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.
Scottsdale – Come for the Sights, Stay for the Experience
Scottsdale, Arizona is one of the most popular destinations in the Grand Canyon State. Known for its resorts, natural trails, and association with nightlife, the city has become a must visit for anyone who wants to experience contemporary life in a former desert.
Scottsdale is very famous for its modern hospitality and geographical sights. Keeping this in mind, it wouldn’t be surprising to know that finding a Scottsdale nightclub is on the minds of many tourists who pay the city a visit – even those who do so to explore one of its mountainous ranges.
If you are planning to head down to the Copper State anytime soon and enjoy life, then Scottsdale may prove to be a great summer destination.
To help you understand what the city would have to offer in terms of recreation, here are some of the top Scottsdale vacation and dining options that make the West’s Most Western Town, a must visit.
Old Town Scottsdale
Old Town Scottsdale is perhaps the most popular destination in the city. With its unique lineup of culturally rich events, this colorful area has a vibe that defines old West meeting its modern counterpart to a T.
While Scottsdale remains famous for its modern nightlife, club scene, and luxurious resorts, Old Town Scottsdale brings about the old Western charm for tourists to experience firsthand. Old architecture, preserving museums, and cultural activities are just a few of the many things that you could experience at this destination.
With an array of fine dining restaurants that prove to be the best in the state, you could grab a bite in luxury after roaming around in the sun.
And if you feel a bit more adventurous, then you could do that exploration while riding on a Segway instead of using your good old feet. With plenty of Segway tours being conducted each day, you will easily be able to find something that suits your schedule.
As the winter home to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin West boasts of an unmatched architectural design.
Now a museum, the destination doesn’t only showcase the building in all of its glory, but also offers insights into Wright’s work and his mind through detailed tours of the facility.
It is due to these reasons that Taliesin West ranks as one of the topmost destinations to visit in Scottsdale among many professional guides.
Since the building or its experience cannot be replicated elsewhere, it remains a must visit for whenever you are in Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Fashion Square
Want to visit the biggest shopping mall in Arizona? You would find it to be located in the heart of Scottsdale.
With around 2 million square feet of shopping space, the Scottsdale Fashion Square is one of the biggest malls in the whole country. Made up of high end, luxury retail locations, it is literally the one stop shop for upscale items that you may not find elsewhere in the city. With that, the mall holds plenty of fine dining locations as well. What more could you want from a shopping destination, really?
Due to its modern inventory and access to high fashion, the Scottsdale Fashion Square could be a must visit before you hit the popular nightclub scene of the city. Whether you are finding some club wear or just want to spruce up your existing outfit with some Loboutins, this mall would provide you with plenty of choices and fun to boot.
Scottsdale Has Something for Everyone
Depending upon your personal preference, Scottsdale has plenty to offer. Whether you want to indulge in the city’s party scene or just explore its natural history, you would find that the destination has something for everyone.
So the next time that you are about to visit the Wild West, don’t forget to put Scottsdale at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed with what you get to work with.
5 Fun Adventure Activities in Vietnam
A stunning country with glorious scenery and an amazing culture, Vietnam offers many attractions for the modern tourist. It would be easy to spend a holiday in Vietnam just sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture – which thanks to a heavy French influence, is different to its South Eastern Asian neighbours – but why pass up on some of the fun adventure activities in Vietnam?
Also called sand surfing, sandboarding is an extreme sport, exactly like snowboarding, but on sand dunes instead of snow. Regularly named among the best sandboarding destinations in the world, are the Mue Ne Dunes. A series of red dunes around the resort town of the same name, sandboarding has not yet hit the professional heights here but is more of a fun cultural experience. Women in cone hats rent out boards to everyone from kids to saffron-robed Buddhist monks.
Mue Nie is also home to the magical Fairy Stream. This small shallow river winds through moon-like rock formations and is fun to walk through. You can watch the fish as you walk up to two kms in the water or you might try your hand at fishing. You’ll need some basic tackle including rod and reels. Check out these great options for beginners.
