There is something remarkably cool about kayakers. With minimal motion, they command the waters and choose the direction of their flow. Like a negotiation with nature in which they have the upper hand. I’ve always wanted to look that cool, so I booked a kayak session on the River Nile. Turns out all you need is a cheerful spirit and a set of changing clothes.
It was a 2-hour session. We couldn’t let a Nile sunset escape us, so we opted to start off at 5 to 7 pm! The package includes a guide and a couple of cold drinks to accompany the sunset. After a few minutes of delivering instructions, I was sailing like a pro. With the sun on my face and a glow in my heart, I was showing off to whoever caught a glimpse of me!
As we glided on the water, manoeuvring rapids and fast-flowing sections, it became clear that no matter how graceful it looks, you will break a sweat. Here is why: steering is done by the person at the back who determines which path the kayak takes. That leaves me at the front with the job of propelling us in the chosen direction. Without teamwork, the kayak will spiral in meaningless motions! We made a good team and sailed like pros.
Approaching rapids frightened me, and panic set in. I became a big-time whiner, doubting Thomas and slight irritation to my partner. Nonetheless, my nagging didn’t stop them from doing a great job of steering us to safe waters. And I was a great propeller too. Thank you very much!
Drinks time started right before sunset. We made a brief stop at a well-maintained waterfront. Interestingly, it was where I earlier enjoyed my stay at the cabin of my dreams. Once we got back into the water, off we went to catch the glorious sunset. A Nile sunset has never let me down, and never will, even if the skies are grey!
The evening went better than we expected and by the time we returned to the Nile River Explorers camp in Jinja, part of the crew was high on adrenaline and took a dive on the slide I am still too terrified to try. They might have been a little too excited and took the car keys along with them. We would have been stuck for the night if not for the mechanic’s magic. On the bright side, that earned us a few more hours of serenity by the Nile and toasting to the day well spent!