Thursday, December 4, 2008


While others were sleeping after a big Thanksgiving meal or getting up early to hit the American sales in every store, I was on a bus from Nairobi to Uganda. After 10 hours on a bumpy, dusty Kenyan road and 3 more hours in Ugandan traffic jams, I arrived at a backpackers hostel. For $5 a night we were provided with a mosquito net, bunk bed, and complimentary blaring music until 3 am. When I awoke the next morning, the purpose of my trip began: WHITE WATER RAFTING DOWN THE NILE RIVER!

Uganda is the source of the River Nile where the wide river rushes creating a myriad of class 4, 5, and 6 rapids. We traveled by raft for 30 km in six hours, hitting four class 5 rapids and a few 3's and 4's. On three of the class 5's we flipped our raft, were sucked under water, and eventually popped up again to careen through wave after wave of water. I think I inhaled half the river.

(This picture isn't actually me. It's some friends in another raft, but it gives you an idea of my experience.)

Kami and I appreciated our Ugandan guide, Henry, who helped us survive the raging rapids. He actually flipped us on purpose most of the time, but we sure had a fun time! As you can see from this picture, I was completely wiped out after our day on the river and a bit dehydrated too.
After a good meal and a shower, we walked back down to the river we conquered. I couldn't believe it...

Rafting the Nile River was one of the scariest and most exciting adventures of my life. I think my heart rate doubled most of the day! Although I don't have pictures of the actual rafting experience (It's a little hard to hold a camera while holding on for dear life!), the video is awesome. I can't download a video with African internet, but I'll go into the details of each rapid and the stories of the day when you see the video this summer.

After another night with 90's music lulling me to sleep, I woke up early to hit the bus again and head back to Nairobi. Eleven hours later I was back in Nairobi, headed toward my own comfortable bed, exhausted, sore, and still feeling the bumping motion of the bus. Two full days on a bus and a head cold later, the entire experience was completely worth it. It's been almost a week since my rafting trip, I'm still sick, but I'd do it all again in a second! Rafting the Nile was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I highly recommend!


  1. OH! MY! GOSH! KIM!!!!! That looks like SOO much fun! What an amazing experience. Too bad you can't upload that video--it'd be awesome to see it. Guess we'll have to plan a trip to Oregon this summer, huh? :) Glad you made it out safe and sound. Very cool.

  2. I remember some volunteers doing that when I was in Uganda. I did not go with them. The thought terrified me! But I'm excited you went and excited that you got to see a little of Uganda!

  3. sounds more intense than your last ride down the Dechutes--even despite the near death experience on that scary rapid and Laura breaking a toe! glad to hear you survived!