Suffocating heat and humidity. Scorpions, poisonous snakes and three-metre predatory caiman. Hunger and extreme exhaustion. Filmmaker Peiman Zekavat faced it all as he took part in and documented an arduous expedition through remote jungle in Guyana to the source of the Essequibo River. The technical challenges were just as great: with only the equipment they could carry, and no access to replacements or repairs, the team filming the adventure had to rely on their kit to perform in the sweltering rainforest conditions. Peiman's considered choice of the robust, lightweight Canon EOS C300 Mark II, Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and L-series lenses paid off.
Adventurers Laura Bingham, Ness Knight and Pip Stewart, a group of indigenous Wai Wai tribespeople, plus Peiman and cinematographer Jon Williams, undertook the ‘source to sea’ descent of the Essequibo, the third largest river in South America. The group journeyed upstream by dugout canoe until, after 12 days on the river and its tributary the Sipu, the watercourse became too shallow and impassable.
Leaving behind any unnecessary equipment so they could travel as light as possible, the team then battled through the dense rainforest on foot. When they finally reached the source, they turned around and paddled all the way down the river again, to the point where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. There they became not only the first people to reach the source of the river but also the first to make the descent all the way to its mouth. It was a journey of over 1,000km and took a total of 10 weeks.