White Water Rafting
Rafting and white water rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork is often a part of the experience. This activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the 1950s, if not earlier, evolving from individuals paddling 10 feet (3.0 m) to 14 feet (4.3 m) rafts with double-bladed paddles or oars to multi-person rafts propelled by single-bladed paddles and steered by a person at the stern, or by the use of oars. Rafting on certain sections of rivers is considered an extreme sport, and can be fatal, while other sections are not so extreme or difficult.
It is in Jinja, a small colonial town in Uganda that rafting trips can be taken. Rafting the river Nile in Uganda has become a huge tourist attraction and Jinja is often quoted to be the ‘adventure capital of East Africa’, white water enthusiasts have been rafting here for over 10 years. From the apprehensive who have never been on a river before to the seasoned adventurer, the Victorian source of the Nile in Uganda has something for everyone. The Nile is the classic pool‐drop river with deep, calm pools interspersed between powerful and exciting rapids and multitudes of different channels. At no point is the Nile constrained to one channel. The multiple of rapids between the beautiful mid‐river islands allows the expert guides to chose milder options for those not willing to subject themselves to certain dunking in the river.
The white water rafting is done in paddle‐rafts, each person joins as a member of a team and a professional guide captains the team. Paddlers are instructed comprehensively on how best to enjoy themselves on the water and on all aspects of safety including the use of safety kayaks which accompany every raft trip on the water. The highly trained safety kayakers are world class paddlers who adeptly pilot their kayaks through the rapid ahead of the raft. When the rafts flip upside down or people are washed overboard they are nearby to provide assistance in getting people back to their boats.
The trip on the water begins slowly and the first few kilometres give the raft guides an opportunity to train their crews fully on all aspects of Nile rafting. The river becomes much more adventures at Bujagali Falls and one major rapid follows swiftly after another for most of the morning. Once the rafts enter Wildwaters Reserve (protects the unique flora and fauna of the mid‐stream islands of the Nile), there is more time between the rough water but the rapids become larger and more spectacular. At Itanda (The Bad Place) the Nile is too powerful for the rafts and so the rafts are taken around the top by land.
The grading of the rapids rafted on this stretch of the Nile range from 1 – 5. At each of the larger (higher graded) rapids you are given the option of whether you want to go the hard way (through the middle) or the easy way (around the edge). The choice is voted on, however, it might not always turn out the way you expected because you (everyone in the raft) if do not paddle in the right direction you may not take the route you wanted.
The family rafting trip is a wonderful river journey for the whole family. Instead of choosing the biggest and wildest rapids, these rafts instead drift swiftly between the beautiful forested islands, bounce down smaller rapids and explore the many different channels of the river.
The night is spent on the ‘Hairy Lemon’ a beautiful secluded island right on Nile. The next morning the adults have a chance to river surf at ‘Nile Special’ the infamous surf wave found near to the Hairy Lemon. The light weight boogie boards will allow provide an incredible thrill on the waves of the Nile.