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Where NOT to swim in the River Nile

Where NOT to swim in the River Nile

If you’re planning to go swimming in Uganda or white water rafting, kayaking or canoeing, don’t worry, the River Nile near Jinja is mostly fast flowing so there’s little chance that you will catch Bilharzia, although it’s not impossible.

The Bilharzia (snail) larvae breed in the shallow waters of the reed beds. Just to be on the safe side, if you plan on swimming in Uganda, first read my page on How to avoid Bilharzia.

Muzungu swimmming in the River Nile, Jinja, Uganda

Swimming in Uganda. Oh, the life of a volunteer TRA LA! Taking a dip below The Haven, River Nile, Jinja.

I’ve been Grade 5 White Water rafting three times in Uganda. Adrenalin rushes aside, I found that gently floating along next to our raft between the rapids is one of the best things I have ever done. I felt completely safe.

The dams at Owen Falls and Bujagali are very effective barriers to the rare crocodiles that you find on the Jinja shores of Lake Victoria. Any renegade crocs are quickly picked up by the Uganda Wildlife Authority so there’s nothing to worry about if you’re messing around on the river.

There are hippos and a few crocodiles on Lake Victoria itself (above the Owen Falls dam), so I’d give the midnight swims a miss until you’ve checked with local people whether any have been seen in the vicinity!

Swimming in Uganda – or in the River Nile at Murchison Falls National Park to be precise – is an altogether different matter: do not under any circumstance consider dipping even a toe in the river. As well as having very strong currents, here the River Nile is a fantastic mass of man-eating crocs and hippo!

Swimming in Uganda. Hippo chasing at man at Paraa, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Did you know….? The hippo is Africa’s most dangerous mammal. Hippo chasing man at Paraa, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

Some of the wildlife highlights of the River Nile in Murchison Falls are the pods of Hippo, and the huge Nile Crocodiles – you have been warned!

Do you enjoy swimming in Uganda? Have you swum in the River Nile?

Do you have any other Uganda travel tips or expat travel advice you’d like to share?

Please leave a comment here or check out the Diary of a Muzungu Guest Post page for more information, I’d love to hear from you!