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“Bird watching on Bujagali Lake.”
Review of Kayak the Nile

Kayak the Nile
Ranked #2 of 15 Tours in Jinja
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: From mild to wild, novice to expert, there's something for everyone at Kayak the Nile. Take a relaxing 2hr kayak cruise or go for high adrenaline with our grade 5 tandem kayak trip. Learn to white water kayak with Uganda's most experienced and qualified coaches or improve your skills on the Nile's big volume rapids that vary from grades 1 to 6! Whatever your time frame, or your ability level, there's a kayaking opportunity here for you, so you too can experience Nile's natural beauty and its wild white water rapids.
Reviewed 13 May 2013

What fun we have had! I guess my husband and I fall into the category of 'wrinklies' - (we certainly won't be seeing 50 again...) and initially I wasn't too enamoured with the idea of 'kayaking on the Nile'. However, we have now discovered the Sit on Top ‘Sunset Cruise' on Bujagali Lake with Kayak the Nile! Our guide Abbra, tailored a couple of hours late one afternoon to suit our needs (basically just exploring, and bird watching). We paddled along the shore line of the lake, around islands, past reed beds, and all on lovely warm, flat water. The gin and tonics from the cool box at sunset were an added bonus (did you realise gin is measured in ‘single’, ‘double’ and ‘Abbra’ measures?!)
We are keen birdwatchers and have spent years in Southern and Eastern Africa but never before seen such a wealth of bird life focused into such a concentrated area. Abbra was knowledgeable about the birds and Kayak the Nile provided a spotter’s guide to the most commonly seen birds on the lake: 4 types of kingfishers, jacanas, storks and several types of heron to name but a few... We hired the sit-on-tops a couple of times more on our own on subsequent days, to continue with our bird watching and photography. I recommend the friendly set-up, the location and the activity to anyone - even those who don’t know much about birds!

Thank Joan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emily W, Owner at Kayak the Nile, responded to this reviewResponded 15 May 2013

Hi Joan W - thank you for taking the time to review us. We're happy to hear how much your enjoyed your sit-on-top kayaking with Abra, I will be sure to pass your compliments on to him.

We agree about the birdlife! It is quite special here, we're glad you found our spotter's guide useful. We also have a comprehensive bird identification book in the office that all are welcome to refer to.

We're also happy to hear you were able to find a kayaking option that suited your needs. We have a range of options here from the gentle sit-on-tops cruises and rentals right through to grade 5 tandem kayaking and advanced white water coaching, so we do hope we're able to provide something for everyone.

Thanks again!

Emily Wall
Co-owner/operator

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"world class"
in 17 reviews
"white water"
in 24 reviews
"the river"
in 46 reviews
"booked days"
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"dry bags"
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"learning how"
in 3 reviews
"guide david"
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"perfect balance"
in 2 reviews
"clear instructions"
in 3 reviews
"awesome trip"
in 2 reviews
"special thanks"
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"excellent guide"
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"office staff"
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"life jackets"
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172 - 176 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 17 April 2013

it was awsome! everyone's really friendly from the outset, my instructor Julian was first rate, great kayaker, great kayak instructor and a really nice guy, they build your skills up really well and care weather or ot your picking it up and having a good time. The Nile's a great place to learn, great weather, warm water and plenty of big but safe rapids (and more gentle stuff if thats not your pace) so you can push yourself without unnecassary risk and you don't mind getting wet. Can't recommend the location or the company enough, The whole things so much more than it's money's worth, a great time and you learn a brilliant skill, go for a longer stint if you have time so you can really get your teeth stuck into kayaking.

Thank Rory B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emily W, Owner at Kayak the Nile, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2013

Thank you for the review Rory B! It's great to hear how much you enjoyed yourself. We couldn't agree with you more when you say the Nile's a great place to learn. It's voluminous rapids make for a great adrenaline rush but it's deep channels and warm temperature mean that is very safe and friendly as well!

Good luck with your future kayaking adventures!

Thanks again for your kind words,

Emily Wall
Co-owner/operator

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Reviewed 11 April 2013

I recently did a half day ‘Introduction to Whitewater’ with Kayak the Nile, with two friends – I would consider myself to be an “intermediate” paddler, but my friends were slightly less experienced on moving water. We all came away having really enjoyed the session. I only wish I had time to do it again or to take further lessons. The guide was very friendly, patient, thorough in his explanations and attentive. He took plenty of time at each stage, which allowed us to get a feel for the moving water. The session involved kayaking down an 8km stretch of the river, which included some great little rapids, just right for our level of ability, and also some flat stretches in between which allowed us to relax, enjoy and feel proud of our accomplishments! A great touch at the end was the cool box complete with cold beers!

