Another Jewel In Uganda’s Crown

February 18, 2011

Wildwaters, Jinja, Uganda, Journeys Discovering AfricaHaving twice been to the newly opened Wildwaters Lodge this year, I can say without reservation that it is a triumph. Its location midstream of the Nile at Kalagala Falls is a novelty, and the constant rush water past you lends a surreal air to the place. At certain times, it’s almost as if the water is stationery, and the lodge itself is moving inexorably upstream, powered by a gargantuan propeller.

As you leave leave for or return from the day’s activities (most of which are centered at Adrift River Base about 45 minutes drive away) you board a small oar-powered canoe to get between the lodge and the mainland. Nervous giggles break out on each traverse as the occupants eye the raging drop-off a few metres away, realising that their lives are in the hands of the two gentlemen who paddle aft and forward. They inevitably steer the craft to safety without incident, but not for nothing do the lodge management insist on life jackets at all times.

The Nile splits into three channels just upstream of the lodge, flows past and rejoins Waildwater Lodge, Jinja, Uganda, Journeys Discovering Africadownstream. Not for me the mud puddles that masquerade as rivers elsewhere in Africa, this is the real deal: deep, wide, fast, clear and oh so powerful. It is mersmerising, akin to staring into a campfire.  All conversation ceases, and drink in hand, it is easy to entertain the notion that a stay here provides a mental detox of sorts, the river washing your cares away.

The roar of the water is incessant, a white noise through all hours of the day, and you either get used to it and blot it out, or it starts to get to you by the end of two days. Conversation can be difficult, especially in the rooms that line the middle channel, so most communication tends to be economical. Sleep too, can be a problem for some, and for them there are three quieter rooms on the opposite side of the island.

The large canvas-paneled rooms are very comfortable. Wood-deck floors open out onto balconies offering stunning river views, each room with its own inviting claw-foot bath. A rock shower and basin at the back of the room, and simple but elegant furniture completes the seemingly effortless ambiance.

Even if you are not interested in the wild and woolly activities on offer upstream (white water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boat rides and quad biking), Wildwaters is an ideal stop for anyone planning their honeymoon, or for those looking for a couple of “off days” at the end of their Uganda or Rwanda safari – it’s well worth a look.

Patrick Shah

Posted by Patrick Shah

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