Take on Mount Fansipan
Nicknamed “the Roof of Indochina”, Fanispan at 3,143 metres is the highest mountain in the region. Located in Sapa, a town in the Lao Cai province in Northern Vietnam, the mountain can be conquered via two main climbing routes, one categorised as 2D1N, the other a longer 3D2N route. Both climbs require a guide. For those who prefer an easier way to the summit, the Fanispan cable car takes just 15 minutes to achieve what climbers do in 2-3 days, travelling on cables high above primitive forests.
Ride a Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi
One of the enduring images of Vietnam is the streets of Ho Chi Minh crowded with motorbikes, but motorbikes are also popular outside the cities and Vietnam has become known for some amazing motorbike routes. One of the favourite journeys is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. There are various routes to cover the distance of more than 2,000 kms, all taking you through gorgeous scenery and fascinating towns and villages.
Marble Mountain Rappelling Tour with Temple and Cave Exploration
You might think that abseiling down a vertical rock face is for experienced adrenalin junkies but not so on a rappelling tour in the Marble Mountains in Vietnam. Located just north of the popular resort city of Hoi An, the Marble Mountains are known locally as the “Five Elements Mountains”. Tours start in the city and once in the mountains, all equipment and instruction is provided to complete at least two rappels (depending on the tour company you choose). Besides the rappelling, the tours have spectacular views of the coast and include trekking through the mountains, visiting caves and temples
Canyoning is a thrilling adrenaline rush of an adventure sport wherein you jump into a fast-flowing mountain stream and allow yourself to be carried at high speed downstream. The most popular place for canyoning in Vietnam is Dalat. Dalat is in the Central Highlands and is a lovely resort town near a lake becoming renown as a destination for honeymoons as well as the adventure sports of cliff jumping, waterfall rappelling, natural water slides, and hiking, as well as canyoning. Various companies offer canyoning tours in Dalat all at similar prices for similar itineraries, so just choose which appeals most.
The 4 Best US Cities for an Outdoor Adventure
If you are looking for a destination that will get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping, you will be spoilt for options in the US. Offering various landscapes and tough terrains to tackle, outdoor enthusiasts can find some of the biggest and best challenges in different states across the country.
If you want to enjoy an adrenaline fix in 2019, check out the following four best US cities for an outdoor adventure.
- Los Angeles, California
There is more to Los Angeles than celebrity homes, high-end stores and boutiques, and fun Hollywood tours. Not only can you book charter jets Los Angeles to touch down in the city with ease, but there are many superb outdoor pursuits for adventure enthusiasts.
For example, you could try your hand at horseback riding at Griffith Park, or you could hike up Mount Baldy, which is the highest mountain point within Los Angeles County. Also, if you want to come face-to-face with various forms of marine life, you will be happy to learn you can snorkel in the stunning Lover’s Cove.
- Seattle, Washington
As Seattle is surrounded by water, you can choose from a multitude of fun watersports during a visit in the Emerald City. For example, you can take to the city’s lakes and waterways to enjoy a spot of:
- Jet skiing
- Paddle boarding
- Kite boarding
While hikers, cyclists, and runners will love to tackle the Burke-Gilman Trail, which is an extensive trail located north of Ballard by Puget Sound.
- Portland, Oregon
Offering more than 40 state parks and eight beautiful beaches, those looking for a fun outdoor adventure should look no further than Portland. Avid hikers should head straight to Forest Park once they arrive in the cool, laidback city, as it covers approximately 5,100 acres and is one of the largest urban forests in America.
Visitors can also escape the hustle and bustle of the city at Columbia River Gorge, which offers the largest concentration of waterfalls in the US, including the 620ft tall Multnomah Falls. It will offer a great hike for almost every age and can help visitors to reconnect with nature.
- Aurora, Colorado
Offering more than 300 days of glorious sunshine throughout the year, it is easy to see why many people make their way to Aurora to enjoy its many outdoor pursuits. One destination you shouldn’t overlook is Aurora Reservoir, which allows visitors to enjoy a spot of fishing, sailing, swimming, windsurfing, and boating.
If, however, you are looking for a destination that offers superb horseback riding opportunities, don’t miss out on 12 Mile Stables, which has been serving both locals and tourists for many decades. It’s an experience you will not forget in a hurry, as you can enjoy 27 miles of riding trails across 3,300 acres at Cherry Creek State Park.
If you are considering an outdoor getaway in the United States, you can rest assured the above destinations will not let you down.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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