Jinja district is the commercial centre and the second largest city in Uganda. It is the industrial and tourist ‘heart beat of Uganda’. It has an attractively lush location on the northern shores of Lake Victoria above the Ripon falls identified by Speke in 1862 as the Source of the Nile, but submerged following the construction of the Owen Falls dam in the 1950s. Jinja was formerly the industrial heartland of Uganda and boasts as the country’s power engine with two hydro electric dams; the Owen falls/ Nalubaale and the new Kiira dams.
Jinja is known for the source of the Nile where waters from Africa’s longest river start their 6400 miles journey that ends in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also the seat of the Busoga Kingdom one of the ancient political organizations in Uganda. Jinja’s attractions include numerous hotels and resorts, the Nile High Bang jump, white water rafting up stream at Bujagali falls, Bujagali shrines and many industries among others; the Nile Brewery, Kakira sugar factory, Bidco Oil Refinery, Vita foam mattresses and Nyanza Textile Industries Limited Industries. For those interested in agritourism, the surrounding Jinja is the prime agricultural countryside with extensive plantations of sugar cane and tea.
Jinja town developed from a small fishing village in 1893- 1900 to a bustling industrial and tourist destination in Uganda. A some what elegiac tone informs the first written description of the site of the modern-day Jinja, less to do perhaps with the its inherent scenic qualities than with Speke’s conviction that he was staring at the long sought-after headwaters of the Nile. In his book he wrote “The stones as the Waganda call the falls was by far the most interesting sight I had seen in Africa”. The development of Jinja from a small fishing village to a town started with the transfer of the Imperial offices of Busoga from Iganga to Jinja. Around 1890, the Imperial British East African Company also set up its offices there because of its accessibility and short distance to the central region across the Nile.
Jinja is a classic African adventure tourism destination. This is attributed to the existence of the Mighty River Nile which is characterized by its mysterious falls and high grade rapids. Jinja is also a relaxing and scenic place to spend a few days during your vacation. The wide Nile fringed by lush riparian woodland rattling along the equally scenic western bank of the river make Jinja the best destination to stay during your holiday.
White water rafting
For adrenalin activities, the Bujagali Falls are Africa’s answer long sought after adrenaline adventure destination. At an average gush of 1.8 million litres of water per second, the Nile river, the World second longest river offer some good high grade rapids, excellent for a white water rafting expedition. The unforgettable thrilling experience you can get when the wild waters toss up and turn over huge falls make Jinja a fantastic one-stop destination for white water rafting in Africa. The less demanding white water rafting expedition is fit for everyone and demands no experience. Safety boat or family float trips at the headwaters of the Nile are also available for those who fear to raft over the Nile while the scenery and wildlife along the banks of the river are a bonus.
Jinja is the only destination in Uganda where you can have an experience of Bungee jumping sporting adventure. Just 2kilometres downstream from the Bujagali Falls, the Nile High Bungee presents you with a chance to conquer any fear of heights you may have. The wonderful drop offers an exceptional, breath-taking opportunity for a 44-meter bungee jump. The bungee adrenaline is exhilarating whether you choose being dangled over the waters or being dipped into the river below. Different themes are available for you. You can take a ‘a freestyle’; where you can jump alone or you can choose to tower over the river with a friend. Ride your bike off the top, skip rope, dive, -the choice is yours.
One of the best ways to experience the African bush is on horseback. Rom Jinja all riders novice to experienced, will enjoy their leisurely trails offering stunning views over the wide Nile fringed by lush riparian woodlands rattling with birds and odd monkeys.
Cycling and Mountain Biking
As Jinja seems to be a growing adventure destination cycling and mountain biking is one of the other activities available to make your holiday fantastic and memorable. Cycle paths Mountain Bike Tours have now joined in the fun. If you are looking to capture the feel for the African lifestyle, Jinja is the best destination to do it. Cycling through the villages at a leisurely pace gives you an insight into the village life as you get many locals on the way. The African cultural settings and buildings of the homesteads as well as the plantation farms that you pass through make the cycling experience more interesting and memorable. The guided trip around the Bujagali falls area is a great way to spend your morning or afternoon.
Jinja offers an excellent spot for kayaking in Uganda. Upriver from Bujagali Falls serves are excellent opportunities to discover all the sections of the Nile River-the world’s second longest river. The area is free of crocodiles and hippos and a kayak school is also at hand to ensure that you may have a simple, easiest and safer kayak over the Nile waters. Each year, hundreds of kayakers and kayak fans throng the Bujagali Falls to be part of annual international kayaking competitions. The Nile Freestyle Festival is Bujagali’s largest calendar event; a 3-day international party that brings together experts and amateurs.
Other holiday activities in Jinja include river boarding-a stirring sport recently introduced in Uganda, canoeing, fishing, as well enjoying plenty of riverside entertainment: barbecues, camping, biking, acrobatic shows, stunts masters, among others.