A picture of tourists Bungee jumping on the Nile

Jinja: Ten things to do at the Source of the Nile

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:

  1. 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.

A picture of tourists White water rafting on the Nile
White water rafting on the 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.

A picture of tourists Bungee jumping on the Nile
Tourists Bunjee jumping into the Nile

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.

Kayaking on the Nile
Kayaking on the Nile

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.

Tourists Tubing on the Nile
Tubing on the Nile

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.

Quad biking in Jinja

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.

Tourists Horseback riding in Jinja
Tourists Horseback riding in Jinja

7. Cycling

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.

A picture of Tourists Cycling in Jinja
Cycling in Jinja

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.

A picture of The Source of The Nile
The Source of The Nile

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.

A picture of Tourists bird watching in Jinja
Tourists bird watching

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.

A man fishing on the Nile

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 info@swanairtravel.com, 0776515014, or visit our bookings page to book your next holiday.

A photo of giraffes in Murchison falls NP


Murchison Falls National Park, locally known as Kabalega National Park, is situated between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert at the end of the Albertine Rift valley. It is approximately 305km and a 4 to 6 hours drive from Kampala. Murchison falls NP is one of Uganda’s oldest national parks, first gazetted as a wildlife reserve as early as 1926 and later transitioned into a national park in 1951.

The northern section of the park contains savanna and borassus palms, acacia trees, and a riverine woodland while the south is dominated by woodland and forest patches.

The Murchison falls NP can be visited throughout the year although the best time to visit is during the dry season (also known as the peak season in the months June to September, December to February). This is because during the dry season, there’s little rainfall and therefore vegetation is thin. This in return makes it easy to have clear views of animals while access roads to the park and hiking trails are also more passable.

For the visitors interested in birding and would like to visit the park when it’s less crowded, the wet season (March to May and November) is ideal. During this time, lodges offer discounts too which favors budget travelers.

A photo of giraffes in Murchison falls NP
A photo of giraffes in Murchison falls NP


Murchison Falls National Park is home to approximately 76 mammal species, 556 Bird species, 51 reptiles, and 51 Amphibians. The signature animal at Murchison Falls National Park is the giraffe.

However, one is able to see many other animals through activities like taking a boat cruise, nature walk and during game drives in the park. Examples of animals at the park include but are not limited to giraffes, elephants, zebras, hyenas, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, bush backs to mention but a few. It should however be noted that the best time to sight the big cats (leopards and lions) is early in the morning during game drives before the sun gets too hot and forces them into their hideouts. The park also has primate residents such as red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, endangered chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys. These are seen in the Kaniyo Pabidi forest which is part of Budongo Forest, in the south eastern part of Murchison falls NP.

A photo showing tourist attractions in Murchison falls NP.
A photo showing tourist attractions in Murchison falls NP.


Murchison Falls National Park is best known for the most powerful waterfall in the world which is its main tourist attraction. The waterfall is found along River Nile(Victoria Nile) and at the top of the falls, the Nile River squeezes through a narrow gap in between two rocks where it plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron” leaving behind a stunning rainbow. Furthermore, for every second, the equivalent of 200 bathtubs full of water is forced through a gorge less than seven paces wide. The pressure is so great that the ground around it trembles. The water then plummets 43 meters before flowing out toward Lake Albert as a placid river whose banks are dense with hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck and buffaloes.

A photo showing the majestic Murchison falls
A photo showing the majestic Murchison falls


There is a wide range of activities at Murchison falls National Park that offer breathtaking experiences to spice up your visit. The main activities at the park include the following: game drives, bird watching, boat cruises, chimpanzee trekking, nature walks, and hiking to the top of the falls. For adrenaline junkies, the hiking process is a thrilling experience that’s also very refreshing.

A photo of tourists on a nature walk.
A photo of tourists on a nature walk.


While at Murchison falls NP, there is a variety of safari lodge options to choose from, ranging from budget to luxury. The accommodation at these lodges ranges from 40$ to 500$ per night and therefore there’s an option for everyone. One can either book the travel activities through a travel agency or through safari lodges. Whilst choosing the best lodge therefore, beyond affordability, it’s important to consider the one with a gorgeous view of the Nile so as to enjoy a wholesome experience. Examples of lodges at the park that we recommend are; Fort Murchison Safari Lodge for budget, MRL, Pakuba and Sambiya river lodge for midrange, Chobe Safari Lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, Murchison River lodge for luxury, to mention but a few.

A photo of Paraa safaris lodge.
A photo of Paraa safaris lodge.

The beauty of Murchison falls National park is one that cannot be exhausted in a single blog. It is one that everyone needs to personally experience. Therefore if you are planning for your next safaris destination, we recommend you visit Murchison Falls National Park. And should you like to avoid the hassle and bustle of planning your safaris, simply contact Swanair Travel & Safaris at +256776515014, info@swanairtravel.com, or click here to book your dream getaway.


