Tuesday, 15 January 2013
White water rafting adventure in Uganda
Guests manoeuvre the rapids during the water rafting bit of the adrift experience
If you love to get your adrenaline pumping, this place in Jinja will do it for you with its lineup of white water rafting, wild jet races and high bungee jumping.
It may not sound so familiar to local tourists possibly because of the challenges involved and the fee charged but the nice services and beautiful setting of the Adrift camp make it an attractive place. Adrift is currently the only adventure company offering white water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating and river surfing on source of the Nile near the then Bujagali Falls in Jinja.
With a daily free shuttle from Kampala to Jinja, after booking at $125 (about Shs337, 500) for a day and $115 (about Shs310, 500) for half a day respectively, there are guides available to serve breakfast upon arrival and take you through the drills of white water rafting.
“You shouldn’t carry any valuable items save for the costume you are going to raft in,” Yasin Magembe, a guide, said at a recent visit. Equipped with paddles, life jackets and helmets, you paddle in inflatable boats or rafting boat as you navigate Africa’s longest river, the Nile.
Minutes into the paddling, you are advised to hold on to the boat as the waves lead you to the rapid falls where the high water pressure forces you down the falls. With rescuers waiting down the falls, cheers from fellow rafters who have already completed the challenge welcome you. It all gives cadence to just how memorable this experience is.
Before you get over the rafting challenge, another exciting one awaits you –racing on the jetting boats, up and down the Nile rapids.
At about 90 kilometers per hour, the boat comes with propulsion jets at the sides which spin at 360 degrees, giving you an experience similar to driving a car on a muddy surface. The challenge costs $75 (about Shs202, 500) per person and is just as memorable.
As one marvels about the country’s great wonders on the Nile, the guides take you to another exciting activity – the Nile high bungee jumping at a fee of Shs $115 (about Shs310, 500). Here, one is taken to the Nile High Tower which is about 44 metres high, to free fall to the bottom while you are attached to an elastic rope, which lets you hover above the water before rebounding high above the river and back.
Mr. Gav Fahey, the Adrift Director says the challenge is 100 per cent safe and the tower is therefore built with this in mind.
“Because our tower has been built and operated to such high specifications, jumpers are much more likely to get injured on the road travel from or back to Kampala [than on the tower],” he quips.
After burning up all that energy with the jet race, bungee jumping and water rafting, a guest is given different meals of his/her choice at the Wild Waters Lodges. The beautiful scenery at the lodges and rare setting provides another experience at $250 (about Shs 675,000) for a night.
Although each adventure has its own price tag, you can take the challenge of doing all of them in one day and leave Jinja believing that Uganda really is the pearl of Africa.