Rafting the Nile with Nile River Explorers

| July 26, 2013 | 32 Comments

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.

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers

Rafting the Nile with Nile River Explorers

On my 75 day overland adventure through Africa with Oasis Overland, rafting the Nile River was right at the top of adventure activities I wanted to tick off.

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.

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

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.

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

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.

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

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.

White Water Rafting the Nile River with Nile River Explorers Review

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.

About the Author ()

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

Comments (32)

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  1. Arti says:

    Looks like you had a whale of a time! Though it looks quite scary, especially flipping out of the boat but sounds like fun too!
    Arti recently posted..Featured in ‘The Asian Age’, New Delhi

  2. Michael says:

    looks crazy! rafting can always be a bit dangerous so if I do choose to to rafting I always prefer countries that are more progressive insurance wise and medical wise and are more safety conscious.

  3. Alex says:

    Wow! This sounds scary, rafting in volatile waves of this mighty river. I am glad you were accompanied with the experienced people.

  4. Beth says:

    Looks like you guys had a ton of fun! Class 5 sounds a little scary though! I’ve been rafting a few times, although it’s usually class 3 with a few 4s. If ever given the chance to raft down the Nile, I’m not sure I could pass it up!
    Beth recently posted..Foto Friday: Osaka-jo, Japan

  5. That’s very scary but I find it you enjoy the whole water adventure base on the pictures you’ve posted here!

  6. Jenn says:

    Wow! You’re pretty brave! I’d like to think that I’m quite the adventurer, but I’m not sure I could tackle class 5 rapids on a raging river. The pictures look totally worth it for this rare opportunity too!

  7. Salika Jay says:

    Sounds exciting. I can’t imagine sitting in front of the raft and facing white water in full force.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Hotels With Pool Access Rooms In Phuket

  8. Debra says:

    This looks like so much fun. I have never been whitewater rafting before but this makes me think that I need to.

  9. What an awesome day. I’m a very strong swimmer but flipping out in a rapid would still terrify me. Great stuff.
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..#7 at Pebble Beach – Random Picture of the Week

  10. Wow looks like an incredible experience. Whitewater rafting is one of my outdoor activities. I’ve never personally been on any class 5 rapids though. That looks crazy!! You definitely hit some giant waves!!

  11. Sounds really crazy Cole! Rafting itself is such an excellent sport… and doing it on the Nile is something like ultimate fun. And of course, it wouldn’t have been that much smooth without those experienced professionals.

  12. Marian says:

    That’s what you called real adventure. Never tried rafting before, because I don’t have the guts. 🙂 Can’t imagine my self in that situation specially when the boat flip that’s too scary to me :)..

  13. flipnomad says:

    Wow! Looks like an awesome adventure.

  14. Tim H says:

    I honestly think that flipping is the best thing. Really, when you go through all the trouble of putting on the gear wouldn’t you be a little disappointed if you stayed in the raft the whole time?
    Tim H recently posted..Zambezi Inflatables and why you shouldn’t Raft the Zambezi River

  15. Ross says:

    Well put. I did the same tour and we had the same experience. i did manage to hold on a few times in the boat when pleny (including the guide) came out but twice the whole shebang went belly up and I spent a long time in the water. Of all the white water rafting I have done Jinja was the best.
    Ross recently posted..Kayaking in Dublin and Wicklow

  16. Travelyn says:

    Wonderful adventure. The photo’s tell it all. Looks a bit scary but lots of fun.
    Travelyn recently posted..Journey to Longsheng Rice Terrace

  17. Ross says:

    Looks and sounds awesome. I did the same trip and also had a great time and we did the person on the front too but she wasnt hanging on! One person for some strange reason was afraid of water and started off with us. After rapid 1 she left to the safety boat. Not sure what she had in mind!
    Ross recently posted..Shopping in Saudi Arabia

  18. This actually looks insane!! I hope to cross this off my bucket list soon 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    Drew | The Hungry Partier recently posted..10 Things to do in Singapore

  19. Awesome! I white water rafted the Zambezi river below Victoria Falls and got addicted to the adrenaline you get doing it. Will put this on my bucket list of places to go rafting.
    Jonny Duncan recently posted..Hanging Out In Cairo As A Film Extra

  20. Is it scary as it seems? And it looks like so much fun. But too scary for me.

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