Surfing Down the White Nile on a Memorable Rafting Experience

Author: Michael Theys

December 15, 2011

Author Has 206 Post(s)

 

If you followed some of my Africa overland trip adventures, you probably remember Day 4 when I surfed down the Nile river waves near Jinja (Uganda).

Now that I rethink about it, we were extremely lucky as we were one of the last groups to experience the top section of the river, starting at Bujagali Falls. Since February 28, 2011, the entire section has been closed off in preparation of the new “damn” dam! :)

Here are some of the best shots taken on the day:

Getting all geared up and ready for the big splash! :)

One of the security boats carrying safety equipment, first aid kit and lunch (very important)! ;)

Our first grade 3 rapid of the day!

Down we go!

Needless to say we got absolutely drenched! :)

Things are getting a little intense...

Paddle hard, "harder", screamed Alex (our guide)!

Great team effort, guys! Love the synchronization!

Looks like we're having so much fun, can't you tell? :)

Time for a little breather! Can you spot me?

I’m swimming, yes (third person from the left).

Easy-peasy when you're not paddling... ;)

Here come's a big one (grade 5 rapid)...

Getting the momentum going...

The moment of truth has arrived...oh oh, it's getting interesting!

What’s up with your finger, Mitch? You look completely out of it! Ok, perhaps I shouldn’t be talking so much…I’m the only one looking back, true that! :)

As if it weren't enough, we had to try it backwards!

At least Mick and I weren’t the first ones exposed this time…enjoy the ride Jenny! ;)

Mick's sure having a good time! :)

Can't get any better than this, can it?! :)

Trust me, this is WAY cooler than Disney Land! ;)

Hang on tight!

We made it, YEE HAW!

Safety kayaker enjoying the waves!

Flip or no flip? That is the question...

The situation seems definitely tricky...

It turns out alright after all...oh, no, man overboard!

There she is! :)

Don’t you worry Mick, we’ll get your “wifey” back! ;)

Egrets and cormorants on nearby islands.

Off they go!

Fisherman scaring away fish into his net!

Go team! Sweet memories...

Disappearing into the spray!

Tadam! We're back, just like magic! :)

Nice catch, buddy!

What to Expect From a White Nile River Rafting Experience?

- Lots of fun.

- Lots of water. :)

- Wonderful guides and a safety team entirely dedicated to your enjoyment and well-being.

- Adrenalin rush guaranteed.

- Beautiful setting.

- Great bird life.

- Grade 3-5 rapids (some of the wildest in the world).

- Yummy pineapple and biscuits for lunch.

- Flips? Maybe yes, maybe no…

- Breakfast upon arrival (depending on the formula you choose), and a gargantuan Buffet BBQ with beers and sodas at the end of the day.

- A professional photographer and videographer to capture the essence of your day.

How Much Does it Cost to Do Rafting?

Depending on the option you choose and the company you deal with, rates vary from USD $115 (half day) to USD $125 for a full day of fun. In some instances, you can arrange rafting experiences of two days or more, and this is available from USD $200 +.

My experience turned out to be absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend a company called Nile River Explorers as they are just perfect and extremely professional every step of the way.

How Long Does a Typical Rafting Experience Last?

2-5 hours on the river per day is the norm. This corresponds to a downstream travel distance of approximately 10-25 km.

NB: If you plan on spending time in the area, I also encourage you to stay at the Nile River Explorers Adventure Centre in Jinja. Expect great people, a breathtaking location and mouthwatering food.

Is Rafting Safe?

White Water Rafting is an extreme sport so it is never safe 100%. However, most of the guys out there use top quality equipment and make sure you receive an extensive safety briefing and practice drills before departure.

The safety team usually consists of 1-2 oarboats (for equipment and food), and an entire team of highly athletic safety kayakers who spot swimmers before they are even aware of being in the water.

What to Bring

- Light clothing: ideally shorts and t shirts.

- Loads of sunscreen lotion as it’s a real scorcher out there.

- A towel and change of clothes once the day is over.

- Any medication you may require and a little pocket money for optional extras (such as tipping, buying photos and/or the video footage).

NB: If you’re wearing a wedding ring, a watch or any jewelry for that matter, please remove it beforehand. In our particular group we’ve had two couples who lost their wedding rings. Not the most amusing of feelings…

Minimum Age Requirement?

- 16 years old.

- Under 18s – guardians’ approval apply.

 
 
 

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