As its name suggests, it is owned and operated by Lemala, a company whose portfolio includes YZ favourites Kuria Hills Lodge and Ndutu Camp. Lemala provides comfortable accommodation in remote settings across Safari Africa. Wildwaters is suitable for most types of traveller, and there’s a superb suite for families. Lemala Wildwaters Lodge is one of the finest options in the Jinja area for enjoying some wet-and-wild watersports – and more.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
To get here, the majority of travellers opt to self-drive from Kampala, a distance of about 80 kilometres on the Jinja Road followed by a further 25-kilometre journey from the town to Wildwaters Lodge. Alternatively, there is a shorter and more scenic route via Gayaza, a town in Uganda’s Central Region. Air transfers are possible too, and the island boasts its own heli-pad. All journeys end with a boat ride across the Nile, onto the private island where Wildwaters is located.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal lodge is positioned on a sturdy rock peninsula, with the river rapids all around. It is made out of timber, stone, and thatch, in harmony with the island’s verdant rainforest. Inside, you will find a lounge containing comfortable sofas and armchairs, plenty of reading material, and even a telescope, for taking a closer look at the wildlife for whom the Nile is home. There is a dining room too, with chic chairs and tables on sleek wooden floors. This space is adjacent to the bar, and flows out onto a veranda for al fresco meals. Guests may also opt for private dining in the well-kept gardens, with a little advance notice. Wildwaters’ grounds include a swimming pool too – flanked by sunloungers, this is the perfect place to cool off in the heat of the day. And all communal areas provide free Wi-Fi.
Guest accommodation at Wildwaters consists of nine standard suites and one family suite, all dotted around the island and connected to the communal lodge along wooden walkways through the forest. Each has timber floors, canvas walls, and a thatch roof, and both options are very spacious. The standard category features a king-size bed with mosquito nets, bedside tables and lighting, a three-quarters-size day bed, ample storage space, a safe, and well-appointed en-suite facilities comprising flush toilet, washbasin, and walk-in shower, with complimentary toiletries. There is a private balcony too, with a double bathtub. The family suite benefits from all of these amenities, as well as an upper floor with twin beds for children and the bathtub in the bathroom instead of on the balcony.
From this very sumptuous base camp, you can enjoy an exhilarating assortment of activities. Rafting is very popular here, with many thrillseekers claiming that this stretch of the Nile provides the best rafting in the world. Wildwaters uses adventure operator Adrift to bring you the most exciting experiences. Both half-day and full-day trips are available – the latter involves a picnic lunch on another private island. All levels of skill are accommodated, with excursions across calmer waters on offer too. These present opportunities to check out the birdlife of the Nile, including pink-backed pelican and yellow-billed kite.
Families can take part in a special floating expedition, while travellers seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush will love combining a raft trip with a bungee jump. Kayaking options are many and varied too – half day or full day, relaxing or really wild. If you like a challenge, stand-up paddleboarding will test your coordination as you negotiate the Nile’s twists and turns. There’s plenty to do on land too – horse rides take you along a section of the riverbank and into a local village, while quad bike rides introduce you to the Bujagali Falls and the area’s forest and farmlands. Finally, there are a number of good fishing spots around Wildwaters’ island.