Ascending South America
Switzerland, expedition leader.
Born in 1954, is an archetype of a traveller and sportsman. In his early 20s, he bought himself an old Volkswagen van and travelled from Switzerland all the way down to South Africa where he worked and lived for one year. Another year he spent travelling in South America (Patagonia, the Andes, Amazon and Napo Rivers, just to name a few of the places visited). Extended travels in Southeast Asia, Polynesia/Pacific and trips through Northern America (West to East and from the Mississippi upwards to the Canadian border) followed.
Apart from land travel he has many years of experience as a professional cruising and racing skipper on traditional as well as modern sailing vessels and accomplished more than 100.000 nautical miles. In 1996 friends introduced him to his first Rib-Tour using a six-metre inflatable. They travelled along the pacific coast from Costa Rica to Panama poking into all the little rivers and creeks along the way. “That trip got me infected”, he says today. “Even for somebody like me who had been exploring the world for years on land and on water, this trip was a revelation. Suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opened up. From then on I have been concentrating on rivers and their systems, on the idea of taking one or two ribs and explore places well off the beaten track, on the possibility to enter into nearly unknown or almost forgotten territories.”
Since 2004 Andy, has organised and led source-to-mouth river expeditions on the Mekong, Zambezi, Ganga, Brahmaputra, Gomati, Kaladan, and Yukon rivers. Rib Expedition & Adventure, the company he founded in the beginning of 2004, is based in Palma de Majorca. Andy who successfully ran various ship chandleries on the island now brings his expertise to this new organization.
In his coming expedition, will first ever attempt to cross across the length of South America through different connecting
India, co-expedition leader and cameraman
Apal is an independent cinematographer and still photographer based in Nainital, India. Born 1969, he has an interest in both documentary and fiction film formats and his body of work includes documentary films, features drama and wildlife. He is passionate about the outdoors and has worked on several extreme outdoor shoots. Mountain shoots for Gowarkar, Punjabi feature films. Doc and wildlife, etc. A chance meeting, during ‘Zambezi expedition’, with the Swiss adventurer and river expert, Andy Leemann, led Apal to rivers. Apal has been Co-Expedition Leader with Andy for six rivers in India and across the world, and qualifies as a ‘river addict’.
In charge of logistics and Instituto Sustentar, our NGO Partner.
Douglas has been working in Brazil and the Pantanal for 37 years, and from 2005 he has been registering jaguars, giant river otters, and doing bird counts on a 350km stretch of the Paraguay River, from Cáceres south to Pacu Gordo. Douglas has registered 72 different jaguars and have more photos to analyse from this year’s cats and otters.
He is part of the IUCN Species Conservation Commission.
I was born in San Fernando, Buenos Aires 61 years ago, I lived my childhood and adolescence next to the River Plate and the Delta where my love for sailing was born.
I studied like tecnic and worked in the boats construction few years After having lived in Brazil and navigating many miles along the Atlantic, I have lived in Mallorca for 29 years. Together with Marina, my lifelong companion, here we form a family with our children Oliva and Luca.
Besides continuing to sail as a professional, I also work in solar thermal and biomass heating. This trip that we will undertake, through the rivers is something I have dreamed of many times.
Boating expert, founder and president of AB Inflatables. Ivor has done many Expeditions and is a winner of the world largest and hardest Boat race the Rally Orinoco.
He is a Pro when it comes to Ribs and Rivers also a Fishermen by passion.
I was a boat racer for over 10 years and did many world championships. My family was a historic Italian inflatable boat builder. I’m an adventurer and this Amazon Expedition is a dream I had all my live. I will join the entire journey and will make sur as an outboard mechanic that the engines and the boats will make the 6500km without troubles.
Worked as officer and captain on motor and sailing yachts for 5 years and finally settled down on Mallorca in 1996 and went back to superyacht brokerage for some of the leading companies and is now senior sales broker at Fraser Yachts Spain. Steen’s interests spans from adventure traveling, sailing, photography to mountain biking and is co-founder of the HOPE Orphanage for 11 children in Myanmar run with a local couple where yachting helps securing the future for children with no families and enabling them to achieve the dreams of their own.
PS I like to kook in Nature and Wilderness.
“As the manager of Offshore Rib Events I have been boating on RIBs around the oceans for the last decade. Mainly on bigger RIBs, but a boat is a boat and that’s always good! Before that, my “backpacking year” after university graduation already brought me in the Brazilian and Columbian jungle in 2002 and 2003. The taste and desire for the Amazon was born at that trip, a feeling that since then has never left me. I was fortunate as well to become involved in the Dakar Rally, both as a navigator and crewmember. For the last 5 editions already it took me to the amazing continent of South America.
The Ascend of South America now gives me the opportunity to combine all the above in an unprecedented adventure!”
In 2013 and 2014 I was a volunteer for the Orangutan Foundation International, building bridges through the swamps of Borneo. In my day to day life I work at ING, the global branding department.
I helped Andy to renovate his first wodden dinghy (Fireball) sailboat and we sailed together when strong wind came up. About 1985 I joined Andy and Paolo on their Maiden Light Charter turn in the Carribean (Trinidad, Tobago, Grenada, Tobago Keyes, Union Island, etc.) I am very excited about this new adventure and hope we will have a great time and good weather.
I grew up in Corrientes northest of Argentina next to the Parana river, one of the bigest branches of Amazon river. I have a long loving relationship with the Parana river because is the link to my childhood and my gurani roots.
I am very excited about this expedition. To get to know the power of the river and the life that grow in its bench’s.
Luiz Fernando Kumpel