Whitewater rafting is the real deal … real fun … real rapids … real adventure … on the mighty source of the Nile. It wouldn’t be appropriate for one to visit Uganda and you don’t get a chance to get into the wild waters of the Nile for a raft.
On a very cold Sunday morning we embarked on the journey to Jinja approximately 80 kms from Kampala capital city. Our journey to the Nile was full of amazing sceneries such as Mabira forest where we came in contact with wonderful monkeys standing at the road side like passengers waiting to board a bus while anxious to receive yellow bananas from cars spending across.
On arrival we hit the Nile with a team of professional Kayakers and rafters from Adrift all dressed in safety gears a proof that what we were going in for was to be a safe adventure for the brave ones.
It all started with a briefing from the head guide who was to take us through the heart throbbing rafting. Like some of us with no experience in swimming and rafting, he assured us that this activity didn’t need any experience and for a moment I felt like I was doing the right thing although my hands couldn’t stop trembling something I tried so hard to hide from my colleagues who looked equally nervous.
The guide told us not to panic once any of us falls off the boat since we had life jackets on so we couldn’t drown. I quoted him say “you may go into the water for 3-4 seconds and pop out after, once you pop out of the water face up the sky and lay on your back. He as well assured us of the experienced kayakers who would be there to help out in case one fell out of the boat. We all felt ready to go after a short prayer.
Minutes later into the sail on the Nile, we came into contact with our first simple but scaring rapid. As we attacked this rapid, the words from the head guide immediately ran out of my mind and my whole body was paralyzed with phobia. I tried so hard to memorize his statements but all my mouth could do was shouting out loud. My body became lighter as we hit this rapid and I felt like I was flying from the sky surrounded by invisible Angels. It didn’t take us long before we started sailing again on the peacefully portion of the Nile. At that moment i felt all born again away from the burdens of this world.
The guide warned us of how heavy the third rapid was to be referring to it as the mother of rapids. Basing on the experience of the previous rapids, some decided to run off not daring to test the next rapid since they thought what they had just gone through was the strongest the rapids could be. Being a relative to adventure, I dared myself and remained on board.
As the mother rapid became visible, I felt like it was a bad idea to remain on board however it didn’t allow me time to reason out and before I knew it we were at war with the mother rapid. Our boat over turned into the water and my all world shuttered down for seconds. The seconds inside the water felt like hours, I took chance to confess all I had done my entire life on earth because I thought it was the end of me.
Moments later we all popped up onto the surface and for seconds the outside looked like heaven to me. The rafters helped us back on board and guess what, we were safe at last.
At that moment as we sailed swiftly on the Nile while shouting out loud with joy of winning the war, I recalled the words of the head guide that this activity didn’t need experience in swimming nor rafting. I had dared myself into this adventure and it was definitely worth it.
The story on my mouth throughout the day was the rafting experience. I didn’t miss out any opportunity of telling everyone who dared to know about it.
Whether you come for a day, weekend or settle in for a week either way, you’ll treasure this close-to-home adventure that feels a world away.
If you would like to raft on the Nile or explore other tourist destinations in Uganda, Shaka Tours & Travel UG can arrange that for you.