Rafting the Nile in Uganda

The following is a guest post by Tripping member Lija Zalte about her travels through Uganda. My trip to Uganda was filled with many firsts; the first time I was too scared to cross a street for fear of getting run down, the first time I had a hippopotamus roam in my campsite, and the first time I went white water rafting! I went full force, not only was I going to ride grade 5 rapids for the first time, I decided to go bungee jumping the same day. The adventure town of Jinja, on the shores of Lake Victoria and near the source of the White Nile, was the location of the adrenaline filled day.

I was traveling in Uganda with a tour company called G Adventures and they connected us with the local rafting company in Jinja called Adrift. Adrift is located on the shores of the river with cabin accommodations and a cliff-top bar and restaurant over-looking the river. They gave us a great introduction to the adventure by showing us a rafting video and asking everyone the question, do you want to go mild or wild? Essentially, mild delivers what it states, a less intense river experience where you are in a larger raft, aka the safety raft. You still get wet, you may even fall in, but the ride is relatively calm. Most of the folks I was travelling with elected the wild option! For an even greater thrill, there is the extreme raft, where in many cases, the guide purposely flips the raft in even the smallest rapids allowing for the greatest experience. The day began with the bungee jump. Again, this was a first for me and was an amazing thrill; it left me shaking but ready to take on the river! (Go to minute 4:40 in the below video to see my jump). Below is a picture of the bungee tower over the Nile River:

A picture of me hanging from the bungee after the jump:

The rafting adventure began immediately following the bungee jump, allowing no time for the adrenaline to subside. The guides were amazing, most of them locals who grew up in the area. They assured us that anyone could raft and gave us great tips including paddling strokes and showed us how to flip the raft back over in the event we flipped, which pretty much was a given! Honestly I can say that rafting the Nile was probably the scariest moment in my life! I had no idea what to expect, but it truly delivered the most memorable, scary, exciting, and thrilling experience. The first time is always filled with unknowns, but that’s what makes life interesting! The below video is about 30 minutes long, but is an amazing look into the adventure. I have noted some highlights below: Rafting on the Nile in Uganda from Lija Zalte on Vimeo. Minute 4:40 – me bungee jumping, smiling the whole way! Minute 12:50 – seeing my raft flip for the first time (I am in the light pink helmet). Minute 15:15 – seeing my raft flip for the second time (scariest moment ever! ). Minute 21:40 – my raft heading over a 10ft waterfall. Minute 28:30 – the extreme raft heading into the “Bad Place.” The guide said this was one of his best experiences in this rapid; he was hanging on for as long as he could! If you are ever in Uganda, be sure to check out Adrift! Guest Post by: Lija Zalte (Connect with Lija via her Tripping profile here!) Photo Sources: