I met up with my group on Saturday morning at the nicest hostel I have ever seen. I mean globally. It sits on the top of a hill on expansive grounds on the outskirts of Kampala. Clean, fresh, gorgeous air and big blue skies.
We hopped in the van and were in our way to Jinja, the adventure a capital of Uganda. I’m quite sure we drove around in circles in Kampala for an hour or so. Sure didn’t feel like we were making much progress. Eventually, we found open road.
We drove over hill, over dale, through tea plantations and sugar can plantations. Green fields and blue skies for as far as you could see. Stunning.
We arrived in Jinja, which is hugely welcoming as the first thing you see when you get into town is the Nile beer brewery. So far, Jinja is looking good to me!
Over two dams spanning the Nile and a short and rather bumpy ride down a side road, we arrived at Nile River Camp. Home for the next couple of days.
In the evening we took a sunset cruise up the Nile, saw some fish eagles that were absolutely massive. Drank Ugandan whisky and danced the night away.
Yesterday was rafting! We were fed breakfast, had a rather amusing safety briefing and hopped in the rafts. Our guide, Juma, was thoroughly entertaining in the most off-colour way imaginable. Welcome to Uganda!
The first rapids came quickly and vertically. I’m not kidding, I mean it was a vertical drop. No easing into rafting on the Nile. You are all in. Consistent with most approaches in Uganda!!
I had 3 “come to Jesus” moments over the course of the day. That is, I was thrown out of the raft three times. The first time, the raft flipped and we were all over the river. Luckily, the kayaks with us scooped us up quickly and threw us back in the raft. The second time, I was the only one thrown out of the raft. Don’t ask, I have no f&cking clue! And the third was a washing machine. Raft flipped, hit me in the head, pushed me under, came up, was clobbered by a wave. Repeat x 3. Totally fucking exhausting. And we had 2 more rapids to hit after that. Those were excellent, big swells pushing us around and up and down and soaking us but I managed to stay in the boat.
I left the river a happy camper. Though I did inhale at least six gallons of the Nile River and had my sinuses cleansed repeatedly.
Beer and BBQ was waiting for us at the extraction point. An excellent day and a very long and hard sleep afterwards!!
P.S. Rafting photos to follow. Wifi is too slow to download a load them.