spin me right round
It was so worth it. Rafting the source of the Nile has been on my list of things to do before dying for a long time. All I can say about it is wow, Wow, and WOW. Class V rapids, a guide who intentionally flipped our boat three times, and on top of that, we were on the NILE. It was amazing, painful, and I wouldn't have traded the experience for the world. Plus it's always nice to discover new muscle groups.
The river itself is beautiful; I wish the photographer had taken more pictures of the birds and villages and crops along its banks. It was hard to believe that we were actually on the Nile.
I went with Adrift, which ran the first rafting expedition down the river ten years ago. It's the longest river in Africa, over 4,000 miles from Lake Victoria to the Medeterranean Sea, but no one had ever tried to raft any of it before they did. Anyway, there are lots of companies operating on the river, but Adrift's boats are heavier than the others', so they can handle the serious rapids. And, wow, are there some serious rapids on the Nile. We didn't do the Class VI rapids (you can't take a raft over those), but we covered everything else on the 31-kilometer stretch of river. The rapids have fun names like "Big Brother" and "Overtime" and "Surf City." It's definitely the most intense rafting I've done. The adrenaline rushes were like nothing else.
Simon, our guide, was great. I was soooooo glad we weren't in the other boat; their guide was a jerk and wouldn't let them flip or do anything interesting. Simon had a little too much fun flipping us without warning, but it made the day interesting. We went over Bujagali Falls, and survived the lower section of Itanda, which means, "The Bad Place" in the local language. They wouldn't let us do all of Itanda - it's a Class VI rapid and apparently people actually have died there. It was the most fun of the entire day - we all wanted to do it again, but no. (Apparently Prince William asked the same thing. Wonder if they told him, "no.")
(Oh, there I am, gasping for air after Bubugo)
My only complaint about Adrift was their really stupid "no shoes" rule. Of course you can't take flip flops on a river that strong, but it's pretty stupid to expect your clients to walk over a stretch of rocky land without their Chacos. Especially when one guide says the guides don't wear shoes, but he just happens to wear them anyway. Grrr. My feet were Not Happy on the climb up the 150-foot muddy cliff at the end. But all in all it was a great day, so much fun, and I would definitely do it again. Although I want to check off the Zambezi first...