Jinja: the source of the mighty Nile River and adrenaline capital of East Africa. White-water rafting, bungee jumping and quad-biking are highlights of a visit to this up and coming star on Uganda’s safari trail.
LAKE VICTORIA AND THE NILE RIVER
Located at the point where the Nile River flows out of Lake Victoria, Jinja is geographically and historically significant. Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world after Lake Superior and the largest lake in Africa at 70,000 square kilometres. It is the size of Ireland! Three countries border Lake Victoria: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Lake Victoria is also the source of the Nile, which travels 6670km from Jinja to Egypt. In 1856, Speke controversially “found” the source of the Nile. His exploration partner Burton was angered by the announcement which seems to be based more on speculation and estimation than fact. Nonetheless he was proven right in the long run.
In the lake there are huge problems in pollution and weed control, with an international effort to control it as it is having a major impact on fish production. The Nile perch is also causing other fish species to die out.
WHAT TO DO
A stay in Jinja can be an adrenaline-packed adventure or a relaxing stay enjoying sundowners as the day closes over the river. Some of the activities available in Jinja include:
- White-water rafting
- Bungee jumping
- Quad biking
- Horse riding
- Jet boating
There are also several community projects that accept visitors including local schools, orphanages and women’s groups. For those wanting to spend more time in this corner of the globe, there are opportunities to take part in longer-term volunteering with some of those organisations.
WHERE TO STAY
There are almost two areas of Jinja – the main town and up towards Bujagali Falls. The views of the river are far superior and the atmosphere nicer in the Bujagali Falls area.
There is accommodation for a range of budgets including camping, dormitories, safari or permanent tents with shared facilities or en suite, and family cottages.
Nearly all accommodation has a restaurant and bar on the property.
Jinja’s main street is laden with curio shops where you can buy all the souvenirs you could dream of. Shoes, paintings, clothing, bags, cards, and various trinkets line the street making it a colourful spectacle.
On the practical side, the local market is the place to stock up on fresh produce. There is also supermarket, ATMs and a post office.
OTA is running a tour from Nairobi to Kampala via Jinja in August. Contact email@example.com to find out more about this exciting adventure and book your seat today!