I felt water coming inside my lungs. I couldn’t breathe. Above me there was a large black shape. Our boat, I realized later. I tried to swim around it, but the current was strong. I finally managed to reach the surface. Air. Breathe. This was the first time (but not the last time) our boat flipped. Rafting the Nile was definitely not a walk-in-the-park.
In ‘BoB vs. …’ I write short stories about adventures & outdoor activities. This time a story about BoB vs. the Nile in Uganda.
We stayed at the Nile River Explores (NRE) Camp: a beautiful spot right above the Nile with an amazing view. So far, all was fine. At breakfast we started to worry a bit.
“Shit, we’re really going to do this…”
After all, the Nile is one of the wildest white water rivers in the world and full of grade five rapids (these are highest grade rapids you can raft commercially).
After receiving safety instructions, a life jacket and helmet we were ready to hit the water. The rafts were actually pretty comfortable and the first part of the ride was relaxed. We had great views over the Nile and its wildlife. However, after a while things got wilder. We started to hit the grade 4 and 5 rapids with ‘comforting names’ such as the Dead Dutchman and Bad Place.
Fortunately our ‘boat captain’ gave great instructions on how and when to paddle. But, then it happened: our boat flipped. I felt like I was going to die! What an awful feeling! After that the boat would flip three more times and believe it or not: you get used to it. The next three times were far less scary. Of course it’s also a comforting idea that you have professional safety kayakers around you to help you out of the water!
It was such an adrenaline pumping experience! After the rafting we had a well-deserved ‘BBQ and Beers’ evening and exchanged our ‘Near Death Experiences’, which was the perfect end of this action-packed day! Here we also heard that somehow, the other boat of the NRE did not capsize once. Apparently our boat lost the battle against the great Nile. However, I don’t regret that, because swimming and half-drowning in the Nile was one the coolest experiences ever!
SCORES (OUT OF FIVE STARS)
‘NEVER AGAIN, SCARY AS HELL’ LEVEL ****
‘NEED TO BE IN GOOD SHAPE’ LEVEL **
‘FUN’ LEVEL ****
‘SUPERBE LANDSCAPES’ LEVEL ***
About Rafting The Nile
Website: Nile River Explorers (there are also other companies)
Costs: 125 USD including free accommodation in Nile River Explorers camps
Where: Jinja, Uganda
BoB tips: Wear long sleeves, watch out for the paddles, put on waterproof sunscreen
Bunch of Backpackers is no way connected to Nile River Explorers, nor did it receive a reward for mentioning them.