12,000 – The approximate number of adrenaline junkies who visited Sagana Rapids Camp, Kenya in the past year.
300-the average number of guests per week that go to Sagana for water sports, canoeing and team building activities.
As if these number aren’t impressive enough, Rapids Camp Sagana boasts of hosting the first ever Olympics Qualifiers organized by International Canoeing Federation twice for the 2008 Beijing and 2015 Rio Olympics that saw twenty one and sixteen countries participate respectively.
These amongst many other achievements, the latest one being the 2018 Winner in the category; Best water sports experience provider as voted in London,at the Lux Tourism Awards, without a doubt continued to put Rapids Camp Sagana in the global map.
[bctt tweet=”These amongst many other achievements, the latest one being the 2018 Winner of Lux Tourism Awards in the category Best water sports experience provider as voted in London, without a doubt continued to put Rapids Camp Sagana in the global map..” username=”@bonitaonsafari”]
Having received lots of recommendations from friends and trip advisor, I couldn’t wait for a chance to check out Rapids Camp and understand the hype. Their website had so many activities and I guess at some point I decided to just indulge in all I could for the time I was there or better yet until when fatigue kicked in.
As we know,the modern traveler is more attracted to activities; and the fact that Rapids Camp offers a lot more in terms of activities, easily makes it stand out as a top destination for travellers and adrenaline lovers.
[bctt tweet=”the modern traveler is more attracted to activities; and the fact that Rapids Camp offers a lot more in terms of activities, easily makes it stand out as a top destination for travellers and adrenaline lovers.” username=”@bonitaonsafari”]
So out of curiosity, I set out on a random weekend to find out if Rapids Camp truly offers all the activities they said they do and just to see if it lives up to the hype, and while at it enjoy myself
Getting to Rapids Camp
It is located on the Nairobi Nyeri highway and if you are traveling by public means, from Nairobi, transport to and fro will be anything between Kshs.600.00-Kshs 800.00.
If you are not conversant with that route you can use google maps or ask the driver to let you know when you get to Rapids Camp, it is roughly about two hours from Nairobi.
From the highway, it is practically a five minute walk to the main gate on the same left side of the road.
The entrance to the Camp was very unrevealing of the activities that go on at the at Camp, but once you walk all the way to a wooden bridge that lied just above the water falls, a sudden gush of excitement and energy takes over just at the sound of the water below. It was amazing how the white waters sped between the rocky river bed and rolled sharply on the numerous cliffs along its way.
This, without a doubt was where I needed to be that weekend.
To get to the reception, you had to cross the most violent part of the river using inflatable rafts. For a first timer, this can be a bit nerve wrecking especially when the water volumes are high and the currents are strong. Every paddle toward the opposite side leaves you clinging onto dear life.
The reception and camping grounds were so different from the entrance area and one would be forgiven to think that they were two different places. The area was surrounded by huge rocks forming some sort of a fortress and the green, healthy,nicely cut grass further made the place ideal for camping. Tented camps and benches were dotted at the peripheries of the inviting grounds. There was a building on the side that housed a lobby, a conference room, the kitchen, and a storage area for the water sport equipment.
The back side of the building had bathrooms that overlooked a forest.
It was extremely easy to fall in love with the place.
[bctt tweet=”One other thing that stood out for me was how organized the place was. At the time of visit there were roughly three to four teams each made up of about fifteen people but the coordination was impressive.” username=”@bonitaonsafari”]
I cannot conclusively mention all the activities at Rapids Camp, there is so much do and surprisingly so, by the time I was trying to catch my breath after a full day of activities, the team coordinator announced everything we did was just a tip of the iceberg! How now?
Activities range from water sports to others like zip lining, rock climbing via ferrata, abseiling and moon walking amongst others. These activities are further tailor made into programs and packages that can go for anything between half a day to upto three days. I bet that is the reason why Rapids Camp Sagana is known as one of the leading corporate team building destination in the country.
During my short visit these were some of the most common activities that I took part in and also enjoyed spectating from a distance because of fear…for more activities and bookings, get in touch with them. I will put their contacts at the end of this post.
- White water Rafting.
This is by far the is the most common water sport at Rapids Camp. It is basically paddling downstream in a raft. The raft has ropes attached to it for rafters to hold on to when they get to points along the river with sharp descents and obstacles. The screams and shouts as unexpected turns pop up around corners made the experience hilarious. I proud moment sweeps the air after a team of rafters make it all the way to still parts of the river. The traditional gesture of lifting their paddles with pride and satisfaction then follows as they break into a songs of victory.
I must say plunging is not for the faint hearted. I can’t even pretend that I gave it a thought. Participants go up a cliff and then voluntarily throw themselves about 36ft below into the river right at the foot of the rapid. How insane is that!? I watched at a distance as guys chickened out.Some went back behind the last person,others pulled off funny theatrics like saying their last prayers, flexing, panic laughing but eventually garnering enough courage to jump off. After the plunge, one is expected to stay calm and wait for buoyancy to bring them back to the surface of the water from which they swim at a fair distance to join other plungers and life guards.
- Water Gliding at Angel’s bowl
This, in my opinion was the easiest and best challenge. It was as easy as lying on your back and letting yourself slide down a smooth rock into winding waters. When you get to the eye of the winding waters, a quick clockwise motion in the direction of the water whirl turns you around to making a quick complete 360 degrees then pushes you to the flowing river where you are expected to swim and find your way out of the river. If you can’t swim don’t stress much, lifeguards are always on standby to throw a rope that you helps you back to safer grounds. How cool is that?
- Waterfall Challenge
The thrill in this challenge was to try and raft behind the furious waterfall. None of the teams could go past the foot of the violent rapid. The force that came with the water as it fell and splashed was almost impossible to allow any raft no matter how coordinated the team was to go past the splashes. The fun of it all was in the trying to go behind the rapid, which almost impossible. However, during the dry seasons when water volumes go down, it is reportedly doable.
It was so much fun seeing determined teams failing miserably in their quest to win the challenge.
- River Surfing
This was a more chilled activity that entailed a smooth surf on the calmer parts of the river. I would recommend river surfing to the less adventurous types who want to just surf and enjoy the lovely scenery of the place.
- Zip lining
Like I mentioned at the beginning, there are so many activities at Rapids, both on water, air (haha) and land. At a glance, the zip line looks underwhelming but only for a moment. The speed at which one moves above the gushing waters and almost dives into the forest ahead will leave you yelling your lungs out. Upon hitting the barriers at the end of the zip line, the same force returns you back to the middle of the zip line, then because of your weight, you will then go back the finish spot again , but only slower the second time. All this happens within such a short time!
This and many other sports are waiting for you book your spot. Make a point of going to rapids camp Sagana with your squad and share moments you’ll never forget.
- White water Kayaking.
This was a bit different from rafting. The one-man kayaks at Rapids Camp encapsulates you inside a pod as you paddle down the violent river. For some reason, I felt like the kayaks were a bit ‘safer’ than the rafts,but strangely it was so difficult to stay put inside the pod! I saw someone practically ‘standing’ at a right angle while battling to stay afloat.
Please note that they also allow walk-ins…It is advisable that plan for either 9:00am and 2:00pm sessions.
Get in touch with them via…
Mobile: +254 732 308 026
Photo Contributor: Joseck Irungu.