The stretch of rapids along the upper Nile near Jinja is considered one of the most spectacular places in Africa to go white-water rafting. Despite the intensity of some of the rapids, most people who venture here are first-time rafters seeking an adrenaline rush as part of their tour in Uganda.
Safety standards are impeccable; with all rafting trips accompanied by a fleet of rescue kayaks and a safety boar you can retreat to if you find things a bit too adventurous for your tastes.
Rafting is a great sport that teaches how to remain calm under great pressure. The opportunity to do rafting from the longest river on earth is amazing. It is one of the best things to do in Uganda. The river Nile has been a source of water for several civilizations. Rafting in Jinja takes you in the middle of the river Nile while passing through chaotic and turbulent rapids.
What to expect and to do during rafting
A day of whitewater rafting starts with early morning breakfast before being transferred to the banks of the river. All participants are required to leave their valuable and dry clothes in the car with staff. The teams are given orientation about safety and what to expect. The orientation is supervised by guides who are very experienced and knowledgeable about the area and rapids. They go through every aspect of safety to ensure that all rafters have the best possible experience. Other topics covered include how to get hold of the rope for safety, how to paddle and how to fall out of the raft in the right way. Participants are advised to remain as calm as possible if they trip over while holding their breath. Always travel with extra underwear and dry clothes. Choose clothes that dry fast because you will be in and out of water several times.
Before the activity begins, individuals are given an opportunity to choose between an easy or more difficult route. Those who are not prepared for the Grade 4 and 5 Levels can opt for the Grade 3 rafting. Families have an option of going for the slower family float trip designed to enjoy the river while avoiding the main rapids. All participants are required to sign a form with details about any ailments. You cannot go for rafting with hypertension or anemia. Once the orientation is done, helmets and waterproof jackets fastened, the activity can begin. The first mile or so gives the guides more time to train all participants fully before the rapids get stronger and more spectacular downstream. Whenever you reach the next rapid, the guides arrange for a vote of whether to go through the easy route (edges) or the hard way (middle).
Important information about rafting in Jinja
- The cost of water rafting depends on the activity you’re going to do full day or half day.
- You do not need to worry about photos. The safety Kayakers and rafters carry equipment and a camera person to capture the moments. The photos can be bought stored on a CD at the finishing point at an extra cost.
- The best time to go for white water- rafting in Jinja is during the drier seasons of January to February or June to September. During the dry periods of the year, the skies are clear with strong sunlight. It is important to apply sunscreen to avoid getting a red skin.
- You need extra clothes for use after rafting and money for extra expenses.
- Instead of the standard whitewater rafting, travelers can choose to go Jet Boat riding. This involves taking a speed boat to race down the rapids of the Nile in Jinja. All participants are provided with life jackets and helmets.
- Tubing the Nile is another exciting activity worth considering while visiting Jinja and the Nile River. This involves drifting on the Nile using an inflated tube while watching birds, sunbathing and marveling at the beautiful scenery around the Nile. The activity can be arranged on level/calm waters or close to the rapids.
- Whitewater rafting can be combined with other major activities like gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Visiting the Murchison Falls National Park or Queen Elizabeth National Park and some other parks.