Grade 5 Tandem Kayaking

Adventure on the biggest whitewater

$160 per person

We believe the best way to experience the Nile’s whitewater is by kayak.

Short on time, or simply looking to go to some of the hardest rapids straight away, tandem kayaking lets you (with little or no experience of kayaking before) take on some of the biggest and best rapids in a single day.

Tandem Kayaking
  • Full day trip on some of the world’s best white water
  • No experience necessary
  • Most extreme way to see the river
  • Joint trip with the grade 5 Nile River Explorers whitewater rafting

You will be paddling along with the Nile River Explorers (NRE) whitewater rafting trip. For those who like the idea of having their own craft, taking on the whitewater and getting the best experience, or simply for those who have done rafting before and want to step it up, tandem kayaking is perfect.

You sit in the front of these double seater kayaks and provide the power to get through the waves. Your guide, in the back seat, has the job of instructing you when to put in the energy and steering you both safely down the rapids.

Facing huge wave trains, crashing whitewater and powerful hydraulics, it’s a team effort between you and your guide to make it through all the rapids successfully.

Should you end up on the wrong side of a crashing wave and get flipped by the water, it is not necessarily time for a bath just yet. Unlike a rafting flip, where you could end up a long way from the boat having to swim rapids on your own, if you can hold your breath and hold on for 3 to 5 seconds (you can try it now to practice) your guide will attempt to roll you both back up. You can be back upright in the middle of the rapid having performed the hero move, and in the game for the rest of the waves.

Each rapid is followed by calm water, giving you time to let the adrenaline settle before getting another hit.

This calm water also gives you time to go to the rafts, regroup and swap courageous stories with everyone else. These gaps are your chance to top-up on sunscreen, and take it easy for a while. At lunch we will provide you with drinking water and biscuits with large fresh chunks of pineapple.

Each of the rapids on the river are spectacular, and on most other rivers, they would all be the feature rapids. Here however there is some strong competition for the title of ‘best rapid’ but two standout. The Bad Place, and Nile Special.

The Bad Place (see main picture), is one of the biggest single features that you will take your boat through. Running either left, right, or straight through the middle of this monstrous hole, this feature really gets the heart pumping.

Nile Special is the last rapid of the day and certainly not a disappointment. Despite having navigated some of the world’s best moving water already, the biggest and most challenging wave chain is yet to come. Nile Special contains Club wave, Bell’s hole (above) and of course the main Nile Special wave that the rapid is named after.

With Nile Special still vividly fresh in your mind, the day ends just downstream. An open bar stocked with cold drinks and a wholesome buffet waits for you at the bottom.

Grade 5 Tandem Kayaking

  • Full day trip on some of the world’s best white water
  • Closest to the real experience of solo kayaking you can get without learning to kayak
  • See some of the hardest whitewater this river has to offer in a single day
  • No previous experience necessary
  • A personal guide for the day
  • Africa’s most experienced river crew – Fully trained guides and safety kayakers there to look after you on the river
  • Travel alongside the rafting trip
  • Includes breakfast, snack lunch & buffet dinner
  • Open bar at the river takeout
  • Complimentary use of the Kampala – Jinja shuttle bus (bookings essential)
  • 160 USD per person

Whether you have done rafting before and looking for something different or just looking for an adrenaline-fuelled way to be on the river, tandem kayaking is sure to give you some great stories and an unforgettable view of the Nile.

Kayak the Nile Tripadvisor

“Had such an amazing time Kayaking the rapids. I was in a tandem Kayak with an amazing guide named Hassan. He had me laughing the whole time and kept me safe! Probably one of the best trips down the river I have had, mostly because of Hassan!.”

Danielle C, Via TripAdvisor
Lethbridge, Canada

Who is this for?
  • Those looking for the greatest, single day, whitewater experience on the river
  • People who have prior boat experience (sea kayak, canoe, kayak) but don’t have time to come on our whitewater instructional courses

We take your safety very seriously and make sure that we only send highly trained guides with the best support out on the river with you. You will receive two instructional briefings. The first at the backpackers which will give you a good idea of how the day will work.

The second is your safety briefing. Done by the side of the river the trip leader will talk you through everything that you need to know so that you are safe on the river. Once complete, you will meet your guide and take your boat out onto the flat water to learn a bit about your craft, what to do if it flips and how to get out if you need to.

Throughout your time on the river you will be in the company of your guide and safety kayakers.


After booking, you should arrive and check in at the Nile River Explorers backpackers in Jinja at 09:00.

Those taking advantage of the free Kampala – Jinja shuttle bus must book with us first otherwise the driver may refuse you travel (the bus may have a lot of other pickups with people who have booked) or leave without you. Shuttle pickups are:

If you want to use the Kampala shuttle bus please mention which departure point you would like to be collected from. A phone number we can talk to you on incase you’re not at the pickup (maybe stuck in traffic) really helps us too.

If you are staying at the Explorers campsite in Bujagali, there is a free shuttle service to and from town which leaves the campsite at 08:45 and returns once the rafting trip has got back to Jinja.

Find out about our combo deals here

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