Andi, as she is known around the base, is the most important behind the scenes team member at the base; the Chef! If the guides are the heart of Viking Rafting, then this young lady is the sole. There is nothing quite like coming back to the base after a thrilling day on the river, to find a large, warm plate of delicious food waiting for you. Andi learned to cook in the Slavak Mountains in Czech Republic and as also worked in Italy and Iceland. She will be serving daily specials created from local ingredients and international experience. Her motto is “nobody goes hungry, everybody stays happy!”
Name: Andrea Tutokyová
Home Town: Slavak, Czech Republic
It would take much more than a paragraph to truly describe our lovely transportation specialist, Bjorg. From Iceland, Bjorg brings the spirituality of a shaman and the instincts of a rally car driver to each trip. Bjorg has many different jobs around the country including trekking and glacier guiding. For some reason she really likes hanging out at the Viking base so we put her to work! Chat to Bjorg about anything related to Iceland and she will give you a truly unique perspective.
Name: Björg Fríður Freyja
Home Town: Reykjavík, Iceland
Hailing form the South Island of New Zealand, Ryan will be joining the team as one of our primary safety kayakers. Viking is always proud to provide the best kayakers form around the world to keep you safe and entertained. Ryan’s obsession with gravity has led him to Iceland for the first time. If you love kayaking waterfalls and mountain biking, few places on this planet can match Iceland. Ryan even sent us a poem as part of his application…
I love the rain I love the sky
I love the rivers and where they lie
take me away take me downstream
where I can play and live the dream.
We look forward to this energy and experience helping make this season the best season ever at Viking Rafting.
Name: Ryan Toll
Home Town: South Island, New Zealand
Michael Kandel is a Viking Rafting veteran, entering his fourth season with the company. While Michael is most proud of being the strongest man at the base, we like him because he is also the happiest. Michael has guided rafts in Nepal, India, and Iceland. When things get rowdy on the river, Michael never loses his big smile! His kayaking skills have gained him recognition in Nepal’s highly skilled kayaking community. At the end of the trip, Michael is usually referred to as “that kayaker who was doing all those tricks!”
Name: Michael Kandel
Home Town: Benighat, Nepal
Steve Merrow enters his second season at Viking Rafting, making good on his promise last August when he stood up at a party and yelled, “I am coming back to Iceland next summer!” Steve’s greatest passion is wild rivers in wild places. After guiding on some of Alaska and Canada’s most remote rivers, it’s not surprising that Iceland and Viking Rafting was a perfect fit. Steve describes the Whitewater Action trip as, “the most addictive and adrenaline filled thing I have ever done.” You can tell right away that Steve cares deeply about the experience each participant has. And that experience is not complete without taking a swim in the river!
Name: Steve Merrow
Home Town: Vermont, USA
After a several year hiatus, Viking Rafting is excited to welcome back one of our all-time guides, Phil Solomon! Phil is happiest when he is on the river, and at 38 years old, he has had plenty of time to do just that. The bulk of Phil’s extensive guiding and kayaking experience has been on his home continent of Africa. He has also spent multiple summers in the North, guiding in Norway and Iceland. Phil reconnected with Viking Rafting on his honeymoon this winter, in Nepal. After three days of kayaking with his former co-workers, it was an easy sell to get him back for one more season! Speaking on Iceland, Phil is most excited about endless summer sun, the brisk north wind, kayaking waterfalls, and of course guiding the Whitewater Action East River.
Name: Philip Solomon "Phil"
Home Town: Cape Town, South Africa
Co-owner at Viking Rafting, 14 years guiding experience, future doctor, penetrating blue eyes; Chris Doyle-Kelly is the total package folks. Chris began his guiding career in Canada and quickly took advantage of his skills by branching out. Before co-founding Viking Rafting, Chris guided in 8 different countries, on 5 continents. Choosing this place and these rivers speaks volumes to the quality of whitewater and people found in our sliver of Northern paradise. “Take Your Fun Seriously” is both our company moto and Chris’ personal mantra. He is the driving force behind our company’s emphasis on making this a safe and thrilling experience for everyone who joins Viking Rafting.
