Our Wayfaring Kayaker, Claire O’Hara Dispatches From Uganda

It’s hard to believe that it’s late February already. After a lovely New Year celebration with my family in London it was time to jump on a plane and head to warmer climates to start training, back out on the water.

If you ask any freestyle paddler across the world where the best warm weather winter training venue is they will inevitably say the White Nile in Uganda and that is where I’m heading (for the 3rd winter) to train.

Uganda is situated in the middle of Africa just above Lake Victoria. This beautiful yet very poor country is home to the source of the White Nile and some of the best whitewater and freestyle kayaking waves in the world (Nile Special and Club Wave).

We arrived on the 2nd January and have spent the last two and a half weeks weeks living at Hairy Lemon, a lovely campsite and paddling resort on an Island in the middle of the White Nile.

Life out here is very simple. Every morning we get up and go paddling, come back and eat breakfast, chill out and do a work out, eat lunch, chill out and do some stretching, go paddling, eat dinner and then go to bed.

Most days we surf Club Wave in the morning when the river is low and tow onto Nile Special in the afternoon when levels are higher. The waves are incredible but busy as there are a lot of paddlers out here from all over the world.

Every few days to mix it up we head upstream to surf a sweet little hole called ‘Super Hole’. As well as freestyle there is also a number of big volume rapids you can run especially on the day two rafting section of the Nile. There are also a whole mix of other adventure activities to do such as quad biking and horse riding safaris, zip lines, bungee jumps and rafting and the local towns, villages and markets to explore.

We have just moved to the local rafting town Buagali for a few days to catch up with Internet, do some shopping and surf thew super hole but will very soon be heading back to the Hairy Lemon and settling into island life and training once more.

This is the perfect way to kick start the year with  a combination of healthy food, loads of exercise, warm water and sun.

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