Jinja & its attractions
Jinja is located in the eastern part of Uganda and is a good location for adventure. This district is bordered by Iganga and Kamuli in the north, Kayunga in the west, Mukono in the south west, Mayuge in the east.
This district is known for being the location where the source of the Nile is found and is also famous for festivals such as the Nyege Nyege festival which attracts a large number of tourists form different parts of the world.
Jinja town is about 70 km from Kampala and can be accessed from the Kampala- Jinja highway. Tourists also use the Nile bridge which was opened up in 2018 for use by travelers to access tourist attractions in Jinja.
On the way to Jinja on a Uganda Tour Expedition, tourists can see attractions such as Mabira forest, sugar and tea plantations. The many industries found in Jinja get their raw materials from the plantations around and the locals act as out-growers as well as workers in the factories.
Mabira forest is one of Uganda’s natural forests found along the Kampala- Jinja highway which has a variety of tree species and is a tourist site for a variety of activities such as zip-lining, nature walks, birding.
Jinja and Uganda in general experience rainy and dry seasons throughout the year and these seasons vary depending on the location of the district. Jinja experiences rains in the months of March to May, September, and November. The dry season is in the months of December to January and from June to August.
The main language spoken is Lusoga and the people who live in Jinja are known as the Basoga. Other tribes also live in Jinja but the biggest percentage of people living in this district are the basoga.
The word “jinja” translates to mean “place of the rocks” and is among the large urban centers in Uganda. This district is characterized by both rural and industrial sectors with the agricultural sector consisting of mostly subsistence farming and the industrial sector is aided by produce from the agricultural sector.
Agriculture is carried out in Jinja with crops grown include food crops such as beans, cassava, maize, millet, sweet potatoes, soya beans, cowpeas, groundnuts, yams, sorghum and cash crops such as cotton, coffee, and sugarcane.
Fishing is another economic activity carried out in Jinja on Lake Victoria. A variety of fish species are caught and they include Nile perch, tilapia, silverfish, catfish and lung fish. Fisheries are also found in Jinja and they include Masese fishing grounds, Gomba fishing industries limited among others.
Attractions found in Jinja
- The source of the Nile. The River Nile which is the longest river in Africa has its source in Jinja. This river consists of two parts that is the White Nile and the Blue Nile. A number of activities take place along this river and they include water rafting, kayaking, boat rides, and many others. The tourists who visit the source of the Nile also visit the craft centers to see local art and craft works, visiting the Mahatma Gandhi memorial site, enjoying the beautiful scenery around the source of the Nile.
- Bujagali falls found on the upper side of the Nile derived its name from one of the spiritual leaders of the bachwezi who lived nearby the falls. The eastern bank forms the boundary for the Busoga kingdom and the western bank is the boundary for the Buganda kingdom. These falls provide a great spot for adventure tourism with a number of activities such as white water rafting, kayaking, jet boating, quad biking, horse riding, canoeing, tubing, and many others take place around the falls.
- Itanda falls are also found along the River Nile in Jinja. These falls gained popularity among tourists especially kayakers and rafters after a dam and power station were constructed along the Bujagali falls. These strong and powerful falls also known as the bad place are the perfect spot for rafting in an unspoiled environment since the traffic of tourists visiting this destination is still growing steadily. These falls also offer a good opportunity for camping and picnics as well as bird watching.
- Historical and cultural sites in Jinja include the Bujagali ancestral site, the Busoga king’s palace in Nakabango, Mpumude hill which is a meeting place for Busoga chiefs and is also known for being the place where the Omukama of Bunyoro called Omukama Kabalega died.
- Kyabirwa village is a destination found about 80 km from Jinja town where a number of tourist activities such as quad biking and many other adventure activities.
- Islands along Lake Victoria in Jinja include Samuka island, Ndaiga island among others. Samuka island is located off the shores of Lake Victoria which can be accessed by a boat ride along the Nile.
Many different activities take place during visits to Jinja and they include bungee jumping, horseback riding, quad biking, white water rafting, boat rides, spot fishing, visits to the local markets among others.
Bungee jumping involves jumping from a cord over the Nile. There are some conditions which are put in place for the tourists who wish to participate in this activity and they include the minimum age requirements for jumpers, required weight, health requirements among others.
White water rafting is another activity that takes place along the Nile. This activity takes place on different levels which include grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4 and grade 5. The necessary safety gear is provided for the tourists before they go rafting. Rafting also provides scenic views of the Nile as tourists paddle across the water.
Boat rides take place along the Nile in Jinja which provides a view of the beautiful scenery around and relaxes along the waters of the longest river in Africa. These boat rides take place at different times of the day and different bird species can be seen during this experience.
Spot fishing also takes place along the Nile river where different fish species can be caught such as Nile perch, tilapia, silverfish, catfish and lung fish using different equipment such as fishing rods and reels.
Enjoy different adventure activities in Jinja as you explore the beauty of Uganda’s adventure capital in the eastern region.