Exploring Jinja, the Adventure Capital of Uganda

Last week, we decided to take the eastern route and visit a few places in Jinja, the adventure capital of Uganda and rafting the Nile River was one of the main highlights of our safari. We went to the actual source of the Nile, the spot where John Hanning Speke discovered the place where the river flows from (Lake Victoria). After our visit to the Source of the Nile, we visited one of the most scenic falls along the Nile – Kalagala Falls– known to some as grade 3 rapids.

Rafting the Nile was an incredible experience that is memorable and interesting! I personally went down it 5 years ago when I went rafting on the Nile. That was great, but I remember the feeling of falling out of the raft and not popping up till the strong current had carried me a hundred yards or so. And I realized that no matter how tough you feel, how courageous you feel, how unshakable you think you are…whenever water engulfs you and 10, 15, 20 seconds pass without your head finding the top, all panic buttons are pushed inside you, complete and absolute illogical thinking begins, and you consider in those few seconds whether this might be your time …then you pop out and wonder, what the heck? I can hold my breath longer than 20 seconds….no problem, right? So, you get back in the raft and pretend you weren’t panicked at all…and then you face the next rapid, scared senseless and invigorated all the same.

Hence, the understanding I bring to this series of pictures: So, I found a spot by the rapids, ready to watch a few kayaks conquer the same Bujagalli Falls. I like kayaks, and I’d even venture to say I’m pretty good. I learned how to do an eskimo roll once (that’s where you’re totally upside down in the water and you can flip yourself back with your paddle and your hips)…but nope, I can’t imagine having to do grade 3 and 4 rapids in that scary air tight leg prison threatening to drown me.

After the rafting session, we decided to watch kayakers who were riding down the Nile.

Here he goes… You can do it, Buddy!

Uh-oh, is he okay?? Will he pull through????

Ooooooh….that was a dooosey!! Ouch….

By the way, he ended up making it, but I’ve never seen so many attempts at an eskimo roll. I think I counted like 15 or 20 after he’d flipped upside down going down the falls. I kept rooting for him until he popped back up for real. He finally did. Don’t worry….but that was just rapid #1 of his journey.

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