The term ‘most dangerous’ tends to get thrown around in extreme sports circles, but Inga Rapids on the Congo River may live up to that hype.
No joke – people have called Inga Rapids the deadliest whitewater test on the planet for decades. There are any number of ways this Class V descent into Hell can mess you up, from the crocs and (croc-eating!) tiger fish in its angry waters, to bandits, mosquitoes, and, well, the fact that it forms the largest sloping waterfall on the planet.
That’s probably why the film makers decide to made Inga Rapids the first of the Ozaki 8 trials. You didn’t see it on camera, but were were told that Bodhi and his merry band began the Ozaki 8 trials here, as the Emerging Force tribute to nature. In fact, Utah says no one had ever done Inga Rapids other than Bodhi and company and lived to talk about it.
Want to see someone do it in real life?
Just Four Kayakers Have Survived Inga Rapids
While he embellished a little, Johnny Utah got one thing right: Inga Rapids are officially the deadliest stretch of river on Earth. Its true, no one had survived this ultimate kayaking test – until 2011, when four guys, Tyler Bradt, Rush Sturges, Ben Marr and Steve Fisher, made a film about their itch to knock Inga off their bucket list.
The film, called The Grand Inga Project, documents their journey, beginning in Uganda, and then down the Inga, in a harrowing journey that pretty much explains why any of these guys could be called the best kayaker in the world.
From what I can see, their record stands. As of 2016, Bradt, Sturges, Marr and Fisher are the only kayakers to have tamed – or in Fishers words, survived, the Inga, although former Royal Marine Phil Harwood became the first to canoe the 3,000 mile length of the Congo River. I don’t know if it portaged the Inga Rapids or not, but that’s a feat of its own.
You can learn more about the Grand Inga Project here, done in 2011, which I suspect may have inspired a certain screenwriter to pen Inga Rapids in some plot device called The Ozaki 8.