An Enjoyment Guide To Uganda For A Tik Tok User

Tik Tok has risen to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms in the world, especially for the youthful audience. More than half of all Tik Tok users are below the age of 32, with 32.9% of them between the ages of 15-19, according to analytics site omnicoreagency.com. The strength of this app is its reliance on appealing to the visual and audio senses. It allows content creators to capture and manipulate sights and sounds for their audiences, which sights and sounds are offered in large diversity by Uganda’s rich nature basket. So dear Tik Toker, here are a few Uganda Travel Tips for keeping your followers hooked to your account when you travel down to the Pearl Of Africa.


Gorilla Trekking

Welcome to Uganda, or the home to the second largest mountain gorilla population in the world, according to WWF. In the Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga National Park found in South-wester Uganda, you get a chance to walk through the thick tropic terrain in search of this gigantic cousins of man. Along the way, you will see various plant and insect species and hear the different voices of nature. Ofcourse you will see the large dominant male gorillas called the Silverbacks and their families. You may even touch them and feed them if your guide allows it. How about a video of you having a conversation with one of these guys? This is one of the Uganda Travel Tips guaranteed to get your audience engaged!


Potential TikTokers taking photos of a mountain gorilla, another Uganda Travel Tip

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park


Bird Watching

According to nature site Mongabay.com, Uganda ranks 4th in Africa and 16th Worldwide in terms of bird species. With 999 different species available for site with their different colours, sizes and sounds, these inhabitants of the air provide for good subjects for the camera. From the way they find food to how build their nests and the varied melodies they sing by day or night; you will have plenty of content looking out for them. They are easy to see in Southwestern Uganda in the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Bird watching is another Uganda Travel Tip to get your TikTok audience engaged

Bird watching in Queen Elizabeth National Park


Morning Canoe Rides

On the shores of Lake Albert and George, and also those of Lake Kyoga, you get a chance to sail into the waters as early as 6:30 am with the early rising fishermen. While the sun reflects on the water, all you hear is the swashing as the oars paddle the canoe further into the lake. Along the way, you will pass by families of hippos that will be sleeping off a night of nocturnal activity. You can capture the sleeping hippo families, the early morning catch and the rising sun dazzling the waters.

Uganda Travel Tips - Canoeing on Lake Victoria

Canoe rides on lake Kyoga


Mountain and Hill Climbing

There are quite a number of high peaks in Uganda for you to climb. You have the Rwenzori ranges in the SouthWest that cross the snowline, Wanale Hill in Mbale and Mountain Moroto in Karamoja. You can literally give your followers an aerial view of the towns and terrain below, or just be yourself and enjoy the heights.

Mountain climbing on Mountain Rwenzori


White water Rafting

Hopefully your phone is water proof because the rapids of river Nile can be unforgiving. You will be well strapped in your floater boats and you will go up and down the rapids, sometimes completely going under the water. Be sure to capture this moment; you are rafting down the Nile, the longest river in the world. Your followers wouldn’t want to miss that

White water rafting on R. Nile


Bungee Jumping

Once again, the Nile is the gift that keeps giving. The Nile Bungee jump offers 44 metres of height, with the first jump allowing you to only kiss the Nile and be taken right back up. You can have this moment on camera right from your first jump until the rope is done oscillating and if you are an adrenaline junkie, this will leave you highly satisfied.

Bungee jumping in Jinja


For all these activities, we recommend having a guide with you all the time, for maximum experience and safety. If you have that ticked, clean your camera, charge your device and bring your Tik Tok followers to the Pearl of Africa’s crown.


Not sure what activities to do when you get to Uganda? No worries, we’ve curated some of the most exciting Uganda Safaris on our Safaris page. Don’t hesitate to check them out 🙂


You can also follow us on social media for more Uganda Travel Tips!



Before you read my story, I really hope you are above 18. 

I’m Vicky, by the way. I could say that over time I have had an active, if not exciting dating life. It has taught me that if there’s anything amazing about a partner, it should be a level of spontaneity to their character. An attractive randomness about them that may have you doing things that have probably never crossed your mind. 

I found that in Noni, this South African dude I met while we were at the University. He kept telling me much about travelling to Africa and this little country called Uganda. Apparently, it is the pearl of the whole continent and I have come to believe that after we travelled there 3 years ago. If you have grown up in the US like me and you have a chance to travel to Africa, please go to Uganda. Lush waterfalls, calm lakes, the longest river in the world and fresh green covering all over. A bustling city in Kampala, friendly people in other towns and dangerously delicious cuisines. It is like a melting point of everything a traveller would want. I dare say so myself and I am not even that passionate about travel. 

