Jinja is a town located in the Eastern part of Uganda, along the northern shores of Lake Victoria. The town is found about 80 kilometers away from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Jinja is famous internationally mainly because it is the source of the great River Nile but has over the years gained a reputation of fun and adventure. It is now popularly known as the Adventure Capital of East Africa for her long list of adrenaline activities and other tourism-related activities. Jinja’s natural scenery as a result of being close to two major water bodies – the Nile and Lake Victoria, with exciting multiple tourist attractions, has rendered it a top tourist destination in Uganda.
There’s an exciting experience for all kinds of tourists, making Jinja one of the best places to visit in Uganda. Some of the amazing tourist experiences available are as shown below:
- White water Rafting
White water rafting is one of the top tourist attractions in Jinja that takes you through different grades of rapids. The white water rafting experience in Jinja is said to be of high quality because it has several grade 4 and 5 rapids. Most of the rafting is done at the Kalagala and Itanda falls. White water rafting in Jinja involves maneuvering through strong waves and rapids using tube boats (filled with air) on the mighty Nile. While rafting on the waters of the Nile, participants pass through some breath-taking scenery and landscape along the margins of the river. There is also wildlife species like birds, monkeys, butterflies and vegetation. Very few tour activities can compare to the experience of white water rafting on River Nile.
2. Bunjee Jumping
This is an adrenaline pumping experience that will taste anyone’s resolve to the full. It is where one is plunged about 43 meters down into open space before being partly immersed into the Nile water at the Nile High Bungee. Bungee jumping is an activity much loved by those who want to test the limits of their adventure spirits. The experience can be very frightening but travelers love it as it is one way of showing your braveness. However, one needs to be at least 13 years and above to take part. The person must also be free of any underlining illness like a heart attack, hypertension and more.
3. Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayaking on the Nile river in Jinja involves canoeing on the white water rapids of the amazing Nile at a very slow pace. Kayaking or Canoeing on the Nile exposes one to the incredible biodiversity and landscape surrounding the Nile river. It is a great way to experience the river up close. Fortunately, the weather is always right for Kayakers to explore the Nile, the beautiful surroundings and exotic birds. Those who book the activity are always given instructions, basic skills on how to row a boat and defence mechanisms in case of an incident while sailing. Life jackets are provided for everyone at no extra fee.
4. Tubing the Nile
Tubing on the Nile River is a new fun activity to do in Jinja on an adventure trip. It takes an adrenaline drifting on a tube for 2 – 3 hours long, right at the source of the world’s longest river while sunbathing and enjoy beautiful sceneries on both flat/lazy or white water adventure. This is a newly introduced activity along the Nile. It involves floating on the waters of the river Nile on air-pressured tubes. As participants float on the Nile, they have opportunities to go up to the main Jinja bridge and experience the amazing landscape. They can also watch monkeys, birds, tides and rapids from a distance. Tubing the Nile is a very cool thing to engage in and there are safety measures in place to ensure that no harm comes your way.
5. Quad Biking
Quad biking is one of the popular tourist activities that takes adventure to a whole other level and does not require prior driving experience. It involves riding on a four-wheeled motorbike in some of the remotest parts of the town. The bikes will take you past the rural villages, forests, sugarcane plantations and along rarely seen sections of the Nile river. The Quad biking experience is very adventurous and can be taken by almost anyone irrespective of whether they have experience with the bikes or not. Lessons are given to all amateurs before going out into the countryside. A free training session is conducted before each safari and trips are tailored to suit the riders’ ability and give the best possible adventure. Sliding across the puddles and potholes in mud makes quad biking much more fun.
6. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is a thrilling outdoor activity done on village trails, bridge paths, and forest road in order to enjoy the long riding experience with a spectacular viewing of the natural wonders alongside the road. It is always interesting but doing it in the beautiful countryside of Africa is something else. The horse riding experience in Jinja takes between 1 to 3 hours and takes you to explore the rural communities, the river Nile and the beautiful landscape surrounding it. Participants are guided by an experienced guide who knows all the routes. One does not need to have any experience riding horses because there is a training session before the real thing.
Cycling offers a different experience from quad biking because it is more physical and drains more energy. However, the activity is equally adventurous depending on the route you take.
Cyclists are provided with a mountain bike and a guide to take them on an interesting journey of discovery beyond what the Quad bikes can provide. Using a mountain bike, one can go further into the sugar plantations, community villages, the river Nile and even up to Jinja town itself. Cycling doesn’t have a time-frame and can be hired for a whole day. If you want to have an amazing encounter with nature, you can choose to do the biking in Mabira forest. In this case, you will be driven with your bike to the starting point in Mabira forest. While in Mabira forest, expect to encounter primates, birds, butterflies and the local people.
8. Visiting the source of the Nile
It is in Jinja where the Nile starts its journey to North Africa. There is a landmark at the point where the waters leave Lake Victoria through a depression/gorge before spreading out and turning into what is called the River Nile. The source of Nile monument is one of the most historical sites and a must visit when one visits the source of the Nile. On a typical trip to visit the source of the Nile, visitors stand on a group a rocks to spot the watermark from a distance or take a boat to the actual source of the Nile, but this depends on the volume of water or tides. After spotting the source of the Nile mark, visitors take photos next to a sign post and then visit one of the many craft shops to buy souvenir and crafts.
9. Bird Watching
Uganda is one of the best destinations for bird watching in the world and Jinja is one of the best birding safari destinations in Uganda. The birds can be spotted right out of your hotel, along the roads, in forests like Mabira or on the waters of Lake Victoria and river Nile. The best time for birding is the morning and evening hours but for avid birders, one opt for the full day birding Jinja experience. We highly recommend going to Mabira forest or take a boat along the Nile river for the best birding experience. Mabira forest is only 15 kilometers away from Jinja town
and has an amazing collection of birds that can rival any other location in Uganda.
10. Fishing in Jinja
Jinja is one of the best places for sport fishing in Uganda. The most popular species to go out for is the large Nile perch and the tasty tilapia. One of the great things about fishing along the Top tourist attractions in Jinja is that certain sections are reserved for sporting fishing hence allowing anglers to catch huge specimen. The ideal time to catch fish is in the morning and evening hours. Indiscriminate fishing is frowned upon as is using old-fashioned gear. One has to go for only mature fish. Before going out to fish, anglers will be briefed about the river and safety measures before being given correct fishing gear. Anglers who do sport fishing in Jinja always complete with happy faces. The local fishing guides know the areas which have the highest concentration of fish.
There is more to Jinja than just the source of the Nile as shown above and more. Jinja also has a wide range of good accommodation options for all travellers that complement the travel experience.
Should you like to visit Jinja anytime soon, you can book the above experiences while in Jinja through different service providers or book a fully planned trip through any reputable tour company in Uganda. As Swanair Travel and Safaris, we are excited to cater for all your travel needs and are available through firstname.lastname@example.org, 0776515014, or visit our bookings page to book your next holiday.