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A 10-strong expedition team from Secret Compass has just successfully crossed the Equator in Gabon, as part of a pioneering trek and packraft adventure in wild Ivindo National Park.

(TRAVPR.COM) UK - July 1st, 2016 - Secret Compass's ‘Tale of Two Rivers’ team in Gabon packrafted within metres of elephants and saw crocodiles and other wildlife as they navigated the remote Djidji and Kongou river systems.

Expedition teammate Tom H. said, “Three weeks ago we didn’t know each other yet within two weeks we had worked together to successfully trek remote jungle and packraft the Equator to reach our end point.

“It was tough in parts but everyone needs a certain amount of challenge and ‘delayed enjoyment’ or, Type Two Fun as we called it, in order to push themselves and to get to their inner reserves. It’s only now that our achievement is really sinking in.”

 Gabon expedition highlights

·       Crossed the Equator on foot and in packrafts

·       Explored the Kongou and Djidji rivers

·       Trek Gabon’s equatorial jungles in Ivindo National Park

·       Visited Djidji waterfalls – equatorial Africa’s highest

·       Floated within metres of forest elephants

Teammate Lisa F. said, “I’m unable to describe how incredible the expedition was, from the location to the mental and physical challenges and the unique, world-first element.

“Every element coalesced into ‘perfect storm’, the experience as a whole was even greater than the sum of its extraordinary parts.”

Experienced expedition participant Jim F. summarized the mood of the team, saying, “Secret Compass created an unforgettable expedition in an amazing location; Gabon was incredible. What other country would think of going to a modern day Garden of Eden?”

In praise of Secret Compass’s in-country partners, teammate Anthony W. added, “The local guides were amazing; tough and resourceful, with amazing jungle navigation skills and awesome agility on the river.”

Kerry O’Neill, communications director with Secret Compass, said, “We specialise in exploratory expeditions and world firsts in remote and wild places. This packrafting achievement was challenging for the team, as they navigated through untrammeled jungle and uncharted waters in pursuit of their goal.” 

Experienced leader Paul Taylor coordinated the expedition for Secret Compass. A former British Army sergeant major, Taylor had just returned from a period in Nepal with Team Rubicon, an organisation that sends veterans to coordinate efforts in disaster zones. 

Taylor said, “I freelance for several expedition companies. What I particularly like about Secret Compass is their genuine expeditionary and exploratory approach, which truly lets the team get into some of world’s wildest and most remote corners in a self-reliant way.

“Following this year’s success, this expedition will run again in 2017. Prospective teammates don’t need to be superhuman or even experienced in this type of adventure travel, they just need to commit to getting physically prepared in time for the demands of the experience.”

Tom Bodkin, director of Secret Compass, said, “This was an expeditionary first and we are thrilled that the team succeeded. Another expedition is heading out into DRC’s Virunga National Park next week and we have a mountain bike trip planned for Ethiopia in October. As a continent, Africa has so much to offer, and we look forward to identifying new adventurous firsts to tackle in the coming years.


DRC (07/16): jungle, volcanic peak and gorilla trekking in Virunga National Park NEW

Afghanistan (07/16): high-altitude trek in the Wakhan Corridor National Park

Kamchatka (08/16): head to Russia to trek among Eurasia’s highest active volcanoes

Kyrgyzstan (09/16): bike-packing expedition to mountain bike (MTB) the Silk Road

UK (09/16): two mini-expedition styled weekend adventures in Wales NEW

North Korea (09/2017): remote Nat. Park exploration in this ultra-secret state NEW

Sinai (09/16): minimalistic, camel-supported desert trek with the Bedouin

Burmese Nagaland (10/16): trekking summit expedition on SE Asia’s highest peak

Ethiopia (10/16): expedition to explore the Simien mountains and villages by MTB

Iran (10/16): ‘Desert Stars and Solitude’: a Lut Desert traverse

Chad (01/17): exploring the Sahara ’s volcanic heartland and highest peak NEW

Siberia (03/17): reindeer migration across frozen gulfs with Nenets nomads

Bhutan (04/2017): trek to scale a 5,000m+ peak in this Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom NEW

Gabon and Mongolia: both NEW and completed for 2016, 2017 dates pending

For further press information about Secret Compass contact communications director Kerry O’Neill on 0207 096 8428.

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Press enquiries: Kerry on +44 (0)207 096 8428


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Name: Kerry ONeill
Company: Secret Compass
Phone: 02070968428
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