The source of the Nile is located in my birth country, Uganda. It is the point at which the second longest river in the world, the Nile begins it’s journey. The Nile river runs approximately 6400 kilometers long. With the amount of water it carries along it’s path, it creates high grade rapids that are currently used by White Water Rafters for thrill adventures. The source of the Nile is Lake Victoria, one of the largest fresh water lakes of the world. The location of the source in Uganda is Jinja/ Bujagali Falls area.
Earlier explorers went on various expeditions to try and find the source of the Nile, of course then they were looking for the Biblical Nile river where baby Jesus was left in a basket. Eventually a British Explorer John Speke found what is currently documented as the Source of the Nile. Speke lived during the reign of Queen Victoria after whom Uganda’s number one lake is named; Lake Victoria.
Highly recommended for the adventure traveler and thrill seeker. It is at the source of the Nile that many tourists to Uganda enjoy grade 5 White Water rafting. Many companies now offer tours originating from Uganda’s capital Kampala with return transfers to the airport on your return date.
If I had the nerve I had now, I don’t think I would have done many years ago with Adrift in my home country of Uganda. The thrill and adrenaline rush one gets when white water rafting can not be easily described using the English language, ask me in my mother tongue and I may be able to tell you better, smile! I have the adventurous nature of a horse and the confidence that comes with it, but if you ask me now I will say NO to White Water rafting a grade 5 river. I went White Water Rafting with a group of friend when I was a little stronger and naïve, I had nothing to loose (or so I thought), it was all good until we hit the rapids on the Nile river full speed.
The very first White Water Rafting Company to Uganda was Adrift, a group of rafters who had rafted many higher grade rivers world wide had decided to come check out the Nile and do some business while at it. The Nile River surface is calm from the look of it but then the water line drops about fifty meters upstream taking your breath away, I still remember my fear and excitement as if it were yesterday. Even with professionals guiding us, I felt like I was going to meet my maker, while my mind told me otherwise, as my stomach began to turn and my chest beat faster, Steve our guide said we were going do paddle forward (whatever that meant). I don’t like open waters and I have a bad phobia for waters, now I began thinking “what the hell did you do?” Well I hid my fears as best I could and paddled along with the rest of everyone trying to keep my face a little happy but in vain. The raft was about 14 feet long and with all the people we had on it, it felt like ashes in the wind, Steve raised his voice out to us as we approached the ledge “get down, get down” the down and upward thrust came so quick and the water splashed over us. Steve cautioned us about floating down the river and how to get back onto the raft if we tipped over. By now I was actually frightened and the excitement with which I began the adventure turned into sheer fear. I was no the best swimmer and even with the life vest I felt like I could easily die from the weight of water.
Daniel who had rafted in Turkey and the Zambezi was right next to me, for some reason it seemed he was looking out for me more than he was for himself or anyone else on the raft. He noticed how tense I was so he decided to take charge of our side and calm me down; boy was I grateful for his watchful eyes. This was a grade five rafting which I might add is extremely dangerous. If you ask me I will discourage anyone who has never gone rafting from trying a grade five even with professional guides. The International Whitewater Rating System describes class five rapids as "extremely difficult; long violent rapids that must be scouted from shore; dangerous drops, unstable eddies, strong, irregular currents and hydraulics."
As long as I live, I promised I should never venture into grade 5 rafting. If you are ever in Uganda, contact Steve at Adrift Uganda for an experience of a lifetime. www.adrift.ug
You can't really miss the real source of the Nile or should I say 'sauce' of the Nile if you are travelling over the dam to Njeru on the opposite bank of the Nile to Jinja on your way to Kampala.
The first plot you come to as you cross the river is Nile Breweries.
mmmmmmmmm yeah I'm getting thirsty as well.
Nile High Bungy is in Jinja, a short trip of 4 km from the jinja town is the Nile Resort. The bungy jumping booking can be done here for 55 $ per person. It is one of the beautiful locations overlooking the Nile River. The bungy is 44 m high and at the top the feeling is just great !!!
When I asked in a local bar where I could go for a swim in Jinja I was pointed in the direction of the Triangle Hotel.
I took a Boda to the Triangle 700UGX from the market.
It cost me 5,000 for a swim but I hadn’t brought a towel so had to pay an extra 2,000 to use one of the hotel’s. The small pool had a concrete arch spanning the pool and on top of the arch were two concrete crocodiles, the whole afternoon apart from 5 minutes I was the only one in the pool.
