Adventurer shares his story of paddle-boarding among crocodiles and fast-flowing rapids

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:33 27 June 2018

Ben has been teaching students about his journey.

Ben has been teaching students about his journey.

Archant

An explorer from Worle has completed his first education programme following an epic 1,000-mile paddle board journey down a ‘beautiful but deadly’ river.

In December last year Benjamin Peters became the first person to paddle board down the Blue Nile in Ethiopia – and probably the last.

Alongside experienced boarder Charlie Head, the pair made their way from Lake Tana on a treacherous 40-day route of the river to film The Last Descent.

The documentary, made as part of Ben’s Explorers Escape group, has since been used to teach children about the impact the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will have on the environment, with around 143 miles of the river set to flood once building work is finished.

Ben said: “Explorers Escape’s first education programme was a huge success.

“Twelve schools participated in the fantastic The Last Descent, all to learn about what will happen to the Blue Nile, the wildlife and villages once the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is completed.

“The feedback from all 12 schools has been incredibly positive and all the children have loved being a part of such an eye opening and unique adventure.”

Throughout the journey Ben and his team sent back videos, photographs and facts to schools to help keep students involved.

They spent time with village communities living along the river to discover how their lives will be affected, as well as the impact the dam will have on wildlife.

Ben added: “We paddle boarded our way through fast-flowing rapids, crocodiles, hippos and the incredibly beautiful yet deadly environment.

“Over 35 days we lived off whatever we could carry on our boards, all to raise awareness of the historic river.

“The documentary we produced was shown to all participating schools to help educate and publicise the impact we are having on our planet, and encourage people to do something about it.”

Ben, who has previously completed a similar project in Peru, is already planning his next project which will see him diving around the UK to showcase the country’s diversity of marine wildlife and how plastic is affecting it.

For more information, visit www.explorersescape.com

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