​Wild Waters, Mombasa, Kenya

I am a screamer. 😆😄

Screaming  is how I deal with phobias. While other people yell in response to fear, screaming is my anticipation mechanism of sorts. I told my friends that it helps take my mind off the fear if I am able to focus my energies on screaming. So, albeit begrudgingly, they let me share a floater with them in the tunnels at Wild Waters, Mombasa, even if I would scream the whole ride. Such angels, those.

Wild Waters is the place you go when you need to man up. Even better if you take that control freak friend of yours who just needs to take a chill pill, or that other one who’s too stiff. If you have letting go issues, hop on to that train as well and start with the tunnel in your favourite colour.

The winding tunnels at Wild Waters look like they just sit, lazily basking in the sun, waiting for you to hop on so they can spit you out in to the pool. They do not look like much, especially when the place is empty and there’s no water flowing through them. You know the adventure that awaits you from what everyone says, but some of these things need to be experienced to be believed.

So you leave your fears next to your clothes and psych yourself to stay long enough to find them dried out by the sun. The fears, that is. You pick a yellow floater by the shallow pool and walk up the hundred and one stairs to the mouth of the tunnels.

The first walk up doesn’t even feel like work, because excitement does things to you, like cloud your senses. Few rides down however, you begin to appreciate that the path feels like a nature trail as you pant your way up. You start to appreciate nature  and even stop for bird viewing at some point. And, you may make a mental note to hit the gym or exercise more often. We see what you did there, Wild Waters.

The first rides on each tunnel will probably be the most memorable – just like any first experience of something. If you’re there for adventure and you’d like a challenge, start with the black tunnel/ black hole. Block out what they said about turns in the tunnel that will make you almost topple over and leave your stomach in a knot. No one’s got time for negative energy.

Lie on the floater facing up and close your eyes – or keep your eyes open because it will be so dark, it will not matter anyway. Press the scream button, which although pretty effective, will become harder and more embarrassing to do if you’re past 20. And then let the water lead you to wherever it pleases. Let go.

Here’s the thing – you cannot really prepare for the things that those tunnels make you feel. Your emotions will be twisted, you will laugh and scream and maybe your heart will skip a few, and you will mostly have no control over where the eater and the tunnels take you. So it will just be easier if you lie back, try not to think about the fright that awaits you, scream, but mostly have a good time.

Your stomach will knot and unknot and knot again, and then when you think you’re used to it, the tunnel will throw you out into the waters so hard, you will hear someone shout ‘Good Riddance’. By the time you’re on your 5th ride though, you will not know what fear is. Those landings though – those may take some getting used to! Good thing, most of the tunnels empty in the shallow pool, so you need not worry if you can hardly swim. Just get going already!

Photos by Jamila of Life in Mombasa. Check out her blog 🙂


Fact Sheet

Location – Links Road Nyali, in Mombasa, Kenya. Opposite Nyali Golf Club

Ideal for – anyone young at heart; Yes really

Price – sh.1400* per person – which is worth every penny if you are able to go through at least half the tunnels, twice even.  You can negotiate for group discounts especially on weekdays if it’s not too busy. * Prices are subject to change without notice

There are packages for weddings, conferences, birthday parties and schools. There areother activities on site including bumper cars as well.

Website – wildwaterskenya.com

Lessons learned: Phobias are all in the mind; you cannot afford to think about your fears and you cannot afford to make your mind aware of your fright. 😀

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