It all started with a little invite on my Facebook page, and I was curious. Xtrym Adventure was organizing a bungee jumping and white water rafting trip to Sagana, Kenya. The first thing that sold me on it was the fact that it landed squarely on my birthday, and that it was bound to be the most exhilarating and scary thing that I have ever done.
We set out early in the morning, 7:30am to be precise, for what promised to be a great day. Sagana is about 1 ½ hours’ drive on the Nairobi – Nyeri highway, in Central Kenya. The bungee jumping is ran by Bungee Kenya, and is situated on the Tana river at the Savage Wildnerness camp. With Andreas in charge you get a cheerful welcome and are soon cracking up over the jokes as he and others from Savage Wilderness run you through a gamut of instructions. I figured that the reason they do this is to get you eased up and relaxed before you do the craziest thing you’ve probably ever done in your life.
After a good breakfast of mandazi and chai at the camp, it was time to get started. I was a bit apprehensive as to having breakfast and jumping off a tower, thinking I didn’t want to embarrass myself by puking all over Andreas. The crew took us through a series of instructions for white water rafting, for those who were heading off into the river. That course usually runs for 2 – 3 hours, and you need to be prepared well for it – right clothes (that you don’t mind getting wet), listen properly to the instructions, and bring your soul full of adventure.
I had spotted the bungee tower high up in the sky, but from far off it didn’t look like much of a problem. I was determined to jump twice – oh, how naïve! The team I was with had decided that since it was my birthday, I was to be the proverbial sacrificial lamb and head out first. So I got strapped in properly into a safety harness, clipped onto the safety rope, and started climbing up the tower. I kid you not, 90% of the job is climbing up that tower… if you’re afraid of heights this might cure you. just remember not to look down too long, or you will get frozen to the spot.
Once up the ladder, you get to swing into the bungee cage (Tarzan like!), while the next jumper starts coming up. The view from the top of the cage is spectacular: you can see Mt. Kenya on a clear day, otherwise you just see the foothills… the evenings or early mornings also let you view the bright lights of Nairobi, and in between, the beautiful countryside, absolutely amazing landscapes.
As you stand at the top of the world, Andreas talks to you all the time, calmly but cracking a lot of jokes in between. Before you know it, you’re strapped onto the bungee cord and it’s time to jump. The cage door opens and with a few more instructions from Andreas, it’s time to let go – of your hold on the cage, and of your worries.
I will not kid you – that jump is scary… but wonderfully exhilarating. As I hurtled towards the river below, I questioned my sanity for a split second. Then I let go and let out a whoop as I enjoyed the jump. Your body hurtles towards earth, then you’re jerked back high as the cord pulls you up, and you hurtle back down again, eventually bobbing to a stop as Andreas lets the rope lower you further down till a crew member pulls you away from the river below in a kayak.
Is it crazy? Yes. Liberating? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? YES.
So if you’re crazy, and want to give yourself a literal jump start in life, take a chance and go bungee jumping.
Next adventure? White water rafting on the Tana river!
A video compilation will come soon, of the bungee jumps.
Read my tweets on the adventure here: Storify – Bungee Jumping in Sagana
Or talk directly to Bungee Kenya
Or go white water rafting, zip-lining, hiking and more with Savage Wilderness