On this Jinja Day Trip you will find out why, despite its status as the second largest town in Uganda, Jinja is no mini-Kampala-first-time visitors who found themselves wandering around the grid of roads that comprises the faded town center might well wonder just what’s in store when they get to the third-largest town. Cries of muzungu follow you wherever you go, particularly around the bus station which is apparently serves as a gathering point for jinja’s youths and orphans. It is a description that might surprise anybody who visited Jinja today. The run-down appearance of the town center is gradually lifting, in part due to the return of the many businesses. Remarkably, the cat chorus is also a thing of the past, no more or less calling of the dreaded M-word.
Jinja, certainly warrants an overnight stop, if only to visit the source f the Nile. There is a certain poignancy in knowing that you are standing the very spot where John Speke the first European to correctly identify the geographical holy grail which, less than a decade earlier, had driven the obsessed (and, as it transpired, hopelessly misdirected) Doctor Livingstone to his feverish death near Lake Benguela in Zambia. No less impressive is the knowledge that the water flowing past you – that’s if you can see anything liquid beneath the ever-multiplying green blanket that smothers the river – will eventually rain into the Mediterranean, following a 6,500km journey through Sudan and Egypt.
The source of the Nile
jinja’s main tourist draw, the source of the Nile at the Owen Falls, is now submerged by the Owen Falls Dam. There is a picnic site and a plaque at the spot where John Speke became the first European to see the Nile’s source in 1862.
There is a multitude of people flocking the Source of the Nile on a daily basis to indulge themselves in these extremely adventurous and fulfilling activities. The infrastructures of this place have been well developed to cater for all you adventure needs.
Getting to the Source of the Nile in Jinja
Jinja lies in southeastern Uganda, approximately 87km (54 miles), by road east of Kampala, Uganda’s capital.
The local people around the source of the Nile are of the Basoga tribe and these have a rich cultural heritage which is exhibited in their daily life. For example their way of housing, traditional beliefs and cultural dances are fascinating. There are also several shops selling handcrafts with this heritage deeply engraved in them.
Jinja town is the second busiest commercial center in Uganda, after Kampala and was at one time the industrial capital of the country. The town was predominantly run by Indians before their expulsion by former president Amin. Their stay is still evident with the existence of old buildings built with the Indian architecture.
Uganda hotels & Lodge
Jinja Nile resort [Single rooms are $190 while rooms facing the river are $212 per person and Double rooms are $235 and river facing $255] cost is on bed and breakfast. Standard meals cost $20. Jinja is the source of the Nile, Africa’s longest river and the symbol of life for all the countries it travels through before reaching Egypt. Jinja Nile Resort rests on the banks of this magnificent River and offers magnificent views of the Nile and the rich fauna that it attracts.
Jinja Nile Resort offers services for both the business traveler and holiday maker. Activities available from the resort include white water rafting and bungee jump. The cottages and hotel services are spread over 30 acres of gardens allowing one to appreciate the beauty of Uganda-the pearl of Africa. Bird watching is one of the easy activities offering great photography opportunities.
The Pick up is Usually 7:30AM, after your breakfast at the address in Kampala. But starting at 10am drive on Jinja road highway will lead us to our first stop being at the Historical Ssezibwa water falls for 1hr,the falls are about seven meters high and with the sweet hissing sound created by the falling water giving a beautiful scenery. This is complemented by the natural vegetation cover and the undulating and steep rocks over which the waters fall. The site has several bird species which present a wonderful opportunity for bird watching. The site presents several tourist activities such as bird watching, camping, rock climbing, nature walks, hiking, canoeing, The Ssezibwa Falls are approximately 32 km east of Kampala city in Mukono District.
We continue to the Mabira forest for 2hrs where we have a forest walk .The Mabira Forest is a rainforest area covering about 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi) in Uganda, located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. Mabira forest is home to over 300 birds species, and many primates.
The forest is great, it is still natural and the nature walk is just amazing, you will walk for over an hour under tree canopy without direct sun on you, there are very many primates that you will see on the walk, beautiful forest birds as well.
We continue to Jinja Nile resort where we will have lunch checking, and prepare for the afternoon drive to enjoy a boat ride to the Ripon Falls which was formerly called the source of the Nile, and continue to the real source of the Nile and see where the Nile begins from. If there are bird lover among the team, this is a must be place for you, return to Jinja Nile resort for Dinner and Overnight
The day begins early with breakfast and Nalubale rafting will pick you from the hotel and bring you for an experience of a river float. You may want to bring swim costumes as they usually will tip the boat over or cajole you to take a dive in the river for a swim. Regardless, that day you will have to wear something you don’t mind getting wet. From the experience ready yourself for a return back to Kampala and we might get back slightly later than 12:00pm say 1pm.
Optional Canopy Zip-lining activity in Mabira forest.(Paid separately by client if interested).