The White Nile River is a renowned whitewater kayaking mecca that stretches a section of the Ugandan highlands and forms one of the tributaries to the Nile River- the longest river in the world.
The White Nile attracts kayakers and nature enthusiasts from various parts of the world into the tourist-boom East Africa Region. Rafting and Kayaking are the main water sport activities in the area which are suitable for families, groups and even solo paddling.
From its source in Jinja, only about 50 kilometers of the river are regularly explored via kayaks. The endless channel that flows past the adventurous Murchison Falls though Lake Albert and into Sudan is considered less friendly.
Paddlers looking forward to enjoying a kayaking session, often begin their adventure at Owen Falls in Jinja town or downstream at the renowned Nile Explorers Camp (NRE). In between the two major starting points is a stretch of approximately 5 Km Grade 1-2 whitewater with a couple of Grade 2-3 rapids.
Further, into the massive waves are grade 4 and grade 5 rapids. A short intense rapid called the “Ribcage” is quite popular with kayakers who have some experience with the river since a number of channels along the crashing wave trains heads to Bujagali Falls.
River obstacles and huge bedrocks are located along the channel of rolling and breaking waves. The other impressive rapids that can be paddled with ease are the “Waterfall of Overtime” and the “Playspot Superhole”.
On the verge of completing a successful adventure in the White Nile River are the renowned 6-grade rapids; Itanda, Kalagala, and Hypoxia. Those daring to paddle along these marvels often get scared at an ordinary site of violently splashing waves.
The while Nile has a remarkable safety record due to the friendly terrain and a large number of professional & fun guides who are always on standby. This is, however, not to say that safety is always guaranteed; in fact, some 6-grade rapids are considered risky for amateur kayakers.
Over the past years, the river has been free of dangerous and untamed animals. It’s only on certain occasions that locals report cases of Crocodiles in the deepwater zones. This means high-end vigilance is advised when enjoying your kayaking session.
Kayaking the big water rapids of the White Nile will take you not more than 3 days. The typical paddling sections take only two days but to enjoy the scenic view of the Nile as you gracefully get lost in the wild will cost you an additional day.
The Murchison Falls is a good stop-off to rest and enjoy the sight of wild animals in the secluded Murchison Falls National Park. Here you get a chance to take free pictures and gaze at the sight of Chimpanzees, Hippos, and Crocodiles.
Uganda is an East African country with two rainy seasons; from Mid-march to May and from Mid-September to November. While there’s no good reason to evade these rainy seasons; you may want to visit the country during the less-rainy months of December to February or the driest ones from June to September.
Since there are no distinct seasons unlike in the tropical countries; the paddling season is more like the whole year. Kayakers flock to the White Nile any time of the year and this is the only kayaking destination with no specific paddling months.