There are many famous rivers running throughout Europe and the rest of the world, so much so that most people could name quite a few without needing any time to think. But what about those that don’t immediately come to mind? What about those that you haven’t given much thought to or that you never even knew existed?
Whilst travelling along these waterways is either not yet popular or currently not possible to do, it doesn’t take anything away from their beauty and indeed importance to the people who live around them. Here are four such rivers that you may have never heard of but that have a key role to play.
Indus, Pakistan –
The Indus River empties into the Arabian Sea after having travelled through parts of China, India and the entire length of Pakistan. It gives its name to the country of India, the Indian Ocean and played a key part in helping civilisations develop in the Indus Valley. In fact, settlements in this part of the world date back to around 3300 BC.
Today, the Indus is just as important as it is the main source of drinkable water for the people of Pakistan. The five rivers which flow through Punjab Province (meaning ‘Land of Five Rivers’) all flow into the Indus.
Guadalquivir, Spain –
Spain may not be the most popular place in the world to take a river cruise, but a small number of operators (including Shearings) do provide tours along the Guadalquivir. The river flows entirely within Spanish borders; from a canyon outside of Albacete, through Cordoba and Seville, before emptying into the Gulf of Cadiz at the fishing town of Bonanza.
Along the way, the Guadalquivir passes through the stunning Donana National Park where rare wildlife and beautiful fauna can be found in abundance. As well as the scarce birds frolicking in these wetlands, look out for the elusive Iberian lynx prowling the remote landscape.
Sepik, Papua New Guinea –
The Sepik River is very unlikely to ever become the subject of regular river cruises, but this doesn’t detract from its importance. It is the longest river on the island of New Guinea (half of which makes up part of Papua New Guinea) and is one of the most remote and untouched places in the world.
The Sepik has no dams, no delta and consists of completely uncontaminated freshwater. There are no major settlements along the river but it does play an important role in the lives of the tribes that live here. These tribes use the river to hunt and are known for their intricate artistry in the form of wood carvings and pottery. The Sepik is considered so import to them that young boys are branded with the image of a crocodile on its banks as part of a ceremony when they officially become recognised as an adult.
Brahmaputra, Himalayas –
The Brahmaputra flows through Tibet, India, China and Bangladesh and is known by a number of names during its journey. As well as the most common term used for the river, it is also called the Yarlung Tsangpo River in Tibet, the Jamuna in Bangladesh and the Dihang or Siang during its time in India.
River cruises along this waterway are often subject to changing water levels. In the spring, when the snow from the Himalayas melts, it is prone to flooding but can also fall foul to low water levels at other times of the year. The Brahmaputra has many rare characteristics including the fact that it is a braided river (made up of many ribbons of water in some areas) and that it has a tidal bore (waves that travel up the river against its natural flow). It is also home to the second largest river island in the world, Majuli, and flows through the Kaziranga National Park where you can find the largest concentration of rhino on the planet.
Fred.\ can help you plan your river cruise on a number of different waterways around the world. And so, whilst you wait for more operators to discover the rivers above, why not quench your first for adventure on routes such as the Danube and Rhine, or on our Seine river cruise.