The source of the Nile in Jinja is one of the most spectacular white-water rafting destinations in the world and for many tourists to Uganda, a rafting trip is one of the highlights of their visit. Here you can expect long, rollicking strings of Grade IV and V rapids, with plenty of thrills and spills. Despite the intensity of some rapids, most people who venture here are first-time rafters; it’s the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something uniquely different.
There are quite a number of rafting companies in Uganda but most reputable ones include Nile River Explorers, Adrift Uganda, Nalubale Rafting, all exhibit high levels of professionalism and pricing, with an exceptional emphasis on safety (all rafting journeys are escorted by a safety boat and a fleet of rescue kayaks).
These companies will also pick you from your hotel in Kampala and shuttle you to Jinja; the adventure capital for free and returning you in the evening if you want to just make it a day trip. If you opt to stick in Jinja, they’ll offer you a night accommodation in a dormitory. All companies offer pick-ups from hotels in Jinja.
Apart from the standard or crazy big water runs, there’s also an option of less-extreme for those who don’t want to be flung into the raging water or extreme rapids. Family float excursions are offered, which bypass the big waves and are guaranteed to garner squeals of delight from young kids. A full day family floats by both Nile River Explorers and Nalubale Rafting can cost a minimum of US$40 per person.
These companies take on all the Big Four – huge Grade V rapids, excluding Itanda (The grade VI) – if there are some of the crew members who would wish to go through it (Itanda) then there is always a safety boat on hand if there those who will decide that the rapids are just too big for them. They companies also include a host of incentives to lure you over, including meals and beers that day.