Jinja naturally has a slow, relaxing pace, and the Ugandan people are warm and friendly. We arrived in Jinja sleep deprived and blurry eyed after traveling on an overnight bus from Nairobi. The night bus often felt like we were off-roading down the dirt highways through Western Kenya, bouncing high in our seats as the driver swerved to avoid large dirt mounds left in the middle of the road. Once we arrived in Jinja, we traveled via boda boda (motorbike) down a long, dusty road to arrive at our campground. Even though we were covered in red dust, it was a great way to see village life.
The Explorers campground has an amazing deck overlooking the Nile, which was the perfect reprieve from the chaos of Nairobi. We made friends with an enterprising young man, Safa, with a chapatti stall outside of our campground. The Uganda’s version of breakfast tacos would make an amazing food truck—chapattis with various yummy fillings like Nutella/ banana and egg avocado. A delicious breakfast for $1.21 USD.
The highlight of the trip was rafting the class 3, 4 and 5 rapids on the Nile. It was awesome! It proved to be exponentially more thrilling than the Rio Grande in Taos, New Mexico, and I can officially cross rafting off my bucket list. Our guide promised that the last rapid, number 8, would be the craziest. He was right. He intentionally had us sit further back in the raft to try to flip it backwards. And flipped we did, although we flipped sideways instead of backwards. I fancy myself a fairly strong swimmer, but I struggled to stay afloat while swimming in the middle of the rapids with wave after wave crashing over me as I tried to catch my breath. Thanks mom for having me take so many swim lessons when I was younger!