In summer 2002, I joined the rest of my gap year group in Uganda for a day of white water rafting down some of the best rapids in the world. There were 11 sets of rapids starting at the soon-to-be-flooded source of the Nile, Bujagali Falls. Four of the rapids were grade five (the biggest you can safely raft!). The last rapid, ‘The Bad Place’ apparently verges on a grade 6. A full day with lunch is US$75 with Equator Rafts, but you’d best be quick as a dam is being built and the serene Bujagali stretch will soon be lost forever.
I rafted again a year later in India on the River Beas (bottom row of photos). The Himalayas formed a gorgeous backdrop, and although the rapids weren’t as fierce (4 being the highest), it was still great fun. A morning of rafting from Manali with Himalayan Journeys was under £20.
In 2006 I went rafting down a stretch of rapids near Chiang Mai in Thailand (video below). A half-day on up to grade 4 rapids, mountain biking in the jungle and an elephant ride at a sanctuary totalled about £30.