East Africa Watersports

July 24, 2009

I have been occupying my free time here in Uganda between 4th of July barbeques, canoe and kayak outings on the Nile and Lake Victoria, and playing with the two little devils who lives with us known as Diana and Rafiki.Heavy D
We organized a American independence day party here at my house on Muvule Crescent. I hired my friend (and favorite chicken man) Collin to come to my house a bbq-cater for the party. The afternoon was complete with a mixed crowd of Ugandans, Europeans, Americans, and even a homemade badminton set!

I have found one of the best ways to enjoy the environment here in East Africa at a low cost is to rent a fisherman’s canoe for the day and go exploring. All you have to do is meet their income for the day (around 10,000 or $5) and the canoe is yours.Nile Dock While I have enjoyed this in Lake Bunyonyi in the south and Lake Kivu in Rwanda, it is something I can find myself doing on a lazy Sunday right here in Jinja. We go to just above the dam where we get a dugout or handmade canoe and paddle it up the Nile, past the source, and out into Victoria. Sometimes we even manage to catch a few fish!Lake Bunyonyi Island View

As many of you know, I am an aspiring whitewater kayaker. Last Saturday I got my chance to test myself on the Nile. The stretch of whitewater that runs 40 km north from where the Owen Falls Dam blocks the Nile is reputed as one of the great grade 5+ whitewater gems in the world. With rapids boasting such names as Rib Cage, Silverback, and The Bad Place, this stretch of water is even more sought after as they begin construction of a second dam 30 km down that will essentially flood out some of the best water.
I was able to secure a kayak to accompany one of the raft groups that my friends were in. We put in early on Saturday and I quickly realized I had not been in a kayak for over a year as we immediately dropped into one of the grade 5 pour-overs.Uganda 004 One good thing to remember about Nile whitewater is a big river moving fast. This means things are over relatively quickly. I ended up reminding myself of this fact several times throughout the day as I was being thrown around like a rag doll on a roller coaster. Does anyone have any Ibuprofen?


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