Bujagali Falls isn’t a traditional waterfall. It’s more like a series of Class V rapids than the traditional drop you think of when you imagine a waterfall. That being said, it’s not a place to kid around. Adrenaline junkies like us have made the source of the Nile, near Jinja, Uganda a mecca for African whitewater paddling and adrenaline seeking nut jobs.
That’s not that the locals don’t have their fun. If paddling isn’t your thing, you can take a van to the falls and pay a local to swim the rapids. Besides being incredibly dangerous, it’s not the easiest way to earn some money, but I have to hand it to them for their bravery. We chose not to boogie board the falls. No surprise there…
We went to Jinja specifically for the whitewater. Not that there weren’t plenty of other reasons to go, but we really wanted to kayak the source of the Nile. Needless to say when we arrived, we heard about a new company offering river boarding, and well, an idea was formed. Riverboarding was incredible, although I’m still a bit shocked that all three of us made it down in one piece. Unfortunately there are plans to build a dam at Bujagali Falls, which will flood everything downstream from this scenic spot.
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IF YOU GO: Jinja isn’t too far from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, you can easily take a bus or van in a few hours. We found Jinja to be more developed than we expected, but then again our expectations weren’t too high. There’s a large expat community developing in Jinja, so you’ll find your share of margaritas and western food. Bring cash, we had difficulty accessing an ATM, even Barclay’s which worked throughout the rest of the country. Don’t worry, none of the commercial rafting companies allow tourists to raft the falls!