White water rafting rivers around the world
There's nothing like shooting down a raging river on an inflatable boat that capsizes every time it hits a six foot wall of water! White water rafting on grade five rapids has got to be one of the best adrenaline activities out there. You're not strapped in, you're flung around in all directions, and when you come crashing head first in the rapids, it takes a while to figure out which way is up!
There are some truly great white water rafting rivers all over the world, and most promise to offer a wild ride for adrenaline junkies. Check out our list of some of the biggest, wildest, wettest white water rafting rivers out there.
White Nile River, Uganda
White water rafting on the White Nile in Uganda is a great option for people that want the ultimate rush and also those that are looking for a gentler route. The river is wide in parts, giving rafters the chance to choose different courses. Where the rapids are at their peak, some claim the Nile is the wildest of all white water rafting rivers. Most trips start in Jinja by Lake Victoria, the source of the White Nile.
Bujugali Falls will be a highlight of your descent. As waterfalls go, they may look small, but you won't be thinking that when you look over the side of the raft at the ominous precipice ahead. Further down the river, a rapid playfully known as the 'G-spot' is sure to hurl you into the drink. Once you hit the water, you'll know what it's like to be in a washing machine! There are several grade 5 rapids on the White Nile, along with some 4s and 3s.
Most trips offer a full day trip on the water, with sandwiches and pineapple at lunch and the chance to chill out in the calm pools in between the rapids. Your day will end on a high when you reach the ominously name 'The Bad Place'; an unforgiving, tumultuous grade 5 rapid. To get to The Bad Place you have to carry your raft around a grade 6 before rejoining the river. It's at this point that many rafters choose to stay on dry land. Are you brave enough to tackle The Bad Place?
Zambezi River, Victoria Falls
The Zambezi River has got to be one of the best white water rafting rivers of the world. Winding through the Batoka Gorge, the grade 5 rapids of the Zambezi River were first tackled in a raft in 1981 and to this day, they continue to lure thrill seekers.
There are plenty of grade 5 rapids for adrenaline junkies to sink their teeth into, but depending on whether it is low water season or high water season, only some of them will be open.
'Stairway to Heaven' includes a steep descent with large volumes of water. Meanwhile the 'Overland Truck Eater' is ready to swallow unsuspecting adventurers and 'Oblivion' is a succession of three powerful rapids, the third of which results in the most white water rafting flips in the world.
Colorado River, USA
The Colorado River is a lifeline in the arid regions of western USA. In the USA it meanders through five states - Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and California. The river cuts through one of the most awe-inspiring geological formations on the planet: the Grand Canyon.
Trips through the canyon on motorised rafts offer a unique white water rafting experience. Motorised rafts may not capsize like normal rafts, but the experience is still exhilarating. And of course the scenery is first rate - you'll get the chance to view the Grand Canyon from a truly unique angle.
White water rafting in the state of Colorado gives you great views of Royal Gorge, where rapids known as 'Sledgehammer', 'Wall Slammer' and 'Boateater' will be waiting for you. Keep an eye out for the highest suspension bridge in the world 1,053 feet above the gorge. Go in May or June when the water flow is at its highest.
Utah offers some wild white water rafting opportunities on the Colorado River. In Canyonlands National Park, Cataract Canyon has plenty of tricky rapids to tackle including 'Mile Long', 'Ben Hurt' and 'The Big Drops'. The route is at times incredibly manic or incredibly calm. Great views of stunning, colourful rock formations will lure you into a false sense of security.
Pacuare River, Costa Rica
The Pacuare River is one of the most scenic places to experience white water rafting. Steep gorges laced with lush vegetation give way to stunning waterfalls that tumble into the river. And in the river, there are plenty of wild rapids up to grade 4 for adrenaline junkies to enjoy.
Some companies offer three day white water rafting excursions to allow you to really immerse yourself in the wild jungle of Costa Rica. Stay at the idyllic Pacuare Lodge, which was built by a man who set up his own white water rafting company. Deep in the jungle, the lodge is a great place to unwind and look out for Costa Rican wildlife. You can also go hiking or explore the rainforest from the nearby canopy walkway.