The Mighty Nile River The second half of our time in Uganda was spent on the Nile River just below Lake Victoria. There are 2 different sources of the Nile River, one in Uganda (the White Nile) and the other in Ethiopia (the Blue Nile). The White Nile has long been considered one of the greatest rafting and kayaking rivers in the world. An extremely high volume river with wonderful warm water, huge breaking waves and holes and most importantly, no hippos or crocs! There is enough water here to form several large rivers, and that is essentially what happens when the massive waterway splits into multiple channels over the course of a 70 kilometer run.
We were fortunate enough to spend almost a month rafting the Nile River in 2002. The biggest difference from our last paddling trip here was the completion of a new dam in 2011. This dam had been proposed for 6-8 years prior but always lacked funding. They were finally able to complete the dam in 2011 which inundated a good portion of the upper section of whitewater. We lost some of the greatest rapids like Bujogali Falls, Total Gunga and the legendary Silverback! However, below the dam, they are still able to enjoy a full day of rafting and kayaking through the lower section of amazing rapids with names like Overtime, Vengence and The Bad Place (does it get any better than that?).
During this trip we herd some horrible news from our friend Jumma. He has been kayaking and rafting on the Nile River since 1998 (the river was only first run in 1996). He is a native Ugandan and has seen the entire progression of the river life as it has become a major whitewater destination and everything that comes with that reputation. The Bujugali Dam was unthinkable to Jumma and the rest of the local paddlers. However, now they are faced with an even more unthinkable reality…a second dam. According to the locals, there is a second dam that is in the approval stages to be built below the existing section of whitewater which will completely end rafting and kayaking on the famous White Nile near Jinja. This means that your time might be limited to experience some of the greatest whitewater on the planet…GO!