Where To Go White Water Rafting In Kenya

Are you the kind of person who gets a thrill from doing terrifyingly thrilling activities? Does living on the edge make you feel alive? Do you need a daily dose of adrenaline coursing through your veins?

Then you’ll love white water rafting in Kenya, which lets you discover the country in a unique, heart-pounding way.

White water rafting has been available in Kenya for more than 20 years, on the Tana, Mathioya and Athi rivers.

The Tana River (also known as the Sagana) is the biggest in Kenya, with intense class IV and V rapids that make it an ultimate location for intrepid white water enthusiasts.

Sagana is located about an hour-and-a-half drive from Nairobi on the scenic Nairobi-Nyeri highway. It can be done as a day trip or an overnighter, depending how much time you have to spare and how many times you want to tackle the rapids.

Tana’s rapids range from class II to V, meaning the water is calm in some places and raging in others. Depending on the water level, you may have to get out at some points where it’s too low or too high, and put in further downstream.

The adventure starts with a 1.8-mile (2.8 km) stretch of easy class II and III white water, where there is plenty of opportunity to practice the paddle skills required to run the lower part of the river.

The next 3.7 miles (5.9 km) of the trip offer a relaxed setting to view the birdlife around. You can take a dip in the warm waters here if you want. The final 4.3 miles (6.9 km) of the river present the three ultimate rapids (class IV and V) with names like Captain Folly, Can of Worms and Sphincter Flexor. Rafting through these rapids will leave the adrenaline coursing through your veins like never before!

Another excellent whitewater spot is the nearby Mathioya River. Experienced paddlers love this narrow, low-volume river with five miles of continuous class IV white water. Offering the country’s most technical whitewater, the Mathioya drops 1476 feet (450 m) in 13 miles (22 km) and offers a non-stop thrill ride.

Rafting is only available on this river during the rainy seasons (mid April to mid June, or October and November). 3-4 hours of rafting accompanied by professional guides and the right equipment guarantee you a good time!

And it doesn’t end there. The bountiful Athi River combines exhilarating whitewater with stunning views of African wildlife in its natural habitat. By rafting the section of the Athi that borders Tsavo National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to view elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, baboons and hippos. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

How to do it: 

Outfitters include include Magical Kenya (part of Kenya’s official Tourism  Board), Savage Wilderness Safaris (one of Kenya’s professional whitewater rafting outfitters), and Rapids Camp.

More on whitewater rafting in Africa from AFKTravel: Rafting And Kayaking In Africa: 15 Perfect Rivers 

This article was originally published on September 12, 2014.

Want to discover the finer side of Africa? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Leave a Comment