What do freestyle kayaking and rafting have in common?

All aboard the Big Air Ramp

For one thing, they now have a common festival to celebrate the joys of big white water. Since 2002 the Nile River Festival has showcased the Nile’s amazing rapids, Uganda’s friendly peoples and been home to some of the world’s best freestyle kayakers. From 2019, the Nile River Festival will also provide an opportunity for raft racers and raft enthusiasts to take part in the action.

Over the last 10 years, the White Nile (Lake Victoria down to the confluence with the Blue Nile) has seen the construction of two dams which has devastated much of the local microcosm of natural flora and fauna and drastically changed the lives of thousands of inhabitants, many of whom used to make their livings from the land which is now under the man-made lakes.

The filling of the most recent, Isimba Dam, is still in process but has already seen the flooding of some of the most favoured rapids of the White Nile for freestyle kayaking. Rather than dwell on what has been, this year’s Nile River Festival aims to showcase to the world the immensity and intensity that the Nile River still has to offer.

With this in mind, this year’s Nile River Festival is incorporating a Raft Freestyle event running alongside a freestyle kayak event. The event will see kayaks and rafts take on some of the biggest and best rapids with challenges thrown in to impress the judges! The judges are each and every competitor! You can’t get more fair than that.

Judging will be done on the big screen at the Saturday night party.
Kayakers will have the opportunity to surf: Dutch Courage, Bubugo (downriver), Real Deal hole, Real Deal Wave, Superhole, Cuban, Itanda hole and Vengeance. Their best move from each feature will make their own personal edit which is their competition entry!
The rafters who are either experienced guides, or anyone game to get involved (with an experienced guide in the back) will hit Overtime, Retrospect, Bubugo, Superhole, Bad Place and Vengeance.
Creativity, putting on a show, and generally being epic is the name of the game regardless of your craft!

And if kayaking and rafting aren’t really your bag, there’s going to be live music, jelly wrestling, a big air ramp to contend with Red Bull’s Flugtag, and the standard Ugandan hospitality always served with a smile.
With over 100 competitors expected and close to a thousand officials and spectators, 2019 is set to be a big celebration of the River Nile.

For full details, check out the event website:

#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #FreestyleIsAwesome #Nile #Uganda