The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

My Fellow Whitewater Rafters

Near the Source of the Nile River

Ugandan Children Greet Us

Hakuna Matata!

Saturday, October 8, 2005. Whitewater Rafting at the Source of the Nile River, Jinja, Uganda. With names like "Point Break", "Surf City", "Total Gunga", "The Bad Place", and "The G-Spot" (because, as our raft guide explained, it's hard to find), the rapids of the Nile River sound like they were named by Hawaiian surfers. They are truly some of the best whitewater in the world. The town of Jinja lies along the banks of Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile, the world's longest river. The raft company, Adrift, picked me up at my hostel in Kampala (Red Chilli Hideaway; 22,000 Ush/Twin ~ US$12) for a full day of whitewater rafting (US$95). On this day, there were three rafts, a support/safety raft, and several safety kayakers. We had six in my raft (plus our river guide, Tutu) with guests from South Africa, Canada, Kenya, and the U.S. (me). We had quite a thrilling time rafting class 3, 4, and 5 rapids (Class 5 is the highest raftable grade of rapids) over a stretch of 31 kilometers. Between the rapids, we drifted peacefully downriver and waved to villagers watching us from the lush green riverbank. The sun greeted us from behind clouds off and on throughout the day. Tutu let us jump into the warm river to drift silently down the Nile (Here there is little risk of Bilharzia, a serious disease spread by worms in a species of freshwater snails, which is endemic throughout the Egyptian portion of the Nile). The Class 5 rapids were some of the best I have ever done—a roller coaster on water. It definitely qualified as a "Fun" Chun experience. Our day ended on a bluff above the banks of the Nile River where we savored the fabulous local lager beer, Nile Special, and photographed the numerous children who greeted us.

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