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Things to do in Jinja Uganda

Nile River Jinja
Old Jinja Bridge across the Nile River

What to do in Jinja in Uganda

Jinja is well known for its simple yet elaborate Indian houses, timeless colonial homes, and the source of the Nile River churning forth some of the best Whitewater rafting estates on the continent of Africa. So if you’re looking for adventure in one of the best towns in Uganda, you may rendezvous with victory in Jinja.

You know, going to Jinja is like landing on the moon: it’s one small step for you, one giant step for mankind. For, as a melting pot, it connects you to human diversity in this gloriously heterogeneous neck of the woods. Further, Jinja town is one of East Africa’s most historical cities and the Source of the Nile River. As a place of adventure, its ins and outs turn East Africa into a large pleasure dome.

Being Uganda’s second largest city, Jinja is an umbrella town covering every manner or idiom of tourist interest and adventure unfolding in many-splendored experiences that will stay with you for the rest of your days. As a consequence, you will definitely find plenty to do in Jinja; a popular tourist haven at the northern end of Lake Victoria in Uganda.

Jinja is where the source of the famous Nile River is found, its ethereal power defines a region steeped in beauty and magnificence. A place where family-friendly attractions merge with singular sights and sounds to create a dream destination for many visitors.

With a number of world-class whitewater rafting companies to help navigate fast-flowing rapids, Jinja is guaranteed to get your pulse racing. Allied to that, Jinja boasts a swanky Sailing Club where the sunset is but a gleam in the eye of its beholder sailing into the wind.

Again, it is a historical town that has retained much of its colonial character and buildings; you’ll find an inner and outer eloquence in the beautiful places to stay and host of things to do in Jinja.

The parts of the city along the Nile mirror the heroic-poetry of old in the way they are ranged on the arc of history, bending it towards an old English vacation town with the feel of an idyllic paradise where arcaded former colonial homes, red-tiled villas, and white bungalows shape the masonry of beauty.

All this beauty is heightened by the green breeze amidst trees that turn life into a walk in the park, away from the stress of the world. Adding to this tranquil setting, the slight waves of the Nile calmly break on the banks of the river.

Oh yes, Jinja is one of our most popular day trips from Kampala. It also makes for an interesting day trip for culture and history lovers thanks to the source of the Nile River.

As you might be aware, it was once the second most important geographical discovery after Christopher Columbus’ discovery of the continent of America.

Indeed, there are so many things to see in the city, so we have compiled a list of sights and tourist activities to do when you visit Jinja town:


Watersports or Rafting in Jinja

White water rafting Jinja
Adventurers on a rafting experience in the Nile River. No prior rafting experience is required to participate in this activity. You don’t have to know how to swim either. Expert guides will provide training to all participants at the start.

Whitewater-rafting excursions in Africa wouldn’t be complete without rafting on Africa’s most famous river. Yes, a trip down the Nile River, at its source in Jinja, Uganda, will leave you too breathless to scream as it sucks you into its huge waves and spits you straight back out over a series of grade 3 to grade 5 rapids.

The Nile’s thrilling rapids in Jinja systematically combine with flat river sections for leisurely recovery floats before you encounter other drops down the mighty Nile.

These rafting expeditions can be customized to match your experience level, but either way these expeditions promise to be unforgettable experiences regardless of what level you choose. Those who have rafted on the Nile in Jinja say it is one of the best parts of their Uganda safari experience.

You might be hesitant at the start of your rafting experience in Jinja but by the time it ends, you might not want it to end! Few rafting places in Africa can match the intensity of rafting in Jinja.


Visit Source of the Nile Bridge

Source of the Nile Bridge
A local fisherman checking his nets in the Nile River. The Jinja bridge or Source of the Nile Bridge is in the background.

The Jinja new bridge is located less than 2 miles down the source of the Nile River, The Source of the Nile Bridge is an expansive structure in Jinja and is very hard to miss. Stretching 525 meters across the Nile River, the Source of the Nile Bridge is known for its stunning panoramic views of the Nile River.

There is no fee to visit the bridge. For parking, visitors can find free on-street parking on either ends of the bridge.


Owen Falls Dam 

Though now closed off to Vehicle traffic, a walk across this historic dam is quite revealing as it has had the most impact on the development of Jinja town. Construction of this dam in 1954 transformed Jinja from a small quiet  African village to an industrial city.


Sunset Boat Cruise On The Nile

The Napoleon Bay at the upper end of the Nile River is well known for its relaxing sunset cruises as you explore the beginnings of the world’s longest river and you won’t be disappointed if you choose to take one of these sunset boat cruises.

As you stand there with your eyes and mouths wide open in awe, your vision shall be arrested by not just the sunset, but a flight of birdlife including our resident African Fish Eagles swooping for small fish in all their majesty. It is romantic, it is captivating but, most of all, it is an experience of a lifetime.



Source of the Nile Jinja–The Greatest Discovery since the Discovery of America

Source of the Nile

You haven’t yet experienced Uganda until you have seen the source of the Nile River.  It is here that the famous Nile River mentioned in both the Bible and the Quran starts its long journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea.

For millennia, no man had yet found the place where the world’s longest river, the Nile, had its source for it was somewhere south of the Sahara desert. No other Europeans had ever been there. The only people who had ever entered the interior of Sub-Saharan Africa then were the Arabs slave traders.  For several decades the search for the source of River Nile – (Africa’s greatest secret) was conducted by various scientific teams, amateurs, and adventurers until it was finally discovered at Jinja by John Hanning Speke on August 3rd, 1858 after months of trekking through the unforgiving East African interior with Richard Burton. To celebrate his momentous achievement of solving this ancient puzzle of finding the source of the White Nile, Speke shot some birds and also renamed the Lake Victoria, after his queen, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.


Walking Tour along Main Street Jinja

Until 1970, Indians lived in Jinja. They had houses along  Main Street. You can do a guided walking tour of the  street and see the houses where they used to live.


All Terrain ATV Bike Riding Along the Nile

As the Bujagali falls cascade beautifully and violently in your midst, you can jump on a quad bike and ride to your heart’s content.  Imagine this: No previous experience driving a vehicle is necessary since a free training session is conducted before each ride. And, we have been told, when it rains the wetness heightens the experience–ATV Quad bikes slip and slide across the puddles and over potholes like James Bond being chased by some baddies. And guess what, Bond always wins. So can you with this experience.


Bungee Jumping into the Nile River

Take a leap of faith over the Source of the Nile from possibly the most exhilarating jumping sites this side of eternity.  You can enjoy tandem jumps, water touches and you seemingly coming eyeball to eyeball to with death and death blinking. The bungee jump equipment is ISO certified and regulated for all who use them and there’s no minimum age limit for a jumper. However there is a minimum weight of 35 KGs for a jumper. All told, it’s an experience that will make you scream, make your pulse race and your heart stop before your whole being wells up with the overflowing of an inner cup of courage and adrenaline.


Horse Back Riding in Jinja

On this Jinja activity you get to slow down a little with hose rides that last all day 7 days a week from sunup to sundown. And what’s more, you need no horse riding experience. All the horses provided are well trained, and understand what is required of them. Still, some companies offer brief training on the basics of controlling your horse. Thereafter, you can ride into the sunset like a hero in an old western movie starring you, yourself and your sheer joy.


These are just a handful of the many amazing things you could do in Jinja Uganda. A day trip here is an ideal experience to incorporate into your Uganda safari with us.

If you have more questions about these activities in Jinja, want us to organise a day trip to Jinja or plan a custom safari including time in Jinja, feel free to contact our office for assistance. You can also choose one of our tailor-made safaris around Uganda.

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