Uganda is an inland country in the heart of Africa and part of East Africa. When Winston Churchill visited this country he called it the "Pearl Of Africa". Uganda is a fantastic country to visit with a varied climate. It has a high elevation and so the temperature is generally just pleasant. It also has much of the massive Lake Victoria including the outflow, this is the start of the Nile River. Or more accurately, the major White Nile tributary - the other major tributary is the Blue Nile from Ethiopia. As the White Nile pours out of Lake Victoria it cascades down a number of rapids and falls - perfect for white water rafting.
Booking The White Water Rafting Adventure
Here the White Nile is powerful and fast (there are of course crocodiles in the Nile but they don't live where the water is fast). This is one of the most fun places in the world to go white water rafting. You are surrounded by smiling faces, a myriad of exotic birds, and one of the most powerful rivers in all of Africa.
- Fun Fact: The Nile Is Home To The Man-Eating Nile Crocodile (But You Don't Need To Worry Here)
- White Water Rafting Companies: Nile River Explorers And White Nile Rafting
There have been dams built on the Nile and this has led to some of the falls disappearing. The rafting trips used to offer a full day of rafting, now it's around half a day. But that half-day is intense! And most folks are ready to call it a day at that point away.
To raft the Nile, head to the scenic town of Jinja right on the shores of Lake Victoria and the outlet of the Nile. Jinja is only around 2 hours drive from the main city of Kampala or the main international airport at Entebbe.
- Visa Option A: Evisa - Uganda Only, $50, 1-3 Months
- Visa Option B: Evisa - East African Visa (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda), $100, 3 Months
Accommodation In Jinja
Here there is a range of awesome accommodation to stay at. The rafting companies will pick you up from your accommodation in the morning. The accommodation that the two rafting companies are based at is Jinja Base Camp (a great option if you are looking for a stunning accommodation option in the town) and Nile River Camp (another stunning lodge with stunning views over the Nile).
- Cost: $85 White Water Rafting (Has Ranged From $65-$120)
- Included: Transfers, Breakfast, Lunch, And Beers
- Duration: Half A Day
After breakfast, you will be given the customary introduction of what to expect and will be told to leave your phones behind (unless you want to gift them to the Nile). There is a special supply and rescue raft that will be taking all the pictures of your trip that you can have for free afterward.
- Cruise: Don't Forget To Cruise The Nile River!
- Tip: Do Not Take Eyeglasses With You!
In addition to the main supply raft, there a numerous rescue kayakers to fish tourists out of the water.
On The Nile
Once in the water, you will be given different rafting instructions and there will be practice runs on what to do with a flipped raft. With that out of the way, you can start downstream. The first cascade is too much for novices so you will need to get out and walk around that one.
- Tip: You Can Also Kayak, Stand-up-Paddleboard, and Tube The Nile
Then it's most chilling. You chat will people, soak up the stunning scenery and jump in the Nile and float downstream. Then you will come to the first cascade. This one is a superb amount of fun. Rafts may or may not flip here but it is enough to get the adrenaline pumping and coursing through your veins.
The Monster Cascade
Then it's floating down the river once more and a snack of fresh pineapple and biscuits. Then you come to the main rapid. This one is a monster and can't be rafted with inexperienced tourists. One part is likely to flip the raft, and this is likely to be one of the most adrenaline-gushing and adventurous activities you do as a tourist. The Nile is powerful and despite your lifejacket, it will pull you straight under, and, of course, you will pop up (gasping for breath) then be dragged down again, and maybe even again. It'll be a challenge not to inhale water! At times it feels like you may actually drown and that this is it, and you won't come back up.
- Tip: The Force Of Impact Can Knock Contact Lenses Out
Of course, it's all completely safe, your guides are all fun-loving, humorous but very professional. The kayakers and rafts are all hard at work fishing everyone out of the water.
Among the tourists, what was before a mixture of adventurous spirit, testosterone and excitement are replaced with the subdued silence of a group thinking they have just survived near-death experiences (it wasn't). On some people, one can see states of shock.
After this, there is one more cascade that also has the easy potential to tip the raft one more time. Most tourists chose to just go safely around feeling they have seen and done enough. The rest go over one more time, this one is a lot of fun and your raft doesn't need to tip if you do it right.
Soon after that, it's pulling up at the shore, lunch, and beer, and then heading back to your accommodation.
It truly is an adventurous and breathtaking (even if water-gulping) experience and one not for the faint-hearted in the heart of Africa on the source of the Nile!