I also went on one of the sunset cruises - a two hour guided trip on a Sit on Top kayak on the nearby lake, in the late afternoon. The guide was very friendly and helped to make the trip really interesting. He asked the group what they were particularly interested in seeing and doing and he seemed to tailor the tour to what we wanted. This is an amazing way to see birds and we were able to identify so many from a very close range - we kayaked slowly around the islands and the shoreline of the lake and the guide gave us all the time we needed to view the birds. He also pointed out other features of interest and again, out came the cool box, this time complete with gin, tonic, sodas and beers! I don’t normally get too excited about flat water paddling, but I really loved this session and went back to KTN to rent a kayak a couple of days later to discover more of the bird species on the lake.

Overall I would say that anyone who is interested in kayaking should pay a visit to the Kayak the Nile Office at the NRE Campsite – there can hardly be a better place in the world to learn or to develop your skills or to just enjoy the scenery. I found all the staff to be friendly and helpful and willing to offer advice as to what my best options would be.

Thank Kilitrekker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emily W, Owner at Kayak the Nile, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2013

Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review Kilitrekker! Your feedback is much appreciated.

We're happy to hear you and your friends enjoyed your intro to white water kayaking half day. It's good you were able reflect and feel proud of your achievements - whilst the stretch of river we use for our intro sessions is very friendly and safe, it's still a challenge for the beginner kayaker and a great adrenaline rush!

It's also good to hear about your time on the sunset cruise. As you say, you can really get up close to the birds when cruising in a quiet kayak, and there's so many to be found on Bujagali lake. We recently started documenting the birdlife here and we've already recorded 30+ different species!

Once again, thanks for the kind words,

Emily Wall
Co-owner/operator

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Reviewed 2 April 2013

Kayak the Nile were very accommodating with payment method, and arranged transport from Kampala, plus provided a night's stay (though this seems standard amongst Jinja outfitters). While most opt for rafting, I thought I'd give kayaking a go. I am a relatively fit, young guy, and despite my full effort, attention and patience, I found my instructor at times extremely impatient, even a little rude and condescending. Though there was undoubtedly a bit of a cultural disconnect (although I am familiar with the culture, having spent over a year working in Africa), ultimately my instructor seemed stubborn in his explanations, and incapable of patience -- neither of which are very effective when explaining and repeating uncomfortable, yet crucial maneuvers to first timers, maneuvers which were essentially the bulk of the course. For $140, I can't say I had a great time, though perhaps it is worth slogging through more of the course to really reap the benefits. We passed lots of people along the way, which was an interesting insight to life on the Nile. Though the cost likely reflects Kayak's high safety standards, it seemed steep for the generally subpar overall experience.

Thank TripAdvised_09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emily W, Owner at Kayak the Nile, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2013

Hi TripAdvised_09, thank you for taking the time to write about your experience.

I would like to apologise on behalf of all of us here at Kayak the Nile – I am very disappointed to hear you did not have the experience you should have. We are glad that you found us accommodating with payment and transport, but the sort of behaviour you are describing from your instructor is unacceptable and it must have been unpleasant and challenging for you.

My partner, Sam, and I took over Kayak the Nile in December 2012 and we are in the process of improving and refining a number of elements of the business including staff training. We have 28 years of kayaking and coaching experience between us, we perform and coach at the very top level and have very high standards in business and coaching. We have recently put in place a thorough instructor training program for our small team of coaches, which is ongoing. The attitude of the coach that day was out of character and unpleasant, and we will do our best to find out why, and make sure it does not happen again.

I'm also sorry that you didn’t feel like you got good value for money. The $140 you paid is a special one to one rate to allow us to operate for one person. Normally, we would use the standard rate of $115 for anyone going out on a trip of two people or more, which offers better value. The special rate is the only way we can operate for one person and still cover all the costs (transport, instructors wage, top level equipment, etc) but it does allow flexibility and individual attention.

Quality of service and client satisfaction are both very important to us and it makes us sad to have someone pass through our business and feel that the service overall was only average. We strive for much better than that and hope we can use your feedback to perform better as a team in the future.

We hope you accept our apologies and thanks for your review.

Emily Wall
Co-owner/operator

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Reviewed 30 March 2013

These guys are really cool!

I decided that I wanted a laid back couple of hours paddling on the Nile and these guys were happy to oblige!

The guide was incredible! He fitted the paddling around us and was incredibly knowledgeable! In my opinion he asked the most important question which was, how much experience do you have? Very good! We stopped off on an island and he showed us the local crops and explained the local geology!

This company is very safe with modern 'western' style equipment. I felt and clearly was in good hands!

These guys are the people to paddle the Nile with! I would highly recommend!

Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Emily W, Owner at Kayak the Nile, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2013

Hi Mark - thanks very much for your review and recommendation!

We're happy to hear your enjoyed your sit-on-top kayak tour so much, I will pass your compliments on your guide, Abra.

Thanks again,

Emily Wall
Co-owner/operator

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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