Jinja City : It is also known as Uganda’s adventure capital, the place where the world’s longest river exits. The city referred to in Lusoga as ‘Idindha’ occupies a lush wide peninsula flanked by Lake Victoria to the south and east, and the Nile and now-submerged Ripon Falls to the west. Initially, Jinja was the industrial heart of Uganda but its economy collapsed during the Amin years. However, it has never quiet recovered although it retains the spacious and attractive layout of its colonial-era incarnation. In addition, its roads are lined with some fine Asian architecture, giving it a sense of place that is further enhanced by the spread of thickly vegetated residential suburbs carved from the jungle between the town centre, the lake and river.
Attractions in Jinja
Source of the Nile
The source of the Nile was discovered by a European Explorer Speke and it’s situated in Jinja district where it flows 130km into Lake Kyoga. The last part of 200km river section starts from the western shores of the lake and flows at first to the west until it reaches south of Masindi Port. It later turns north then makes a circle to Karuma Falls. For the remaining part it flows merely westerly through the Murchison Falls. When it reaches the very northern shores of Lake Albert, it forms a significant river delta.
The lake itself is on the border of DR Congo, but the Nile is not a border river at this point. After leaving Lake Albert, the river continues north through Uganda whereby its known as the Albert Nile. The river covers many countries and these include Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya etc. The Nile has two major tributaries; the White Nile considered to be the headwaters and primary stream and the Blue Nile which is the source of the most waters and silt. Along the Nile, there are several exciting activities such as; rafting, boat cruise, bungee jumping to mention but a few.
This is another interesting pounding adventure on the Nile. It is a great way to experience the Nile and its surrounding areas of communities, local people, and alluring birds feeding on the fish. With kayaking here you get to sit in a small narrow boat wrapped around your waist equipped with a double blade paddle. It is a more testing activity since it provides an opportunity to develop your own skills, rather than just bouncing along the rafts controlled by the professionals’. For the case of the trainees, Courses and expeditions are offered whose instructors are well trained to the UK’s standard. The limited age for Kayaking is 14 years and above, however there is a quit number of activities that tourists below the age of 14 can participate in to enjoy their adventurous trip in Jinja.
White water rafting
It is the most popular excursion on the upper Nile and it’s an experience that teaches you to remain calm while under great pressure. Additionally, this activity takes you to the middle of the river under pressurizing rapids. Nevertheless, early morning is the best time to go for rafting adventure. More so, any traveler preparing to go for the activity should leave all the belongings behind.
On the other hand, one has to sign a form with all details. However, those with anemia are restricted from the activity for the wellbeing of their lives. The young children and adolescents are not allowed to go through the strongest and difficult rapids they instead take the route of smaller rapids to explore the forest. The rafting is safe given to the number of highly trained guides who are experienced in navigating through the rapids. It is also important to follow the instructions of the guides for your safety. Besides, participants are given life jackets and strong helmets to protect them from in case they trip over.
The Nile offers both lunch and sunset cruise an interesting activity that every traveler should encounter. The cruise offers an authentic memorable experience that you would not miss while on a Ugandan trip. Enjoy the sites of the river and the rapids, free flowing calm waters and as you continue with the excursion, you may be able to watch various bird species in the area.
This activity gives an opportunity to the traveler to fly like birds in the air. The jump involves jumping from a raised platform with a bungee cord connected to two tied legs. To participate in the activity one doesn’t require experience but instead determination. It’s upon ones decision to choose when to do the activity but there is both day and night Bungee but for the night Bungee you are limited from viewing various interesting environment in the area and you will not get a clear view of the pictures.
The 306km Mabira forest reserve whose southern extremities are skirted by the main Kampala-Jinja road as it runs between Lugazi and Njeru, ranks the largest remaining block of the moist semi-deciduous forest in Central and Eastern Uganda. The Forest is a rain forest area covering about 300 square kilometers in Uganda located in Buikwe District, between Lugazi and Jinja. The forest is the best place to go for nature walk, biking, bird watching, zip lining among others. The forest is a home of over 315 bird species; the forest wood hoope, purple throated cuckoo, shinning blue king fisher, red headed blue bill and much more. Other unique features exist in the area such as over 218 butterfly species and small mammals like monkeys. The forest has more than 312 tree species with medicinal importance and known to cure various diseases, papyrus swamps extra.
What to do in Mabira forest
This is an adventurous activity that gives you a golden opportunity to share the sky with the birds. An incredible moment that you would live to remember with great chances and possibilities to eye and touch the tallest tree branches. The activity can be done at Griffin falls found at the most famous Mabira forest. One is able to enjoy forest layers, mammal the grey checked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys and various bird species like the great blue Turaco, African fish eagle, and the Palm nut vultures. The Zip lining activity gives a tourist a unique perspective and experience in Mabira Forest.
Birding in Mabira
This is a must do activity for the birders, the forest houses over 315 bird species such as the forest wood hoope, Blue Headed Crested Monarch, purple throated cuckoo, shinning blue king fisher, red headed blue bill, Cassin Hawk Eagle, the Black Bellied Seed Cracker, White-bellied Kingfisher, Grey Parrot, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Cassin’s Honey guide, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Red-tailed Bristlebil and much more thus making it a good destination for birding. Various animal species exist in the area such as grey cheeked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys extra.
This will help you discover various tree species in the area which are over 312. Some trees in the area can cure terrible diseases that’s why many tourist in Uganda reach Mabira forest.
The waterfall lies on Ssezibwa River and was a favorite spot of Kabaka Mwanga and Kabaka Muteesa II. Here, they both planted their trees which still flourish to date. According to the legend, Ssezibwa was a progeny of a woman called Nakangu expected to give birth to twin children. But what instead poured from her womb was a twin river. Apart from praising the nature of the falls, there other interesting activities that one can enjoy and explore. These include; climbing, community visit, camping, guided nature walks, hiking, Bird watching and many others.
Activities at Ssezibwa falls
Bird watching is among the most fantastic and popular activity at Ssezibwa and there over 200 bird species as short listed; kingfishers, black & white hornbills, snake birds, cormorants, red chested cuckoo, red eyed dove, warblers, olive birds, parrots among others. Primates are also residents in the area such as the white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and much more.
There are various tree species in the area that are used traditionalists for medical purposes of healing different diseases that exist in Uganda. Hiking through the rocks is also interesting and some to engage in the activity has to be physically fit and those with health hazards you’re restricted from hiking because it’s very tiresome though thrilling and interesting on the other hand.
These can be done to encounter different cultures in Uganda and around the area. Visiting Ssezibwa is not seasonal since the falls can be visited all year round according to someone’s program.
Accommodation in Jinja
- Source of the Smile Hotel
- Gately on Nile
- Living water’s Resort
- Nile Anchor Palace
- Nile Village Hotel
- Source of the Nile Hotel
- Crested Crane Hotel
- Bilkon Hotel
- Kabalega Guesthouse
- Brisk Recreation Hotel