May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

The Trip-Finder, January 1999
Rafting the Victoria Nile
Outfitters Price Accommodations
Bio Bio Expeditions
800-246-7238, www.bbx
$1,615 camping, rustic lodging
Rove African Safaris
011-27-11-453-2790, rapid
$2,050 camping, rustic lodging

The Route: A two-week, 65-mile expedition down the Class IV and V rapids of one of the world's most romanticized rivers. You'll raft from Lake Victoria to the thundering basalt fissure of Murchison Falls.

When to go: June-July, December-February

Difficulty: Difficult

Travel advisory: Start practicing your breath-holding skills. Most rafters swim an average of 1.8 times on the first day alone, and the huge hydraulics — 150,000 to 200,000 cubic feet per second — can hold you underwater for as long as 30 seconds.

High/low points:

  • Seeing firsthand the source of the Nile, the grail that eluded great explorers such as David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley.
  • Lugging your rafts and gear along a narrow, tunnel-like hippo trail on the brutal two-day portage around Annihilator rapid.

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