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In tandem kayaking, you can relax in your vessel, experience whitewater truly at river level, or you can step up from rafting in case you've done it in the past. PHOTO/NALUBALE RAFTING

Uganda has some of the most spectacular kayaking locations on the planet, due to the nature of the Nile, the world’s longest river.

Kayaking in Uganda presents some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. The Nile is the world’s longest river and its dynamic nature makes it a great place for kayaking. 

Uganda’s adventure tourism industry has exploded in recent decades, and the country’s numerous outdoor outfitters now offer a myriad of kayaking experiences.

Kayaking is an adventure activity that takes you off the beaten path, except that your journey takes place on the sea/river. 

This sport offers the ideal opportunity for sports enthusiasts to get up close and personal with nature. 

Kayaking is a particularly fascinating adventure sport since it allows you to paddle through incredible seaweed, explore offshore islands, and cruise through canopied canals.

The White Nile can reach a volume of up to seven times that of the Zambezi. It roars between densely forested islands before leaping madly into a sequence of breathtaking waterfalls

The Nile River is a great place to go kayaking because of the gentle air and the roaring rapids that float upstream in the equatorial sun.

There are a few companies that offer Nile kayaking tours, some with significantly more experience than others. Kayakers are recommended to choose only the most reputed trip operators and may be required to have prior expertise.

Companies that offer Kayaking;

Kayak the Nile

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Nile River Explorers and White Nile Kayaking are two other kayaking companies that offer trips in Uganda. PHOTO/PASSION PASSPORT

Run by husband-and-wife pro-kayaking team Sam and Emily, the primary attraction here is white-water kayaking, which is suitable for beginners (solo or tandem) as well as advanced freestyle paddlers. 

However, it is not all about taming the rapids; peaceful flat-water rides on sit-on-top kayaks or stand-up paddleboards are also available. Multi-day excursions are available too. This company is based at Bujagali’s Nile River Explorers Campsite.

From mild to wild, amateur to expert, Kayak the Nile has something for everyone. Take a leisurely two-hour kayak cruise or a grade 5 tandem kayak tour for a rush of adrenaline. 

Learn to white water kayak with Uganda’s most experienced and trained instructors or brush up on your abilities on the Nile’s large volume rapids ranging in difficulty from 1 to 6. 

Whatever your time constraints or skill level, there is a kayaking opportunity for you to enjoy the Nile’s natural splendour and untamed white water rapids.

White water kayaking at Kayak the Nile

Warm water, sunshine, tropical islands, and the ideal beginning rapids ensure that a full day white water kayaking excursion off the beaten path will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Even if you’ve never been in a kayak before, you’ll soon be taking your path through the powerful Nile’s legendary crashing white water and tackling your first rapids.

A full day divided in half

This trip is divided into two sections: a calm water introduction and an afternoon white water adventure. 

The tour starts at Bujagali with an experienced Kayak the Nile instructor who is eager to share his passion for kayaking. The flat water here is great for teaching the foundations of kayaking. 

Here, you’ll learn the fundamental ideas — how to control your boat and where it travels, how to exit if necessary, and the basic strokes and techniques.

The section of Nile white water that you will tackle on your first day of kayaking features an abundance of thrilling waves to surf, rapids to master, and eddy lines to explore. 

The area is deep, warm, and free of rocks, which is why it is also utilized for multi-day courses if you wish to improve your skills further.

A full day of white water kayaking comprises the following:

  • Beyond the typical ‘tourist activities’
  • Impeccable track record in terms of safety
  • Free access to NRE’s (Nile River Explorers) shuttle bus between Kampala and Jinja
  • A full day of expert guidance and mentoring
  • Lunch, as well as cool drinks and beers
  • A low group-to-guide ratio that maximizes learning
  • $125 per person ($150 on a one-on-one basis)
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In the equatorial sun, the Nile River is the perfect place for kayaking due to its gentle air and roaring rapids. PHOTO/UGANDA TOURISM CENTRE

Tandem Kayaking at Kayak the Nile

Are you looking for the most exhilarating adrenaline rush down the Mighty Nile? Tandem kayaking enables you to tackle some of the world’s most challenging rapids in a single day.

With massive wave trains, smashing white water, and powerful hydraulics, it takes a collaborative effort between you and your guide to effectively navigate all of the rapids.

You’ll paddle alongside skilled tandem kayaking guides who know the river very well. Tandem kayaking is ideal for people who enjoy the notion of having their vessel, experiencing white water truly at river level, or simply for those who have done rafting previously and want to step it up.

You sit in the front seat of a two-seater kayak and provide the thrust necessary to navigate the waves. Your guide, sitting in the back seat, is responsible for coaching you on when to exert force and for securely guiding both of you down the rapids.

If you find yourself on the wrong side of a breaking wave and are flipped over by the water, there is nothing to worry about. It is not necessary to immediately take a bath. 

Unlike a rafting flip, which could result in you being stranded far from the boat and forced to swim rapids on your own, if you can hold your breath for three to five seconds (you can practice now), your guide will attempt to roll you both backup. 

You can be upright and in the game for the remainder of the waves if you do the hero move in the middle of the rapid.

Each rapid is followed by calm water, giving you time to recover from the adrenaline rush, reapply sunscreen, and rest before the next one. 

Additionally, the quiet water allows you to regroup and exchange daring stories with your guide. At lunch, you get beverages and delectable and nutritious meals.

With vivid memories of some of the world’s largest rapids, the day concludes with an open bar loaded with cold beers, sodas, and gin & tonics.

tandem kayaking excursion on the Nile costs 160 USD per person.

Flatwater kayaking 

Stable sit-on-top kayaks from Kayak the Nile are the ideal method to appreciate the Nile’s gentler waters. 

Here, you can cruise past the Nile’s source with a drink in hand, learning about the region’s history and significance, observing the birds, and escaping the bumpy roads.

Other companies that offer kayaking trips in Uganda include Nile River Explorers and White Nile kayaking.

Last but not least, for an all-inclusive tour experience in Uganda, view our guide to White water raftingBungee JumpingVisit Mount MuhaburaGorillas in UgandaSsese Islands, Cost of Gorilla TrekkingMurchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.