One of the biggest attractions in Kapchorwa is abseiling down a 100m waterfall. Its magical. Imagine being suspended from a rope, coming down the distance equivalent to the length of a football field with nothing but the full glory of nature’s wonder underneath you: lush green bushes, flowing streams and an expanse of the natural plains further than the eye can see. Its breath-taking in every sense of the word, both in awe and in fright, in almost equal measure. I recommend that everyone does this at least once before they die. But before you do, here are something’s I think you should know. Must haves before you go abseiling in Kapchorwa, Uganda.
1. Balls: You must have a pair of big ones. The first time I abseiled, the instructor kept saying “Your mind will lie you, don’t let it.” You need to overcome the fear of being supported by a rope barely an inch in diameter, fastened by climbing protection the size of a key ring, in the hands of an instructor who is less than half your size (if you are as ‘small’ as I am), faced with a potential plunge to sudden death with no protective gear. As I said, big ones.
2. Friends: Abseiling is like sex. Although it’s possible to go by yourself, its more fulfilling done with others. Never do it alone, and here is why. The moral support or the fear of online shame, whichever drives you, goes a long way in calming your nerves. And if you let a couple go before you, the cheers coming from the bottom give you the much needed boost to keep going. And then there is the journey back, that’s where you need them, for the morale and the extra hand.
3. Hydration: This is never in the brochure, the hike to and from abseiling is to be revered. This is compounded by the fact that most of us carry a flimsy bottle of water for the entire distance. Pro Tip, carry as much water as you can comfortably carry. You never really imagine it, but you have to climb back up the entire length of the 100m back to the point of pick up, and Kapchorwa does get rather hot so dehydration is a common scenario. A couple of us almost passed out if it wasn’t for the heroic works of a good Samaritan.
4. Fitness: If you have read points 1 to 3, it is obvious that abseiling required you to be in some sort of descent physical shape. You will enjoy your experience much more that way because you won’t have aching muscles and difficulty to breathe robbing you of the ability to appreciate the beauty all around you.
5. An Action Camera: No, your camera phone is not an option here. The likelihood that you will drop it is highest. Between the nerves, the awe, and most likely hanging on tightly to the rope, this is almost inevitable. However, we live in a world of , if it’s not on Instagram, it never happened. So grab an action cam, like a go pro, strap it to yourself or to the rope, and share your scared face with the world.
Abseiling will cost you anything between 60,000 and 100,000 Uganda Shillings depending on season, numbers and your bargaining skills, for Ugandans. Peter Chemonges of Mountain Adventures is a good option, call him via 0750971682 will hook you up, literally. Tell him #KoiKoiUg sent you. So what are you waiting for, fill up your tank with Shell FuelSave (that’s more than sufficient to get you there) and head to the beautiful hills of Kapchorwa for an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us via the #KoikoiUg tag, and with Airtel you won’t have to wait till you get back.