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Comic Relief celebrities complete ‘Hell and High Water’ Zambezi challenge for Red Nose Day

Celebrities including comedian Dara O’Briain, singer Mel C and Radio 1 DJ Greg James have successfully completed their ambitious to travel along the Zambezi river to raise money for Comic Relief.

Traveling for 100km over five days, they completed their epic mission this afternoon after a final day of battling dangerous rapids.

Greg James said after finishing: ‘Let me sum up how I’m feeling in one phrase – I’m over it. It’s been really tough. But we’re here, we’ve been doing this challenge and we all look like idiots, but the point is to raise a lot of money for the people we’ve been meeting out here.’

Dara O’Briain added: ‘Huge thanks to everyone who supported and donated the Zambesi challenge. Finished this afternoon after a hairy day on the rapids. Exhausted.’

The official Red Nose Day page said the team – which also included comedian Jack Dee, athlete Phillips Idowu and actress Chelsee Healey – was ‘exhausted, exhilarated and very soggy.’

The challenge proved to be one of the more dangerous tasks attempted in the name of Comic Relief, with fears raised on day two after Idowu and O’Briain were unreachable for an hour after taking a wrong turn.

The final stages of the challenge saw the team clambering down a 200ft gorge on a ladder, known locally as ‘the steps of doom’.

During the final stages the rapids were so fierce that their support team were thrown into the water.

The ‘Hell and High Water’ challenge hopes to raise £1million to help children in Zambia go to school.

If you want to donate, head to rednoseday.com.

Source – The Metro – http://metro.co.uk/2013/02/01/comic-relief-celebrities-complete-hell-and-high-water-zambezi-challenge-for-red-nose-day-3378049/

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

And that’s job done! Congratulations to the Red Nose Team Zambezi! Nearly £400,000 raised for Comic Relief! now that is worth going through Hell and High Water for… Thank you to everyone who donated!

A massive well done to Melanie Chisholm, Chelsee Healey, Greg James, Phillips Idowu, Dara O’Briain and Jack Dee for surviving Hell and High Water and going above and beyond for Comic Relief!

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

Ready for the final push…

Almost there, it’s getting really tough on the rapids now, and what will be keeping the team going now is the thought of why they are doing this, to raise money for a vital cause – Comic Relief! So please if you can spare a few pennies, it’s not too late to Sponsor the team and help raise money for Comic Relief! Click here to donate!

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

The Hell and High Water team are going steady(ish!) through the white water, next rapid to go “the Terminator!”…

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

What went down on Day Four of the challenge – Hell, high water, and hippos

The intrepid team today completed day four of the gruelling BT Red Nose Challenges: Hell and High Water. The group picked up the pace this morning for their penultimate day on the river; leaving their camp early to take on their next set of terrifying rapids, amid dangerous wildlife.

Before setting off, the celebrities were briefed about the dangers of the local animals. They were told about hippos that chomp at boats to knock them over, and crocodiles that then line the shore, attacking rafters as they swim to safety. With the threat from wildlife growing greater by the day, and after Dara and Phillips’ drama earlier in the week, the guides have decided to take no chances and move the challengers out of their two-man kayaks to six-man rafts – safety in numbers.

Comedian and TV presenter Dara O’Briain said:

“We feel marginally safer about the hippos now because there are six of us; the odds of being eaten are slightly lower. Still, it’s a heavy boat and a really monotonous action; we only just got the rhythm of one boat and we change into another! The brief this morning was really scary, apparently if the hippos don’t get you, the crocodiles will chew the boat until it’s dragged down. But in the distance we can see the spray from Victoria Falls. We’re slowly inching towards it. It’s the most heartening sight we’ve seen.”

Radio 1’s Greg James said:

“It’s like when you’re little and your Mum and Dad go all serious – when they take it seriously, you take it seriously. At one point our guide Sven simply said, “If I say jump out of the boat and swim to the bank, you do it – very quickly!”

