-Go is a product that has breathed new life into my expeditions over the past few years and is now one of the most crucial pieces of kit that I carry whilst out on my many remote and wild journeys.
It has changed the way I look at adventure, allowing me to venture further into more and more inaccessible regions, but yet still obtain safe clean drinking water without the worry of becoming sick or seriously dehydrated. With my plans for more wild African based trekking adventures in motion, I look forward to continuing to be supported and using such an incredible piece of equipment.”

Chaz recently completed his Zambezi Hike – walking the length of the Zambezi River and eventually reaching the Indian Ocean completely unaided. It was an incredible achievement which lasted 137 days, 3000km & 4 million steps! We were pleased that Water-to-Go was an important part of this expedition and that Chaz wants to continue his journey in partnership with Water-to-Go.

It is great to see that our values align as Chaz is also an advocate of sustainable and responsible travel. Using the Water-to-Go bottles is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint and plastic waste when travelling. It is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and is the solution to the huge plastic pollution problem in our oceans. Chaz will be helping us to spread the word so it is great to have someone onboard who is going to be amplifying these values to the wider public.

Chaz is always looking for his next challenge and we want to make sure that Water-to-Go is with him every step of the way. He is currently looking to do a couple of big treks over the next couple of months. He is also planning some bigger expeditions which we can’t wait to tell everyone about. You can be sure that Chaz has a lot in store in the next few years and we are looking forward to what we can achieve together.

Keep up with our journey on social media and on our website