We heard the sound of water hitting the rocks long before we reached the rapids. Upon arrival, the sight was mesmerizing as the water bubbled up and down, forming the popular white rapids.
There was an irresistible urge to approach the middle of the River Nile at Jindza, where she swings what looks like her articulating arms, then calmly flows, gains momentum, and plunges into a straight fall almost with force.
We were on a white water rafting expedition and our eyes only prepared us for what was to come; our boat pushes us into the rapids, capsizes and gives us a dose of adrenaline.
Rafting is a sweet adrenaline rush. This is one of the many adventure tourism options in Uganda. Ziplining in the Mabira Central Forest Reserve over the Griffin Falls in Lugazi is a much-deserved therapy as you climb to the tops of the trees and float smoothly through the air from one tree to another, supported by a strong metal wire led by guides.
If heights are not for you, walking through rainforests and woodlands is a pure connection with nature; to the singing of birds, playful monkeys jump from one tree branch to another, frogs croak in their swampy homes and much more.
Climbers understand the language of scaling height in rough terrain. Adventurous Paul Lumala says a hooded walk before you can stretch your eyes and legs to tackle hills near and far is a good start.
One option to go hiking and see wildlife is in the Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks, home to mountain gorillas.
The adventure niche offers options that go beyond the wilderness. You can dine in the woods under the stars on a Saturday night at the Bush Baby Lodge in Mukono, where regulars sit, eat and tell stories by moonlight.
While you enjoy the culinary delights, keep an eye out for the calls or calls of night owls, bushes, nocturnal birds and animals that the guide will identify and track with you. If you love taking pictures of birds, Yellow Haven Lodge, located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Ggabe across Bangu, is the place to be.
Another adventurous option is camping in the countryside or at an urban campsite or on the coastline on the islands of Ssese, Buvuma or Kume, where several species of birds live on Lake Victoria, and you can also watch fishermen in search of the day’s catch.
Adventure tourism packages range from mild to nature to challenging adventure activities that can attract more people and reduce the burden on conventional wildlife tourism attractions.
Marketing adventure tourism
Tourism and travel stakeholders are aware of the opportunities, and at the first edition of Adventure Tourism Uganda’s Adventure Tourism Exhibition, they discussed opportunities, how to market and promote them, and what needs to be done to standardize them.
Denis Ntege, director of Raft Uganda, notes that…