The animals aren’t the only challenge the celebrities faced today, the team were under serious pressure to move quickly in order to reach Victoria Falls by sunset. The challengers have to be off the river by nightfall to help avoid attack from hippos – who kill an average of 3000 people a year on the Zambezi. But for six first-time kayakers racing against the clock, it’s not been easy. The team are even eating on the move to catch up on lost time and avoid being stuck on the river in the dark.

Despite the hungry hippos, the team continue to push themselves to the limit as they travel closer to tomorrow’s finish line, and a total of 111km down the deadly Zambezi river.

Source – Red Nose Day website – http://www.rednoseday.com/news/day-four-hell-high-water-and-hippos

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

Hippos, hippos everywhere…

Greg James updates his Radio 1 blog…

Good evening lovely people.

Wow.  What a da y.  Exhausting – so so tired, we are all so almost over this week of hell and high water.  One last big push tomorrow and we’ll be very happy campers.

Today was a long old slog – unending winding river with really dodgy bits full of hippos which, at times, were incredibly threatening.

I have learned so much this week – a real life changer. I’ve always seen this place like we all have on Comic Relief films, but being here I can report back (and you can trust me) that the money you raise is absolutely working.  It’s putting kids through school so THEY can shape a decent future for themselves.  The cause works – I’ve seen it for myself.  So if you’ve donated this week – thank you.

Bedtime.  Shattered.  ONE more day.  We’re ready.

UK ONLY: Support Greg by donating £1. Text Greg to 70011 (texts cost £1 + std msg charge). For terms and conditions go to http://bbc.co.uk/comicrelief

source – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/gregjames/

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on

Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

It’s a nervous wait for BT: Red Nose Day Challenge: Hell and Highwater team before they face their final rapids at the base of Victoria Falls…

Last day of the Hell and High Water Comic Relief challenge!

And the team are taking on the tumultuous white water beneath Victoria Falls. So it’s Greg James, Mel C, Chelsee Healey, Phillips Idowu, Dara O’Briain and Jack Dee vs the rapids known as “gnashing jaws of death”, “Oblivion”, and the ‘Overland Truck Eater’! It’s going to be a long day…

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

Red Noses at Victoria Falls! Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and made sure this trip wasn’t in vein! One more day to go…

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.

Dara’s Zambezi Diary: Day Four

Dara O’Briain learns the etiquette of approaching a hippo on his Comic Relief canoe trip down the Zambezi.

There’s an etiquette to approaching a hippo in the water. You slow down, of course, and you beat the side of your kayak gently with your paddle to send a vibration through the water as a polite alert of your presence. Then you slip your kayaks into a single-line formation, cross to the other side of the river and slip quietly past. That’s the theory anyway. When you have six first-time kayakers like us, it’s not as easy as it sounds…

Firstly, every second stroke of my paddle tends to batter the side of the kayak, so that animals who have never even been in a river in their lives are aware of us. Even the monkeys have cleared the banks for miles.

Secondly, we still haven’t mastered the steering issues that me flung me out of the boat and left me clinging to a tree. Our single-file line tends to veer randomly from side to side – so randomly that Mel C said the only music that would fit over footage of us being attacked by a hippo would be the Benny Hill theme tune.

Nature watching at the same time as learning to kayak is like taking a driving lesson in Longleat Safari Park.

“Now, Mr Smith, depress the clutch and…Look! A monkey!”

“What!? Where? The clutch? Which one is that? A monkey? What?”

Last night we slept on an island with suspiciously large piles of relatively fresh dung scattered around. Still, they can’t eat us all. You can sponsor the BT Hell and High Water team now at rednoseday.com/Zambezi

 Source – The Daily Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/activityandadventure/9840124/Dara-OBriains-Zambezi-diary-day-four.html

To keep up to date on all things Hell and High water, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our Blog, YouTube account and mailing list. You can also find out all about the challenge and see the latest news here.

If you’ve been inspired and want to take on your own experience of a lifetime, then check out our amazing and global range of treks, bike rides and mountain climbs here. You can even take part in our exclusive Zambezi challenge. Click here to receive details once the challenge is complete.