Nile River Festival 2020

Welcome to Africa’s largest and longest running whitewater festival! Check out the highlights video from our 2019 Festival to find out what it’s all about.


The Nile River Festival (NRF) is an epic four day event that celebrates all that is awesome about the River Nile here in Uganda.

Kayaking, rafting, mountain biking, stand up paddleboarding, parties, big air ramps and live music, all with the backdrop of some of the world’s biggest whitewater. This is a spectacle for anyone, and a great time for all.
Check out last years event video, this years Facebook event page and plenty more information below. See you at the mighty Nile River Festival, January 30th – February 2nd 2020!

NRF 2020 – Information for competitors

NRF 2020 – Spectator Schedule

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Logistics Partners: Nile River Explorers

Event Overview
DAY 1 – THURSDAY 30TH JANUARY – BIG AIR RAMP, SUP JOUSTING AND THE SUPERHOLE OLYMPICS.
Thursday is all about fun. A tradition was formed a number of years ago of gathering every inflatable, or floating craft imaginable and taking them to one of the friendlier rapids called Superhole for some fun in the sun. It has evolved into a crazy day affectionately known as the Superholympics.

Next up is registration, and the big air ramp, where competitors launch themselves off a huge ramp at the Nile River Explorers Campsite, throwing massive moves to impress the crowds & judges. Meanwhile, the SUP jousting event, and all sorts of floating craft well stocked with drinks are well placed to watch the big air fun!

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY – FREESTYLE FRIDAY
An epic trip down the river for the kayakers, who compete on several different worldclass whitewater play features. There are very few rivers in the world that boast this many playwaves, let alone provide the opportunity to compete on them in a single day! Plus, this year we have a NEW exciting mass-start race down the final rapid, Vengeance. 40+ kayakers battling down a crazy wave train is bound to be a spectacle of carnage and hilarity! For full details, see the competitor info.

For those who don’t know, freestyle kayaking is the gymnastics of the whitewater world, or the equivalent of the half pipe in the winter olympics and is quite a spectacle. We’ll be filming the antics and showing the highlights in the Saturday night party at NRE.

Professional videographers will follow the kayakers down, film the action and each kayaker will have their own short edit made up of whatever they do down the river.

Evening party and accommodation will be at the Overland Camp, right next to the iconic Kalagala Falls waterfall and just upstream of Vengeance Island.

DAY 3 – SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY – THE HENDRI COETZEE ITANDA FALLS MEMORIAL RACE:

A grade 5 white water race like no other! Some of the world’s best kayakers race down the enormous and intimidating Itanda Falls rapid. With cold beers and a sounds system on site, this is an epic day for spectators. In the afternoon a big air competition on the gigantic Cuban wave, half way down Itanda falls rapid. Huge moves and scary wipe outs make for entertaining watching, finishing with a nail-biting finale to the Nile River Festival kayak
action with the Extreme Race finals.

A mountain bike race also takes place on Saturday morning, running from Bujagali; down offroad tracks along the riverbanks, and weaving through local villages; finishing at Itanda Falls in time to see the action at the Kayak race.

History says that there will be no shortage of action at the Saturday night party either, Jelly wrestling, live music and big screen showing the weekends antics set the stage for one of Jinja’s biggest parties at Nile River Explorers Campsite in Jinja.

DAY 4 – SUNDAY 2ND FEBRUARY – RAFT FREESTYLE
People come from all over to experience rafting on the mighty Nile River here in Jinja and this is an opportunity for anyone, regardless of background or experience level to take an active part in the festival. With an experienced guide in the back, you and your crew will take on the mighty rapids, while a team of professional videographers film each rapid. The flips and the flops, the style and the surfs… each raft will get their own edit of the day that will be your competition entry, whether you’re an adrenaline junky with decades of experience, or just want to float down the river, this is a chance for everyone to get involved in NRF 2020.

To wrap up the weekend, there’s the chance to camp on the beautiful Vengeance Island and enjoy sun down beers and a BBQ.
Check out the documents below for full info.

View the full event schedule for competitors

View the event rules for competitors

View the full event schedule and information for spectators

Accommodation
The Nile River Festival accommodation is at Nile River Explorers Campsite for Thursday 30th Jan, and Saturday 1st February and Overland Camp on Friday 31st January 2020. We also recommend the nearby Jinja Basecamp and Nile River Camp for accommodation throughout the festival.
There is a range of accommodation options available at both locations, from camping through to private rooms. Please book directly with the accommodation providers for the appropriate days, and book in advance of arrival to avoid disappointment. The camps will be very busy, lively and it is likely to get fully booked up.

Flying to Uganda?
Get a quote from Brussels Airlines – they’ll take your kayak for free in addition to the standard luggage allowance.
Book your flight now

Location
For directions to the two locations please view our location page.

Nile River Explorers Campsite is the location for the Thursday registration and big air ramp competition, and the Saturday night party. The Friday evening will be spent at Overland Camp near Kalagala falls.

Do you have any questions about NRF 2020? Send us a message