Kenya’s Tana River is murky with hot-chocolate colored waters, and at the time of the year I visited the water was low but that didn’t stop me from enjoying a spot of white water rafting.

©Samuel Mwaturi

©Samuel Mwaturi

After the safety drills presented by Thomas, our guide, we hit the water and paddled according to his instructions, accompanied by the safety of guided kayaks.

 

Our first big rapid was ‘Captain’s Folly’. We followed Thomas’ instructions and easily cleared it. Next up was ‘Fish-Eye’.

©Samuel Mwaturi

“Since we’re the only boat on the river today,” Thomas said, “we can stop here and surf.”

Surf? I perked up. The word took me back to the last time I had ridden a wave on the shores of Dias Beach in the small town of Mossel Bay, South Africa. But I wasn’t really sure what Thomas meant as we hadn’t packed any surfboards.

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

We spent the next half hour surfing the rapid. Each time we got tossed out, sucked under and spat out. On the third attempt the boat went up on its rail and I fell in, getting sucked under.

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

Thinking I’d be spat out instantly, I became a little concerned when I realized that the surge of water was holding me down. I opened my eyes and could only see darkness. I began to think that this was it. My life and adventures would end in the brown waters of the Tana River.

Finally I popped up, sucking in a lungful of air and river water.

“Are you okay?” Thomas asked me.

“I’m fine,” I coughed up some brown water. “Let’s go again.”

I was only under for less than 10 seconds but it felt like a lifetime.

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

After the fifth attempt at surfing, we continued to paddle downriver, twisting into ‘The Gorge’ and going around the 28 foot ‘Mission’s Falls’ through ‘St Joseph’s’ before stopping by the ‘Devil’s Water Bowl’, where we hopped out of the raft and slid down the rock into the toilet-like whirlpool.

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

©Samuel Mwaturi

 

 

From here it was a calm paddle back to camp.

Although the rapids weren’t as big as rafting on the Zambezi, the Tana River is a much more technical challenge.

©Samuel Mwaturi

And now I have a renewed appreciation of life….

Getting to Savage Wilderness

Directions to Sagana

From Nairobi, drive along the Thika Road (A2 – super highway) for 95km.

Drive past Thika and Makutano (Muranga junction) and cross over the Sagana/Tana River bridge.

Drive past the Embu/Meru junction and towards Sagana/Nyeri.

We are 6km from the Embu/Meru junction towards Sagana, and clearly signposted on either side of the road.

Turn left at the signs and drive straight down the dirt road for 1.5km until you get to the camp.

 

 

 

Many thanks to Psyman from The Nomadic Diaries for this wonderful contribution! Be sure to stop by The Nomadic Diaries Facebook page.

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1 Comment

  1. December 13, 2018 at 5:55 am — Reply

    What an amazing adventure!!

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