It’s an ominous sign when you have to practice flipping the raft and getting back in before you even reach the first rapids on the Nile River. But when you decide that you want an adrenaline rush, white water rafting the Nile with Nile River Explorers, is one you have to be prepared for.
Because with only 8 sections of rapids on the 4 hour, 30 km section of the Nile River that we paddled down, we managed to flip 4 times.
Rafting the Nile with Nile River Explorers
While I was a river rafting guide on the Athabasca Rive in Jasper National Park in Canada, those rapids were only ever Class 2 and 3. I was more often a tour guide than a rafting guide.
The ones we were paddling our little rubber raft into on the Nile River were Class 3, 4 and 5.
After being treated to a scrumptious breakfast we clattered across the pot-holed road for half an hour to the Nile River rafting drop-off zone. Lathered in sunscreen under the hot Ugandan sun we donned our lifejackets, helmets and gripped the rough wooden paddles. Each one hand carved from the local trees.
With a short, but thorough safety briefing, we were loaded into the 4 rafts.
Our guide, Alex, was ripped like an African Terminator and has been rafting the Nile for over 5 years. We were also accompanied by 2 rescue kayaks per raft, one of which was paddled by one of the Ugandan Olympic representatives, Juma.
As we stroked our way into the first section of our rapids the tension began to build. Everyone but myself had never been rafting before and had no idea what to expect. With rapids this large, neither did I.
Spinning at the last minute Alex yelled at us to “get down”. Gripping the safety line and sitting on our haunches we dropped over the first rapid. Luckily this one decided to spit us back out unscathed.
It wasn’t the case with all the rapids.
One of the things that they made me do, which I have never seen before and the guides thought was hilarious, was to get us perched at the front of the raft. This meant that whoever was on front had to take the full force of impact as we dropped into the Class 4 rapids.
I honestly don’t know how I managed to stay in the raft.
While being flipped out can be terrifying, having the life jacket, a little common sense and experienced guides directing you, makes it fun.
Even when on the one occasion I was tossed out of the raft by the raging white water and popped up underneath the raft, which had reached it’s demise and flipped over again, I never panicked. In the gloomy dark I could breath the air created in the rafts natural air pockets before the guide, obviously using supernatural powers had clambered on top of the upside-down raft and directed me out from underneath.
The white water rafting adventure down the Nile River was definitely one of the top experiences while I was in Africa.
Nile River Explorers Review
The crew from Nile River Explorers were some of the best rafting guides and kayakers I have ever seen.
We never felt unsafe, even when we knew that we were pretty much guaranteed to flip. The scariest part was how relaxed we were while knowing what we were getting ourselves into. And that comes down to how professional the guides from Nile River Explorers were.
It also wasn’t all about rafting. With 4 hours in the raft you have to keep entertained.
With the traditional “pool/drop” rapids, where a large rapid “drops” into a “pool” or flat section, we were able to have plenty of rests from paddling. As well as occasional multiple water fights and swims to keep cool. The guides were always quick with the wit, and had plenty to say about the Nile River itself including pointing out various wildlife and historical sites.
All in all I highly recommend you check them out if you want to go rafting on the Nile River.
Cost: Rafting the Nile with Nile River Explorers costs $125 per person. This includes breakfast, a huge lunch and as many beers as you can down in an hour at the end. Photos are an extra $80 per boat, so it is reasonable if everyone wants to purchase them together.
When I compare the prices to choose the cheapest accommodation around the world, I’m looking through Hotelscan.