Not everyone gets to see Africa

White Water Rafting in Uganda

Posted by Claire Gillman on March 3, 2014

View from the bar over the White Nile

White Water Rafting in Uganda

Having started our trip in Alexandria where the Nile meets the Med, it seemed poetic to find ourselves in Uganda at Lake Victoria – the source of the Nile. And what better way to celebrate having driven the length of this mighty river than to go White Water Rafting.

We’re not novices at this sport but even we were surprised when the guide told us we would be doing Grade 4 and Grade 5 rapids during our day trip. The scenery was stunning and the rapids ferocious: the raft flipped on several occasions and various members of the crew were thrown out of the boat at certain points. Although it was disorientating and pulse-racing to find yourself being tumbled by the waves or even to find yourself under the capsized boat, there were always safety kayaks on hand to come to the rescue and they were very quick to respond.

We are staying at the Explorer campsite just outside Jinja, and the operation is run by Explorer River Rafting. It was great fun, definitely a thrill and an adrenalin rush, and was run extremely professionally and slickly.

It was also great for us to pause and enjoy a fantastic partof Africa after days of hard driving. The rapids certainly tumble washed the dust out of our ears.

We’re off to Kampala in the morning where the truck will get its halfway service. So far, we are loving Uganda, it’s lush landscape and the friendliness of its people.

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23 Responses to “White Water Rafting in Uganda”

  1. Robert Yates says:

    Amazing! I get twitchy if the fuel runs low where we live in the UK, let alone the desert where it sounds like there might be even scarier bad men with guns.
    Sounds like there are way more helpful and friendly people though.
    The white water rafting sounds stupendous – a much deserved break and a chance to wash your undies after that drive..

  2. Kim brown says:

    You two certainly like to take a walk (raft) on the wild side !!!
    You may be making good use of that ‘toilet tissue’ now !
    Thinking of you..stay safe.

    K xx

    • There were a few ‘toilet tissue’ moments Kim I can assure you. I got a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction from the whole thing because there were times frankly when I was thinking of asking to go in the safety boat and to sit out the worst of the rapids but I’m very glad I stuck with it. It was really exhilarating.

  3. Jane chapman says:

    Rather you than me!! And I oh so mean that!! Lovely to talk to you this evening and glad you are both enjoying ‘life in the fast (raft?) lane’. Just wondering how much to tell your mum about this escapade …(in Africa !) Jane xxx

  4. Hi there. Let me know when you come to Cape Town. It’s where I live and I would be happy to welcome you here and show you some of the ‘less traveled’ spaces.

  5. Nick says:

    Did you come across Peter Knight Adventures – he does great ATT rides through the wilderness & also rafting in Jinja ?
    http://www.atadventures.com/index.html

    • We didn’t meet him unfortunately Nick. We used Nile River Explorers who were based at the Explorers Camp where we stayed and I must say they were excellent. But it was great to see lots of people enjoying all the different water activities run by the various different companies. We definitely recommend Jinja.

  6. Sue Senecal says:

    Hello, I wonder if you have met my friend Claire on your journey? She is doing a very similar trip, but I gave her explicit instructions to avoid men with guns, crocodiles etc. I must admit I forgot to mention grade 5 rapids but she is such a sensible person she may have been in the safety boat…give her my love if you see her xxxx

  7. Jean Alger-Green says:

    “Surplise!!!!!” – really good to talk to you last night. Enjoy Kampala and hope the cruiser passes muster. J and J xxxx

  8. Jean Alger-Green says:

    That’s grand – did they keep the flip flop contraption? XXX

  9. Ian Brawn says:

    Hi guys, just to advise you when you get to Malawi to keep your fuel topped up. When we were driving there last year it was not uncommon to find that fuel stations were dry. The police advised us to buy black market fuel from the roadside guys with bottles and cans!
    good luck

  10. Hi Claire and Nick,
    Thanks for letting us share your amazing journey!
    We’re following your exploits closely, as are lots of primary children at the school where I now work!!
    A little boy asked, only yesterday, how my African friends were getting on!

    What an achievement, you are an inspiration to most of us less intrepid souls!!!
    Take very good care of yourselves and good luck for the next stage,
    Anna, Dom, Heidi, Joey, Grace and Helena xx

  11. Kspardner says:

    Is there no end to your bravery?! Am mightily impressed… Uganda looks wonderful xxx

  12. Wish I had your bravery!! x

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