My adventure (White water rafting Nile River) started from the Nile River Explorers backpackers in Jinja. After a quick intro, fitting of helmets and life jackets, we grabbed some fruit salad, juice, and something named a breakfast “rolex” (Uganda’s equivalent of a breakfast burrito) for the road, and boarded our transport which took us about 15km down river marking the starting point for our day’s rafting.


We were given a very thorough safety briefing by our guides, which included multiple compulsory practice flips in the boat (which had me exhausted before we had even started negotiating our first rapid). Once Henry (our guide) was confident we had more or less got the hang of it all it was time to head to “Overtime”; our first rapid, a 12 foot drop. We were quite sternly told that this was not the rapid we wanted to fall out on. On questioning Henry what was to happen if we did fall out, he simply answered “you don’t want to”. With all the rocks it would not have been a good start to the day!

Successfully managing our first rapid we quickly got the hang of things – as well as paddling in sync with each other (easier said than done) – and we were motoring on down to the next rapid.

There were eight major rapids in total, the grades ranging from a three to a five (some of the fours even getting the better of us). Before each major rapid our guide would stop and explain the route through so we knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into. At no time did I feel in danger (even when the raft toppled on top of me in the middle of one of the strongest grade fives we faced that day), the support crew were amazing and very efficient at pulling you out of harms way.

In-between the rapids there were plenty of rest points, as well as opportunities to jump overboard and have a swim or two, or just take in the beautiful scenery. All in all we spent about 5 hours on the water, and at the end of our approx. 25km journey, we ended with a delicious barbeque buffet lunch on the side of the river– while we were able to view the photos from the day – complete with ice cold beers and sodas, before we were dropped back in Jinja.

For me this was one of the single most amazing things I’ve ever done and I highly recommend it, White Water Rafting Uganda that is! Definitely a strong contender for the bucket list!

Nicky Searle on her Uganda Safari

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