RAFTING: Journalists 'enjoy' the water rafting

Our journey began at 9am, on December 17, when we set off from MultiChoice Uganda head offices in Kololo, Kampala.

We were headed to Jinja for the MultiChoice Uganda end year media party and it took close to two hours to come to the end of a 100km long journey.

Without wasting time, we were treated to snacks at the Rafting starting point before guides took us through the safety gears; a helmet and life jacket.

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The group of journalists shortly before embarking on the fete

It wasn’t long before majority of us; over 30 were dressed in these. Some who were afraid of hitting the waters remained behind. Here, we were led down the river where rafting boats were waiting.

Majority of us were getting on water for the first but we somehow shook off our fears and got onto the boats – with each boat carrying a maximum of 7 people including an instructor on each.

Our guide, Juma or Big J like he preferred being called, assured us we were safe on water as long as we respected his instructions. He put us through the paces, teaching us how to stroke, how to hold on and how to get back in the raft if we got tossed out, which actually took a lot of strength and always ended in a thoroughly undignified wiggle.

When the boat was about 1km from the banks, he ordered us to jump off the boat. Almost none of us wanted to leave the boat! We were all scared but using his experience, he flipped the boat, dropping all us in water. It was quite scary as we all fought for our dear lives – to get back on the boat, where only he had remained.

Fighting in vain for help, we yelled for help and were helped back onto the boat. Scary as it was, it was fun! At least we had learnt a thing or two – with a life jacket on, you can’t drown otherwise many of us would have since we didn’t know how to swim.

Finally we embarked on 15Km long journey of rafting. My advice, if you’re ever going to do this, is to choose wisely. Because the next thing I knew, I was upside down in an infuriated patch of the Nile River, a ceiling of white water above me, all those tranquil birds and flowers along the banks a violently disappeared memory and we were all cheering!

And that was just Round 1. Unlike our colleagues, our rubber raft never flipped at all contrary to the others who flipped countless times. We went flying off waterfalls. We got twisted around rocks.

The whole experience was like riding a bouncy castle through a tsunami as we went through several rapids for over two hours. The scariest rapid was aptly the second last, to me.

It was basically a roaring rapid on one side of the river, with the other side flat water, so you could run the rapid, bounce over the white water and then claw across the river and paddle back up and do it again. And again. And again.

We did this at least 3 times, with Juma effortlessly steering the raft into the rapid’s sweet spot, where we just stayed, getting battered by thrashing water, not really moving as Juma struggled to flip the boat.

Towards the end of the course, Juma allowed us to jump into the water and take a swim. We had got over our fears already and we swam competing against ourselves.

It was the perfect way to end the trip. We climbed back to the banks, exhausted, shoulders sore and feet raw.

It’s here where we met the cowards among who included Daily Monitor’s Mark Namanya and Capital Radio’s Sam Ayo who stayed behind.

We had lunch then embarked on a journey to the Bungee Jumping point; it took us about 30minutes to get there.

Being December, we found quite a number of people at the place – who were supposedly on their holiday.

The 40-meter high Bungee-Jumping that scared the author out of his wits.

However, my heart was too weak to consider jumping from over 40 meters high into the river, and I kept a distance as I watched other scream mid-air as they jumped. Here, we were treated to all kinds of drinks and eats before being addressed by MultiChoice Uganda spokesperson, Tina Wamala.

MultiChoice Uganda PRO Tina Wamala has a word with members of the group

She revealed that 2016 had indeed been a good year for Multichoice as more channels were added onto its franchise and even at a reduced subscription fee. Most importantly, MultiChoice had maintained its spot as the number one digital TV provider. She promised MultiChoice customers to expect so much more in 2017.

The party was sealed off with an energetic performance from the duo of Peter Miles and Menshan. What a performance it was!

Sadly, we had to leave all this fun behind as we finally embarked on a journey back to Kampala at10:30pm. Though, the fun I had that day will always have a space in my memory!


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