Braving the wild rapids of the Upper Davao River is something I always dreamed of doing. I have tried tubing and river rafting in the other parts of island but never in my own city of Davao. Thus, when I had the chance doing it for the first time in the city where I lived, I could hardly contain my excitement. Thanks to Davao Wildwater Adventure, this long time dream was made possible.
Thrilled to experience a magnificent ride into the mighty Davao River, I woke up very early and drove towards Crocodile Park Compound where Davao Wildwater Adventure, Incorporated is located. They are known to be Davao’s authority for river rafting and Davao River is their playground. Like me, excited participants got there earlier than the scheduled briefing. There were around 30, a quarter of which were foreigners. All faces seemed pretty thrilled.
By the time the orientation started, we were given safety gears to fit – helmet and life vests. During the briefing, were told about some facts and information about the Davao River – the course of river rafting and other related information. Before the briefing ended, we were asked to watch a short video presentation about DWAI, the Davao River and things to expect during the said course. I noticed some of my fellow participants got frightened seeing some rafts capsized for several times. I, on the other hand, felt so exhilarated.
All set and ready, the group including our raft guides hopped on the jeepney and headed towards Marilog District of Davao City. Our target destination is Barangay Tamugan. It is about an hour travel from Davao Crocodile Park. Tamugan River is the starting point of this four-hour wet adventure. From Tamugan River, we will be traversing the long and winding Davao Upper River passing through 24 challenging rapids and end in Barangay Lacson in Calinan District.
Upon reaching Tamugan River, as a requisite, we all had to undergo a brief training – the safety briefing on how to put on our rafting gears, how to use the paddle, commands to follow and the strokes to use. Next stage was the safety drill on the rafting site. We were all asked to jump into calm flat waters and learn how to drift and how to rescue if someone falls from raft. With all the pre-rafting lessons learned, guessed we were all set and ready to conquer the wild Davao River. The guide told us to listen to the commands being yelled out and to unfailingly work as a team. I had to admit, listening to those raft lingos made me even more excited.
There were seven of us in the raft including our guide Wilbert – one Canadian, one Indian-Singaporean and the rest were Filipinos. As we got onto the raft, our guide gave us final tips and techniques while on board. When Wilbert yelled out “Paddle Forward”, it signaled that our great wild water adventure was about to begin.
The river was pretty calm and flat when we started leaving. Hence, we took the chance mastering the right paddling. Just about 10 minutes from where we started, the river became wilder. We were paddling through rapids that seemed scary at some point. Some of these churning whitewater rushing over boulders and rocks were pretty challenging putting us all in great exhilaration and fright. But whenever we overcame challenging rapids, the more we became aggressive to survive other rapids.
Wilbert was a good raft guide. His roaring voice commanding us to paddle harder was our great guide to survive as a team. And then we would happily raise our paddles every time he yelled, “High Five”! Team effort as he would always say.
Moving forward, rapids became more and more challenging. There is one called “Washing Machine” and the other called “Rodeo”. True enough, these two are the most challenging rapids on the Tamugan-Lacson Run. At times, our raft will suddenly drop from a huge boulder but will go along with the rapids. This happened at the part where they called “Double Drop” and “Drop and Suck”. There were times our raft will bump against huge rocks but still we all managed to conquer. And yes, our raft capsized twice and we all fell – but that was the best part of the course. We became more adventurous.
As we went further, we became more excited. Fear no more. All of us in the raft became no longer strangers. We all became friends. We shouted together and enjoyed every minute of this wet ride. Paddle forward! Paddle back! Paddle up! High 5!
While traversing the 13 kilometer Upper Davao River, it was also a great chance sightseeing this unfamiliar part of Davao City. We passed by wall rocks and luxuriant foliage on the sides. We entered a cave and drank spring water from it. Saw wild birds chirping from the trees, iguanas crawling on one side and even children playing by the river.
The most refreshing sight I was amazed to see there was the Vanishing Falls that according to Wilbert was so kind to us on that day. Like its name, the water vanishes during dry season but there were aplenty when we got there. It was such a great sight to behold. Enticed by it, we got off from our raft and took time bathing under its refreshing cascading waters.
Traversing some 13 kilometer of the Davao River was a wild adventure I truly look forward to doing again. Among the many things one can do in Davao City, this heart-pounding experience is truly a must-try. Having done that, I therefore say, I SURVIVED and CONQUERED the wild beauty of the Davao River.
Special thanks to DAVAO WILDWATER ADVENTURE INCORPORATED for letting me experience this heart pumping water adventure. To Sir Sonny Dizon, Davao people should thank you for spearheading not just this kind of adventure but the many things you have started to boost tourism/adventure in the city. To you Sir, my deepest thanks
PACKAGE RATE: Php 2,000.00 per person
Inclusive of the following:
- Transportation (From Crocodile Park to Rafting Area and back)
- Packed Lunch & Bottled Water
- Use of Gears & Equipment
- Raft guide
- Souvenir Shirt
- Documentation: Photos/Videos (2 Disc per group of 6)
- Ticket to ZIP CITY, Tribu K’mindanawan & Butterfly House
- 800 am Assembly at Crocodile Park
- 930 am Departure
- 1030 am Arrival at Put In area, Tamugan
- 1100 am Start of Rafting
- 1200 nn Lunch
- 300 pm Arrival at Take Out area, Purok 8, Lacson
- 330 pm Departure for Crocodile Park
- 430 pm Arrival at Crocodile Park
FOR RESERVATIONS AND GROUP DISCOUNTS, please visit or call:
DAVAO WILDWATER ADVENTURE INCORPORATED
Crocodile Park Compound
Riverfront Corporate City
Maa, Davao City
Telephone Number : (+6382) 221 7823 / 286 1055