Discover the Nile

Give yourself the best start to a Nile paddling holiday.

$515 per person

For experienced kayakers. Discover the Nile is a three day intensive course on the Nile.

You will go from knowing nothing about the river (except hopefully, that it is big volume and great fun) to having run the two main sections, been shown down the lines of all the regular rapids on the rafting section, explored many of the side waves and holes that other paddlers miss, learnt the theory of how to use the rope at Nile Special, have some local knowledge of gauges to use for the river level, know tips and tricks about the big waves and have learnt good technique for both Nile Special and Club wave.

Discover the Nile is most useful as the first three days of your trip. We care that you make the most of your time out here on our home river so we aim to set you up with as much knowledge as we can. We want you to experience the best the Nile has to give.

Typically when paddlers arrive in Bujagali they take a couple of days to get themselves orientated and on the water. We prefer to not let any of your time go to waste and the day after your flight we organise transport and take you and your guide to the first rapids, these are perfect rapids to start to get the feel of what the Nile is all about.

Big boils, eddies that actively flow upstream and the classic pool-drop style of the Nile, you will soon be getting familiar with the sometimes counterintuitive way in which this river works. The first day includes two of the main rapids, Overtime and Bubugo Falls, one being the rockiest rapid we have on the Nile and the other a great introduction to the big crashing waves that form all along this river.

Finishing at Super Hole – the Nile’s play-hole/wave – we will spend some time playing on this fun feature, finishing the day with a cold drink overlooking the river you just arrived at.

Day two is when we get onto the rapids that the Nile is most famous for. Limbered up, the second day starts with a short drive back to Bubugo and Superhole. From here we will run the rest of the river. On this day, it pays to pay attention and remember the channels that we show you. Visiting Kalagala or Itanda Falls to scout them out (day two on the river is a bit early for either of these rapids) and then carrying on through Vengeance and Hair of the Dog.

The Wrong Channel

Taking the wrong channel here can be highly consequential. The aim of having this short course at the start of your trip is to keep paddlers safe and help them make the most their visit.

All of the extremely difficult and dangerous rapids are easily avoidable with the knowledge of which channel they are.

We hate to feel like we are scaremongers but equally it makes our guts churn when we hear about someone who didn’t know the river thinking they had the right channel or line and didn’t. Whether you choose to join us or not, please, just don’t guess.

The most famous of these rapids are; Kalagala Falls, Itanda Falls, Hypoxia and The Dead Dutchman.

Down the river you will be shown some of the features (including some big waves) that others don’t really know about and paddle straight past. We’ll also talk about some of the alternative lines down the rapids that you can try later on in your trip.

The last rapid on the main section is the famous Nile Special. We will run the rapid and if we have time, and still enough energy, surf Nile Special wave. Finishing up, we pull up onto the beach at the boater’s paradise of the Hairy Lemon island to again have a cold drink after another day on the river.

On day three our focus shifts to the waves, and it’s from your new island home that the two main waves are accessible. After breakfast you will head out to Club wave. Depending on where you’re at, we will either talk through some of the tricks to getting a stable surf on Club or get you started with some specific techniques for getting more advanced tricks.

As the river changes with the amount of water being released from the dams upstream, this gives us the chance to go back to the island have some lunch, talk about the river and seek out some of the rocks and gauges on the island that we use to know what shape the waves are in before paddling to them.

That afternoon, if you are ready for it, our focus will be on Nile Special and the rope;


Dr_jessie_stone_on_the_nile_Special_tow_ropeNile Special is one of the main attractions on the Nile. A 14ft standing wave with eddy service that comes in most afternoons. Tricks go huge and just surfing this wave is an experience all by itself.

Getting on to the wave at it’s prime levels however requires the use of a tow rope. A fast eddy line and turbulent eddy don’t make an easy start to Nile boating if this is your first experience.

Now used to how the big water works, a focus point of the Discover the Nile third day is good technique for the rope, gaining an understanding of what is happening in that eddy and the mechanics of getting your boat across to the wave. With simple pointers everything gets a lot easier and you can concentrate on what you came for, big wave surfing.

Even if you decide that you would prefer not to join us and use the trial and error method, please follow this one piece of advice:

If it feels like it’s going wrong, LET GO!

Almost every year someone injures their shoulder, or risks serious entrapment, by holding onto the rope at a point when they really shouldn’t be.

Surfing on Nile Special and enjoying the sunset across the river is an ideal finish to our three days. During this short course we aim to make sure you have as much knowledge as possible to enjoy the rest of your stay and to have shown you some of the potential that the Nile has for the rest of your trip.

Discover the Nile
  • Learn the lines & channels of the Nile
  • Fast-track your knowledge of the river and prepare yourself for the rest of your trip
  • Get local knowledge on and off the river to help you get the most out of your stay
  • Three days of guiding
  • Kayak/paddle or soft kit rental included if required
  • Includes all shuttles and transport to and from the river during your three days
  • Includes lunches for each day we are on the river
  • Includes dormitory accommodation for three nights
  • Includes airport pick up at Entebbe Airport
  • Advice prior to trip on the climate, equipment needed and general travel advice if desired
  • $515 per person ($635 one to one)

Prices based on a minimum number of two people, please enquire for one to one rates.

or read more below

Kayak the Nile Tripadvisor

“My friend and I have been paddling for several years but we decided to book the Discover the Nile kayaking package as a way of getting introduced to the river. We are happy to have had local guides show us the ropes (literally in the case of the Nile Special wave). After three days with guides, we felt much more confident about all the lines, logistics of getting to and from the river and how to use the rope at Nile Special. The guides are very knowledgeable and friendly, and the coaching was especially helpful for kayakers with less big-water experience. Thanks again.”

Edward w, via TripAdvisor
October 2013

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