I think I went rafting once (or it might have been a row boat), but I figured as a strong swimmer, anything involving water – I’ll be fine. Growing up on the North Coast in Kwa-Zulu Natal, I’m used to strong currents and rough seas. I’ve jet skied during a massive storm in Mozambique and I thought that would be where I’d peak in the daredevil area of extreme water experiences. LIES.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun. My trip through lower-east Africa was completely last minute and I didn’t even have time to check what currency I needed let alone research the activities we could be doing at the various stops. At the mention of white water rafting with Nile River Explorers in Uganda, I jumped at the chance, it sounded fun – we don’t need helmets and stuff, right?
Loaded into a bus the following day, we made our way down to the river with a bunch of fellow adventurers laughing nervously. Then it came time for the safety briefing by our guide, Jacques, a fellow South African. Not sure if I was comforted by this fact, but anyway. This dude starts talking about getting sucked underwater and getting your feet caught in rocks, my pulse kicked it up a notch. We then get into the boat and start acting out certain scenarios, for example, if one were to fall out of the boat how your fellow rafters were going to pull you back in. When instructed to fall out the boat, I temporarily forgot how to swim and had a mini meltdown when I plunged into the dark water. Aren’t there hippos and crocodiles in Africa? I’m feeling blonde, ignorant and almost certain I’m going to be taken the piss out of during the duration of this trip.
And we’re off… Jacques tells us the first rapid is Level 5. OK wait, how many levels are there? Oh, that’s the highest on this trip? First rapid? Fantastic. Do I even know how to row?
After checking out my fellow rowboat-mates I start to realize that I’ve had a good life (minus the fact I haven’t married either Jared Leto or Tom Hardy) and that ‘Death on The Nile’ isn’t a bad way to go.
This is what the first round of rapids looked like…
…As you can see by my face, it had me at Level 100 in the happiness department. From the following pictures, you can get an idea of what I experienced. Page down for my final thoughts and details on Nile River Explorers!
Would I do it again? Definitely. It’s safe and I didn’t stop laughing the entire time, this was largely in part to the people in my boat and Jacques.
Contact: Nile River Explorers Camp on raftafrica.com
What food is included: Breakfast / Water / Midday Snack / Buffet and Beers
Time on the river: 4-5 hours
Distance covered: 25km
Pick-up options from: Jinja and Kampala
Option to purchase ALL photos taken of your boat: $60 (would definitely recommend)
This brings my second post on Uganda to a close, check out my first impressions post or stay tuned for my final post!