Name: Chris Doyle-Kelly
Home Town: Montreal, Canada
Anup is the most senior guide and co-owner at Viking Rafting. 17 summers on local rivers has given him an intimate understanding of Iceland’s whitewater. Traveling back and forth to his home country of Nepal has given Anup the opportunity to recruit Nepal’s best young kayakers and raft guides. A likely descendent of Ghengis Khan, Anup brings charismatic and tough leadership to the river. Paddle well and you will see big smiles. Paddle poorly and you will see an upside raft. No joke! Anup holds the record for most flips on the East River trip at 17 (on purpose). Of all the massive rapids on the East, the waffle stop is by far his favorite.
Name: Anup Gurung
Home Town: Kathmandu, Nepal
Rajip Tripathi is thrilled to spend is first season in Iceland with Viking Rafting. Rajip comes from a long tradition of excellent Nepalese raft guides and kayakers. After years of hearing about Iceland’s famous whitewater rivers and waterfalls, he finally has the chance to experience this first hand. Rajip is well known for being a, “full service guide.” He will welcome you to the base, give you a drysuit, read you poetry, sing you a song, flip and un-flip a raft, tell you a joke, and might even cook you lunch! Rafting participants enjoy their time with Rajip a great deal because he truly wants to make every trip a memorable experience. And don’t be surprised if he ends up learning a few new phrases in your native language.
Name: Rajip Tripathi
Home Town: Chitwan, Nepal
Sadat Kawawa is a BIG water boater, and big water boaters are ALWAYS welcome at Viking Rafting. Growing up on the edge of the famous White Nile River, the addictive rapids were a constant source of pleasure and distraction for Sadat, so he decided to make a career out of it! Along with the White Nile, Sadat has worked on the Tana in Kenya, and the mighty Zambezi. While one could spend an entire life on African whitewater and never be disappointed, Sadat wants to use his skills to explore new places. As member of the Uganda national free-style team, he competed in the 2015 World Championship in Canada. When we have big water on the Whitewater Action East River, we will rely heavily on Sadat’s experience and composure.
Name: Sadat Kawawa
Home Town: Jinja, Uganda
Alex’s cheerful demeanor and river skills make him a terrific addition to the Viking Team. Alex grew up in Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by mountains and rivers. This left a lasting impression on him. Whether it be mainland Europe, Africa, Scotland, or Iceland; Alex is always searching for another inspiring place to be. He is already famous for saying, “is there no other place you would rather be!?” When a hard day of work has concluded, expect Alex to pick up a guitar, a glass of whiskey, and serenade everyone within earshot.
Name: Alexander Reid
Home Town: Sterling, Scotland
Jordan is currently pursuing a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Leisure in Derry, Ireland. He thought a semester at Viking Rafting would be just the ticket to push his kayaking to the next level, and we almost got him to PAY US for it! You will likely see Jordan weaving in and out of the rafts in a kayak looking for swimmers, paddles, and shoes; all of which will be added to his transcript at the end of the season. When not on the river, Jordan will be serving beers to all the hardworking PHD Raft Guides and Safety Kayakers at the Viking Base.
Name: Jordan Collins
Home Town: Derry, Ireland
Originally from Nepal, Jahks has become a staple of rafting and kayaking in Iceland. A full time resident of Iceland for nearly ten years, it is difficult to find someone with more whitewater experience. Jahks began his guiding career on the multi-day scene in Nepal. He brought many of those skills with him and continues to wow everyone on the river and in the kitchen. If you don’t get the chance to see him on the river, you may be lucky enough to sample some of his famous Nepali cuisine after the trip. Jhak’s only mistake this season was choosing a hair style that resembles Donald Trump.
Name: Jhaks Tamang
Home Town: Mugling Chitwan, Nepal
Viktor is one of the Native Icelanders working as a freelancer for Viking Rafting. Born in the Capitol city Reykjavik, Viktor moved north to Akureyri five years ago to pursue his passion of family and outdoor sports. Viktor takes pride in his beautiful back yard and is eager to share it with anyone visiting. He can best be described as a little kid trapped in man’s body. Full of goofy energy and years of experience on the water, he is the glue that holds the guide team together. When not on the river, Viktor can be found either with his beautiful family, or Snowboarding the massive peaks surrounding Akureyri.
Name: Viktor Thor Jorgensson
Home Town: Akureyri, Iceland