With the year coming close to an end, it’s time to keep a full time packed backpack ready for any adventures that may come my way. Last weekend, I chose to go searching for much more than a perfectly sun kissed skin and nothing screams adrenaline as much as rafting does. My last white water rafting experience was at The Nile in Uganda and it left me pumped up for a week plus. That could be the reason I also did the bungee jump there.
Napoleons Rafting Camp located on the banks of Sagana River, Kenya’s’ second longest river and the only spot for white water rafting made the perfect spot to stay for the weekend. The Camp itself is fairly new and is run by a young entrepreneur who is set to make rafting affordable to the average Kenya and he is doing a good job at that. With prices for full day rafting being as low as US$ 60 inclusive of transport and accommodation for 1 night is it hard to beat that price.
The campsite grounds are well manicured and one of the best shower and toilet facilities I have ever seen at a campsite. Napoleon, the director, for sure thought about the small things that count – nice airy rooms with good pressure hot showers after a day of rafting is like Christmas. The campsite is great for those who do not like roughing it as the dome tents have a proper mattress and bedding for extra comfort. This little touch goes along way. I went with a group of about 30 energetic and fun guys and we had tents spread out all around the designated bonfire area.
Upon arrival and settling into our glamping tents we had an icebreaker session followed by a briefing on staying safe while fun during the main course – white water rafting. As we were many and had 2 days to enjoy rafting I opted to be in the 1st team, to allow for time to enjoy the entire stay on an adrenaline high.
The rafting is pretty much half day where you cover 7 – 9 kilometers of the river with 2-3 rapids ranging from level 1-4.
LEVEL 1 »Moving water with small waves that tug at the boat – it’s a relaxing way to spend the day. Each of our trips have some stretches of calm class I water, creating a pleasant break between rapids.
LEVEL 2 »Easy rapids, waves up to three feet tall that are readily seen, and wide channels that can be discovered without scouting. Some maneuvering is required during this little rock and roll.
LEVEL 3 »Waves up to four feet and narrow passages that send the boat shimmying and water gushing over it’s sides. Plenty of excitement.
LEVEL 4 »Long, difficult rapids, narrow passages, turbulent water that requires precise maneuvering and sends hearts racing.
One can opt to do a full day of rafting where you cover a longer distance but with so many teams we opted to have the half day option. When our guide said, “Get you bikes, lets go rafting” I was in shock. “Are they trying to kill me?” I asked. It took a bit of convincing for them to let me skip the cycling and I rode with the crew to the starting point. If you are pumped with energy, cycling to the start point could be fun but I wanted to save all my energy for rafting.
The water in Sagana River is not the most appealing, it is brown hence changing our activity to Brown Water Rafting, we started all calm in dead silence everyone in their own thoughts of what the experience would be like. After a while going down stream we had our 1st rapid and all the fun started cheers, commands, water, rough river all of it coming together and before I had time to digest it all we were on to our second rapid. The excitement was building; the adrenaline kicking in by when we got to our final rapid it was perfect – the raft crashing the water, people falling off the raft, and the rest of the team on a rock cheering us on. Now, that was a pleasant surprise and it gave the experience a bonus. In my previous rafting expedition it was you, the raft, the raft members and the guide, then other rafts running concurrently. This time, each raft went alone and the rest waited to welcome and watch them at the final rapid. I loved it.
As we were the only team that would raft today we got to have some fun where the guide flips the raft and we all fall in, it was all great fun jumping back on the raft, just for a gush of water to throw you back out. After a while we finally swam to shore and tiredly strolled back to camp. Adrenaline still running through the veins were went back had a hot shower and we ready for the evening.
The evening planned was a BBQ dinner, bonfire and music to keep us entertained. They did provide a locally brewed drink – ‘muratina’ to all those who were interested in taking it or trying it. I never say no to new things and was quite surprised that it did not taste as bad as I had expected. It however, is not my choice of poison but for those who like it, Napoleon’s grandfather makes it and is served on the house to all patrons.
The next morning was team after team going for rafting and so I took the time to enjoy the activities offered such as cycling around the village, walking and relaxing and watching the other rafters.
I have a feeling this December will be great. No better way to start my holiday season celebrations.
Until Next Time