The hotel seemed to be busy with a conference while I was there and during a break in proceedings several of the conference goers step out for breather and a moan to each other about the price of breakfast.
Beautiful landscape.Mainly visited by people which like rafting and kayaking but also worth a visit for ,,normal`` visitors.Boat trips are avaiable to visit some small islands around the falls.8km out of Jinja.Lovely to hike around .Very good restaurant not far away from the falls(the black lantern)
See this view - well this is the view you get from the showers at Nile River Explorers Bujagali Falls.
Yep, actually inside your little private area where you take the shower.
At first its very weird - and I couldnt stop thinking that someone would see me any minute! They wont of course, there are plenty of trees between you and the river and nothing else inbetween.
The only downside about these showers is if you shower too late you could be bitten by the blood sucking mozzie that inhabit this part of the world.
Other than that its amazing isnt it!?!
The locals in Africa are the main thing that makes the continent so special.
When I arrived down at the Nile to watch the Rafters the entire place was full of locals, they were all so excited at watching the foreigners (Or Mzungus as the dub us!).
Women were there with their children, washing them in the Nile, children were there with their friends who were there with their aunts who were there with their cows.....And as always they were so happy and friendly.
This is Africa. As you can imagine the road will be dusty, bumpy and long! They always are LOL.....
I drove down to the source of the Nile in the back of a 4x4 - after taking that trip I would imagine the only transport you could take would be a 4x4 but you would be suprised!
The trip wasnt far down there, we drove past people and their homes waving frantically at us - as always happy to say hello to a Mzungu!
The drive in itself was an adventure.
Bujagali Falls are beautiful, situated along the Nile just outside of Jinja Township.
From our camp you can see the Falls - which is where I took this photo from, but if you take a rafting day you will encounter the falls at a totally different perspective!
The main reason that a Jinja receives a lot of visitors in for the White Water Rafting.
Rafting is a big business here, if you decide to raft on the Nile you will have a hot, wet, exhausting day but so much fun!
The Nile offers up to grade 6 rafting but on a trip you will only get up to grade 5 - which is enough anyway! The famous G Spot is something that not everyone does - but you should at least try it!
On leaving the camp in the morning the tour stopped in Jinja at the Nile River Explorers and had breakfast this consisted of a buffet breakfast with bananas, pineapple, apples, watermelon, sausages, eggs, bacon and toast and free tea and coffee - enough to fill you up before a hard day taking on the white waters on the Nile!!
This was included in the price of the trip - the DVD was as always extra!
One thing which everyone going to Jinja should not miss out on is the white water rafting. Considered one of the most dangerous of the white waters, it is an experience of a life time. Few other white waters will give you the thrill that the source of nile would give. The rafting is organised by ADRIFT and I must say that it is very well organised. They have half day and full day rafting and i would recommend that if one has the enery and time one should go for the full day raft. They provide refreshments during lunch and they also take care of all the safety aspects.
25kms of whitewater from Bujagali Falls and a chance to sample all the big grade 5 rapids on the river! I think this is one of the best experiences I have ever had and the crew was fun to deal with.
From our campsite we arranged a trip with Nile Rivers Explorers to raft the mighty Nile, which has its source here in Jinja. Bujagali Falls offers some excellent rapids between grades 2 to 5. You get lunch included and raft the whole day. It is a really cool experience and so much fun and adrennaline. I always was a little wary of Rafting, but the guides were very good and I had some of the most fun actioned packed hours of my life out on that river.
In Jinja there is a charity organisation that you can spend a day giving back something to the locals. Called Softpower it is and organisation which is helping the local schools and children get their footing in Jinja and surrounding districts. You can donate your time for a day, or longer if you wish. It is a really worthwhile cause that I would encourage all travellers to do. After being welcomed into Africa and Uganda, it is especially nice to be able to do something back.
Not only that you get to see how the school systems work and meet some of the kids of Africa. The children thronged apon us like they had never seen anything like us before and doing something for Africa was so amazingly rewarding. I would love to go back and volunteer some more. It certainly puts a smile on your face.
I was told the main Hindu temple is situauted on the way to the show ground from Jinja town but this temple is a lovely building and the askari on the gate was quite happy to show me around.