Rafting for a superb cause | What a weekend!
I was one of the 5-strong team from African Quest Safaris at the annual White Water Rafting expedition. This event took place in Sagana and was organized by the Faraja Cancer Support Organisation. Steve, my colleague who also happens to our accountant and I drove up from Mombasa to Nairobi on Friday. We enjoyed a night at the lovely Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel. On Saturday we met up with our other colleagues from our Nairobi office Jared, Kim, and Ali and drove North to Sagana, a small town in the central highlands of Kenya situated just 95 km from Nairobi, less than 2-hour drive from the city.
As a complete novice to this sport, I had butterflies from both fear and excitement. My colleagues, all guys and also novices, were like “itakuwa poa” (means it’s going to be cool/fun, as in don’t worry). So that was a little reassuring.
The white-water rafting took place on a 12km stretch of the Tana River with up to class V rapids making it perfect for first-time rafters as well as a tester professional. The guides took safety precaution very seriously ensuring everybody had the right information and safety equipment. A guide accompanied each team taking part in the rafting. To finish the line-up was a number of kayakers ahead, in the middle and the back for emergencies as well as to keep scores. The organizers had arranged for a professional photographer to capture the euphoria.
heart pumping adrenaline levels
Talk of Adrenaline levels; the thrill of rowing through the raging rapids with intervals of tranquil waters was absolute. The organizers put up obstacles such as gates along the way that we had to go through without touching the sides or falling off the raft to make it more exciting. In the last 2 km stretch, all 11 teams lined up for a final show of power. on hearing the whistle, off we went paddling like crazy and voila! Our team emerged number two at the end of the race!
We were finally on firm ground 4 hours on, a little wobbly knee, but so content from our adventure. A sumptuous BBQ lunch prepared in the Kenyan style awaited us whilst the live band added to a vibrant ambiance.
Wearing our ‘bushman’s’ hats, we took the opportunity to look around the other facilities at Savage Wilderness Sagana. For non-rafters, they have alternative activities on offer; from zip lining, rock climbing, bungee jumping, mountain biking to guided nature walks.
Shortly after, alas, we had to bid “kwaheri” to our new friends and head back to the city. I told all my colleagues, that this is one thing they must do and I would encourage anyone visiting Kenya to also enjoy these amazing diverse activities that can be blended with a wildlife safari.