Rafting through the tides

Nationaal Park De Biesbosch (c) Travelbase

Explore the Biesbosch National Park!

 Join us for the Packraft Trail: hike and raft through this magnificent marshland. Interested? Join For Water offers you a golden opportunity.

After a successful first edition in 2023, Join For Water and Travelbase are organizing two new weekend adventure retreats in the great outdoors.

During these two-day micro-adventures, wake up in the heart of nature while exploring the Biesbosch’s waterways on foot and by packraft. With an ultra-light packraft (just 3 kg) that fits easily into a backpack, alternate between hiking trails and river exploration. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Biesbosch’s wetlands in the Netherlands, both on land and water.

Among the reeds and mangroves hide thousands of tiny islands surrounded by crystal-clear water, and the packraft is the ideal mode of transport for exploring them. Located at the border of South Holland and North Brabant provinces, the park is one of the largest marshy areas in the Netherlands, covering 9,000 hectares. Dive into the simplicity and beauty of the Biesbosch. In addition to stunning viewpoints, you might encounter beavers, eagles, and other wildlife.

(c) Travelbase

Spend the night in a comfortable tent at the base camp on the edge of the Biesbosch (the tent is provided, so no need to carry it during the day 😉).

By participating, you help protect aquatic ecosystems in Benin. We ask participants to raise at least €500 each for our water project in the Mono River Basin in Benin. You won’t be alone! We will assist you with fundraising advice. More information can be found at the end of this message.

What is packrafting?

Packrafting is a relatively new sport that originated in Alaska. It involves hiking in water-rich natural areas combined with rafting, thanks to an ultra-light raft you carry in your backpack. This allows you to cover longer distances and fully enjoy nature. It is also an active form of slow travel accessible to anyone with a basic level of fitness.

Practical Information


  • Saturday and Sunday, 15 and 16 June 2024 or
  • Thursday and Friday, 15 and 16 August 2024

Number of places:

There are 11 spots available per two-day adventure, so register quickly!


€100 per person, with a commitment to raise a minimum of €500 per person for our projects in Benin.

What’s included:

  • One night at the base camp on the edge of the Biesbosch, with basic sanitary facilities and a campfire. Tents are provided for 2 people.
  • Equipment: tent (for 2), sleeping pad and sleeping bag, backpack (70 litres) with packraft (3 kg), compact cooking set, packraft manual, hiking guide or GPX files.
  • Food pack: meals for the entire stay (2 lunches, 1 breakfast), snacks, and energy bars. Water points along the route.
  • A friendly barbecue around the campfire.
  • Interactive and informative breaks along the trail to learn more about Join For Water, the Biesbosch region, and our projects in Benin.
  • Support from Join For Water. Fundraising tips from our experts.


The journey starts at Antwerp-Berchem station, where we will depart by carpool to the Biesbosch. Reduce your (aquatic) footprint by taking the train to Antwerp-Berchem station. As the Biesbosch National Park is not easily accessible by public transport, we plan to use shared cars for the journey (about 1 hour from Antwerp-Berchem).

Prefer to make your own way to the base camp? That’s possible! Indicate your preference when registering.

You can find the location of De Witteboom mini-campsite here.

Start and End:

  • Saturday 15 June: briefing at 10:30 AM by a ranger and departure. Depending on your pace and the group, we will arrive at the base camp on Saturday around 6:30 PM. The day will end with a friendly barbecue around the campfire.
  • Sunday 16 June: briefing at 9 AM. We plan to return between 4 PM and 5 PM, then head home.
  • Thursday 15 August: same program as the first weekend.
  • Friday 16 August: same program as the first weekend.

(c) Travelbase

Who can participate?

Anyone with a basic level of fitness is welcome. Children up to 12 years old may ride in a packraft with one of their parents. Want to bring your children on an adventure? Register quickly, as the number of larger rafts is limited.

Still have questions or doubts? We are organizing an online launch event in May and June, where you will receive practical information about the hike, meet other participants, and ask any questions you may have.

Participate and improve access to ecosystem services in Benin.

Benin op kaart Afrika

Join For Water is active in Benin with its partners in two departments: Mono in the southwest and Ouémé in the southeast.

For packrafting, we take you to the plains surrounding the Mono River. The landscape, with its vast wetlands and mangroves, strongly resembles the enchanting Biesbosch in the Netherlands.

Join For Water’s activities focus on the municipalities of Athiémé, characterized by agriculture and marshlands, and the coastal region of Grand Popo, with its vast wetlands and mangroves. These areas are internationally recognized under the Ramsar Convention for the conservation of important wetlands but face significant challenges such as the overexploitation of natural resources and environmental pollution.


What do we do in the Ahoyo marshland in the Athiémé region with your support?

The Ahoyo marshland plays a crucial role for humans and nature. The wetland…

  • Provides ecosystem services such as irrigation water for agriculture and food.
  • Offers biological habitats for aquatic fauna and flora.
  • Protects homes from flooding and recharges groundwater.
  • Controls sediment flow. Farmers in the marshland expect a bountiful harvest thanks to improved irrigation of their fields.
Farmers in the marshland expect a bountiful harvest thanks to improved irrigation of their fields. (c) Alexia Guebels

With your contribution, we ensure access to water for agriculture and protect the marshland. Here are some of our activities:

  • Drilling 10 water wells in three marshlands around Athiémé, each equipped with a motorized pump, shared by 5 to 6 producers.
  • Measuring water consumption by farmers and comparing it with water reserves to prevent the overexploitation of groundwater.
  • Equipping 26 farmers with irrigation systems to optimize water use.

Read more

What do we do in Grand Popo with your support?

  • Trimming mangroves to allow communities access to towns (and markets) via the meanders of the Mono River. Otherwise, the mangroves block the meanders, making transportation and fishing impossible.
  • Ecological restoration of mangroves: planting mangroves on 2 hectares and monitoring the ecological restoration. Two laboratories will monitor water quality, fish populations, mangrove growth, etc.

More info?

Learn more about our projects in Benin as well as in other Southern countries and Belgium.

Join us and support our project in Benin! Register now for this unique adventure!

Follow this link to secure your spot!

Would you like to participate and organize a fundraising campaign to be sponsored? Are you a supporter and want to sponsor someone?

Click here to launch your campaign or support someone.