Aerial view of Kampala City

Anyway, in the summer of 2018, Noni drags me to Africa (I did mention that travel isn’t really my thing, right?) He said we would go to so many countries but we would start with Uganda. He had spent his high school there and had a couple of friends, who treated us to one of the wildest nights out in Kampala before we would proceed to a Safari Lodge called Paraa, on the banks of River Nile. One of Noni’s more talkative friends was busy raving on about its close proximity with Murchison falls which tempted me to quickly check their website. It read boldly that “The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls-one of the world’s most powerful flows of natural water” and that is all I needed to know. I was very excited because it is one thing being in a new city and totally another going to the wild. 

The Murchison Falls

I would really be glad to tell you every detail of the journey to Paraa, but maybe I will do so on a later date. Everything stood out like a mercurial highlight and I was looking around excitedly like a rural child coming to the city for the first time. However, even then my sense of caution still found time to seep through my excitement and I asked Noni why we were in his friend’s car and not a tour company. 

“You worry too much Vicky” he said in a clearly spiked tone. We had reached a place called Wobulenzi and Noni had been drinking since we set off from Kampala. 

“Our driver is non-alcoholic and this country is really free. We are going to have a great time with or without a tour company” he added. Somehow, Noni’s reassurances always worked. Typical of a spontaneous person. 

We finally reached Paraa, a few minutes to 6pm. Maybe it was the alcohol or just the character of Noni and his friends, but we all came to a universal decision that maybe camping out there in the wild wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Noni’s friend (the driver) said he could find a nice guide who would see to it that we enjoy the rest of the evening and secure us a nice safe place with tents at a cheaper cost. 

“I mean, this is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Imagine spending it in the same warm shower rooms like you do in the States! Sleeping outside is better to write home about, don’t you think?” He added quite convincingly and off we were to find the guide. 

It didn’t take us long to locate Okot, the guide who hurriedly showed us an open ground and found us tents. He secured us a spot under a big tree that I had never seen in my life. He said it is called Musizi,

and was home to a leopard for the last 8 years. I was scared for our safety but Okot quickly added that the creature never harmed anyone. My gut almost agreed that the whole leopard thing was nothing but mere folklore.

Tree climbing leopards in Murchison falls National Park

“Now hurry up and set up. We need to go and see the sunset at the falls. It would be sad if you miss it” Okot mentioned. 

I have seen a number of beautiful things in my life and in my dreams, but I could swear that none matches that sunset. First, the sky and clouds turned a golden yellow over the falls. The falls were rumbling violently while the sky was calm and composed. A few minutes later, the sun started creeping down behind the shrubs that shored the Nile. With the sun’s travel, the sky started to redden. Its warm rays glowed upon the falls, which gave them a dancing little effect off the water. Then the sun blazoned red, before following its trail to the other side home. The sky too lost its redness and maintained a casual blue. The water looked whiter than ever and I could swear it was the most calming sight. No wonder we all watched in silence, sipping on our drinks and when the whole show was over, the only intervention was the exclamation “wow”. You guessed right; it came from me. 

Sunsets in Uganda

You could think that all had gone well. You are wrong. In the night, in the arms of my Noni who was snoring like a generator, I heard a grunt from outside. Then another and a third. I peeped through the transparent drape that covered the tent entrance and there, in flesh, were three hippos grazing right outside the tent. One was agonizingly close I could touch it. I felt the irresistible urge to wake Noni up but before I could, I felt the tent shake. That shake woke Noni up for me and in his half-drunk-half asleep stupor he asked me what was happening. The answer was the most unexpected; our tent came flying right off its hooks! The hippos, probably intrigued by the shape of the thing, kept knocking at it until they toppled it over! 

Wildlife Safaris – The Hippopotamus

In falling off, a sharp stick ripped through it and lo-we were exposed! Noni stood sharply, grabbed my hand and butt naked as we were, started running towards the Musizi tree. There was no time to look for Okot or to call on his friends. It was time to secure safety. 

He shot up the tree with lightning speed and perched up on a branch. Then he held out his hand and beckoned to me to climb too. Never in my life have I climbed anything, let alone a tree that had such a large plain trunk. But when Noni shouted “Vickyyy!” and I looked back only to entertain the horrifying sight of a charging hippo, I knew my options were limited. I was up the tree in seconds. I don’t know how and please don’t ask me. 

I choose not to remember that there was no leopard up that tree. I choose to ignore the memory of spending an uncomfortable night up a tree. The only memories I keep are of the breathtaking sunset, the night out in Kampala, Noni’s wild friends and the unparalleled beauty Uganda has to offer. 

Noni and I will be getting married next year. We have a lifetime to do so many crazy things, but I am never letting him take me to see any place without contracting a reputed Safari company. 

The above piece is a work of fiction, to show the unmissable importance of travelling with SwanAir Travel & Tours. However, the names of places and references to the scenic beauty of Uganda are real.