• Evelyn Nakazi

White Water Rafting the Nile River

The source of the Nile in Jinja is one of the most spectacular white Nile water rafting destinations in the world and for many visitors to Uganda, a rafting trip is the highlight of their visit. Here you can expect long, rollicking strings of Grade IV and V rapids, with plenty of thrills and spills. Despite the intensity of some rapids, most people who venture here are first-time rafters; it’s the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something different.

Iconic partners with three of the most reputable rafting companies are Nile River Explorers, Nalubale Rafting and Adrift, which are all equal in terms of professionalism and pricing, with an outstanding emphasis on safety (all rafting trips are accompanied by a fleet of rescue kayaks and a safety boat).


When you make reservations with Iconic Travels, we will also shuttle you out from Kampala inclusive, picking up punters from popular hostels and hotels, and returning in the evening if you just want to make it a day trip. If you want to stick around, the rafting companies will give you a free night’s accommodation in a dormitory. All offer pick-ups from hotels in Jinja.

Besides the standard big water runs, there are also less extreme options for those who don’t want to be flung into the raging water. Family float trips are offered, which bypass the big waves and are guaranteed to garner squeals of delight from young kids. A full-day family float with Nile River Explorers and Nalubale Rafting costs US$40 per person.

All the companies take on the Big Four – monster Grade V rapids, including Itanda (The Bad Place) – but there is always a safety boat on hand if you decide the rapids are just too big for you. They each also include a host of incentives to lure you over, including meals and beers.



Kayaking the Nile

An alternative to rafting is to go solo and kayak through the raging river or take a more leisurely paddle on flat water. Jinja is mostly known among freestyle kayakers for its epic Nile Special wave.



Boating Rides

Boat trips can be arranged at Jinja Sailing Club, where individuals pay $7 to go to the source of the Nile, visiting islands along the way. You can also go via boats leaving the east bank of the Nile at Ripon Falls (parking and entry fee $2.81). Make sure the boat carries life jackets.