African Kayak River Venture Cancelled After Guide Is Eaten Alive

Guide Hendri Coetzee was not able to finish the expedition. He was eaten alive.

African river kayaking is a sport that still lags in popularity.

Hendri Coetzee, posing with a monkey on his shoulder. Coetzee is presumed dead after a crocodile attacked the kayak and dragged him away. (Daily Mail)

A white water kayak expedition was cancelled this week after the guide was eaten by a crocodile. The tourists were flown home after the mishap on the Lukuga River.
The Washington Times reported:


An acclaimed South African outdoorsman who was leading a kayaking expedition from the source of the White Nile into Congo was dragged from his craft by a crocodile as two Americans watched, horrified. The guide is presumed dead.

The two Americans paddled to safety after the Tuesday morning attack on the Lukuga River in Congo. The International Rescue Committee helped evacuate the Americans to a nearby town after Tuesday’s attack, said Ciaran Donnelly, the organization’s regional director in the Central African country.

The body of 35-year-old Hendrik Coetzee, who was living in Uganda, has not been recovered. The stretch of river where they were traveling is notoriously dangerous for its whitewater, and because of its high density of crocodiles and hippos.

“There are 3-ton hippos that will bite you in half,” one of the American kayakers wrote on his blog, quoting Mr. Coetzee, who was known as Hendri. “Stay off the banks because the crocs are having a bake and might fancy you for lunch. Basically, stay close behind me and follow my lead. Any questions?”

The two Americans — Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic — were “physically unharmed, but shaken up by the incident,” Mr. Donnelly said Thursday.

They are currently in Congo, but expect to return home to the U.S. shortly. Mr. Korbulic is from Rogue River, Ore., and Mr. Stookesberry is from Mount Shasta, Calif.

Hendri had a blog The Great White Explorer where he wrote about his experiences.

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