Jinja City Tour
Jinja City Tour: is located in Eastern Uganda on the northern shores of Lake Victoria and was founded in 1901 by British settlers. In 1954, the construction of the Owen Falls Dam submerged most of the “flat rocks” that gave the area its name. The Baganda called the area “Mayinja” and in Lusoga as ‘Idindha’ which translates to the stones and thus the name “Jinja” was derived. However Jinja retains the spacious and attractive layout of its colonial-era incarnation. The city simply bursts with energy and adventure and one could participate in the many activities that it offers and visit the most famous attractions.
The source of the Nile
The Nile is the longest river in the world and was discovered by a European explorer Speke Hannington. In addition, Jinja has had countless visitors who come both for deeper information or just to marvel at the source.
The river covers many countries; Sudan, Egypt, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya etc. The Nile has two major tributaries; the White Nile and the Blue Nile. Along the Nile, there are also several exciting activities such as; rafting, boat cruise, bungee jumping, Kayaking etc.
Kayaking and rafting
Kayaking is a more thrilling activity that is available at the Nile source for experienced rafters. However, family floats are provided for safety and a guide goes along with you on this adventure. For the case of the trainees, Courses and expeditions are offered whose instructors are well trained to the UK’s standard.
Otherwise, 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.
During this 1–2-hour cruise, one is able to spot various bird species. This cruise can also take you up to the point where the River Nile begins it journey to different destinations.
One may also choose to go bungee jumping at the Nile. This 44m high jump is a rather thrilling experience as you dive into the Nile.
White water rafting
It is the most popular excursion on the upper Nile. On the other hand, it’s an experience that teaches you to remain calm while under great pressure. However, any traveler preparing to go for the activity should leave all the belongings behind. In addition, one has to sign a form with all details and 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. However, 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 addition, it’s important to follow the instructions of the guides for your safety.
For those interested in fishing the tour operator can arrange for a day at the lake. While here, you can catch the tilapia, Nile perch, lung fish etc. You can also choose to take your catch back to your place of residence and have it prepared for you.
Visit to the Jinja central market
This massive market is one of Jinja’s important landmarks. Hosting over 3000 registered vendors this facility is a plethora of all kind of trinkets and goods of all sorts. Fruits, vegetables, household appliances, clothes, arts and crafts and all other kinds of souvenirs. Shopping (or even window shopping) here is fun as you get to see all sorts of cool new stuff and experience Ugandan culture.
Visit Kyabazinga royal palace
The kingdom of Busoga is one of Uganda’s most respected and much organized kingdoms in Uganda. It also located a few kilometers along Jinja-Kamuli. Generally, the kyabazinga palace (also known as the Budhumbula Palace) was the residence of former Kyabazinga “Nadiope William Wilberforce” who died in 1976. In addition, the shrine has the graves of the royal members and is enriched with the Busoga culture and history.
Nile Reptile Park
Here, all sorts of reptiles can be found in Jinja, snakes, chameleons, crocodiles, monitor lizards among others. Visit and learn more about these reptiles.
Nile view casino
Take a night off to enjoy the casino and play lots of games. In general, the casino features a selection of electronic gaming machines that include exciting slot machines and electronic roulette terminals.
Buguge historical site
Located a few kilometers from Kaliro town, Buguge Historical Site is one of the most popular attractions in this town. It is also a settlement of the first Lamogi (Chief) from the Babiito rulers of the Biito Dynasty of Bunyoro. Learn about their culture and listen to their interesting history.
A bike ride could take you around the nearby villages following local foot paths and tracks exploring the city’s beauty. However, this activity can be organized by the tour operator.
Mahatma Gandhi monument
At the source of the Nile surprisingly stands a shrine to Mahatma Gandhi. Born on 2nd October 1869 the famous Indian lawyer. He ordered that upon his death, his ashes were to be scattered in several of the world’s greatest rivers including the Nile in Uganda. Thus, the monument was donated by the Indian government in his honor.
The Speke monument simply is where John Hannington Speke, the first European explorer stood when he established that Lake Nalubale (what he decided to call Lake Victoria) is in fact the source of the Nile River. It sits adjacent to the source of the Nile Gardens with a river in between in Bukaya village.
Standing 3500ft above sea level in Buyende District this rock marks the settlement of Basoga people. The hill is among a number of small hills that increase the opportunity to rock climbing. One side of this hill has several steps all the way to the top which gives you a wide view of the area including Lake Kyoga.
This is the largest forest in Uganda situated along Kampala-Jinja Road in Buikwe district covering an area of about 306km2. The forest harbors over 315 bird species, 300 mammal species, 218 butterfly species and over 312 tree Species.
Activities done in Mabira forest
Being a home to over 315 bird species, Mabira is a must visit destination for the birders. You will see dusky long tailed cuckoos, African shrike flycatchers, forest wood hoopoes, the grey parrots. African pied hornbills, blue throated rollers, black shouldered nightjars, green breasted pittas, African fish eagles. Red headed bluebills, white-bellied kingfishers and shining blue kingfishers to mention but a few.
Imagine viewing the forest while you are in the sky. With views of a number of birds and primates getting up close. At an affordable price with all safety gears at hand, one can go zip lining at Griffin falls found in Mabira Forest and experience this thrilling adventure.
At Griffin falls is a camping site that can harbor you for as long as you want to stay in the forest. It also has tents so one needs not to worry about sleeping over. Be sure to come carrying mosquito repellants because these insects can be very disturbing.
With over 312 tree species in this forest one can easily get lost. However, these walks are conducted by experienced guides who knows the forest. In this case, you will come across the ancient giant trees, birds, monkeys and butterflies species.
The falls were named so behind a legend that once a lady named Nakangu was to give birth to twins. Surprisingly what came from her womb were in fact Twin Rivers that split around an island immediately after the waterfall. The locals called the river “sizibwa kkubo” which translates to “my path can’t be blocked” thus the name Sezibwa.
At this site one can do different activities which include; Cultural experience where you can experience worshippers performing different rituals. You can also do bird watching at Sezibwa falls. Being a wet area is a great site for seeing many bird species. In addition, camping grounds are available for those who decide to camp here or simply have a picnic. Other activities include; rock climbing and hiking though a little challenging for those who are unfit. Nevertheless, it is not so hard as the rocks are not too steep or one can decide to go for a nature walk and sight different butterfly and plant species.
Where to stay in Jinja
- Jinja Nile Resort
- Royal Park Hotel
- Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa
- Nile Village Hotel & Spa
- 2Friends Guest House
- Brisk Hotel Triangle
- Hotel Paradise on the Nile
- The Mansion Hotel
- Bilkon Hotel
- Surjios Guest House
- K&k Guest House
- Nile Eden Resort
How to get to Jinja
Jinja lies about 70km from Kampala, thus the journey would take almost up to two hours but owing to traffic and any stop overs made during the journey it would take up to two and a half hours to reach Jinja.
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