Jinja is an adventure city with many tourist attractions and adrenaline activities that every visitor on a Uganda Safari should not miss. The Jinja city also known as the adventure capital of East Africa is located on the shores of Lake Victoria in Eastern Uganda. Jinja is approximately 83km from Kampala city and its takes about 2 hours drive.
Historically Jinja was the leading industrial town in Uganda given its strategic location and having a power generating dam in its center but following the expulsion of Asians from Uganda by Idi Amin Dada in 1972, the president of Uganda by that time, industries were left in the arms of un experienced and unskilled Ugandans who failed to operate them, leading to their collapse.
When they were allowed back the town did not gain its industrious state again but this has now left so many adventurous tourist activities in Jinja. It’s a no noise peaceful town and always Jinja is a must visit place to consider when planning a safari in Uganda.
There is a lot of adventurous activities that visitors can engage in while on Jinja tour and these are always memorable and so breathtaking. They create long lasting memories. Some may need enough confidence to try out but it’s always rewarding that people forget their fears and find themselves enjoying every moment of the adventure tour activities.
White Water Rafting
White water Rafting is an adrenaline rising and adventure activity that takes you through the Nile water rapids to different islands on Lake Victoria. White water rafting is one of the top tourist attractions in Jinja that takes you through different grades of rapids. Here you expect to get thrown out of the raft but nothing to worry its safe and done in professional way. Well experienced rafting crews are always there to help and guide you. White water rafting doesn’t need experience to take part and so it can be enjoyed by all and all visitors are given protective gears. It’s so much fun getting to go through the Nile waters and overcoming some fears. Pictures are taken to keep the memories of the Nile and the white water rafting trips are either half day of full day.
Visiting the Source of The Nile river
River Nile is the longest river in the world and has its source in Jinja, this was discovered by John Hannington Speke and so it’s always rewarding and memorable to see and reach this spot where the mighty river Nile starts to flow northwards. This is the considered as number one top of all tourist attractions in Jinja city. Visitors usually take a short boat ride to reach the actual source of the Nile where John Hannington speke saw and comfirmed the source of the world’s longest river. This is one of the most visited places in Uganda.
Bungee jumping on Nile Waters
Bungee Jumping is a safe activity that is not for the faint hearted. It involves jumping from a 44metre tall cliff with a rope tied to your ankles down to the Nile river waters. The activity gives spectacular views of the river as one falls freely to touch the Nile waters. Beautiful photos are taken by professional photographers and the experience is always memorable helping many people overcome the fear of heights. Bungee jumping can be done by anyone above 13 years and no experience is needed since there is help and guidance from the well trained staff. The jumps are organized both day and at night.
Fishing on River Nile
Fishing is another activity that is done in Jinja and this is one of the best sport fishing places in Uganda. Different fish types can be got like Nile perch, tilapia, cat fish and many more. The fishing methods used are spinning, baiting and trawling. Sports fishing can be done at any time of the day and it can last up to a full day.
Biking along the Nile and in Mabira Forest
Bike riding in Jinja allows visitors to explore the nearby villages along the Nile river and it can also be done along the dense forest of mabira. The activity is well organized but challenging as you ride through the different terrain but it takes you to different local communities passing through sugarcane and coffee plantations. At the end the experience is so amazing. Its worth trying it out on a visit to Jinja as you get to learn the lifestyle of people living in nearby communities. Biking activity is led by experienced guides who help to fix any problem that could happen on your bike during the ride. The ride takes 1 – 3 hours and can cost between $30 – $50, including snacks. Discover the beauty of Jinja city by the bike
Boat Cruise on the Nile River
Boat rides are always so rewarding that they take you close to the inhabitants of the river and the beautiful birds can be seen in the trees on the banks of the river. The boat cruises on the Nile can be arranged to the source of the Nile or downstream to Bujagali falls. There are both sunset cruises and day cruises and these give you perfect views and memorable moments with friends and family. Amazing photos of the sunset and the moments while on a boat cruise are taken.
Visiting the Water Falls – Itanda falls & Sezibwa
Jinja is blessed with spectacular water falls that are have great views and vibrant sounds that come from the powerful waters of the falls. The falls have great volumes of water that flow down from elevated areas down to the stones using force and this is amazing to see. The falls in Jinja are sezibwa falls located 34km from Jinja town, Itanda waterfalls located along the mighty river Nile 30km from Jinja town and Bujagali waterfalls where the government built the Owen falls dam that generates electricity used across the country. These falls have great wildlife and birds like red eyed dove, grey headed sparrow and many more.
Quade bike is one of the exciting activities done in Jinja that takes you through the countryside in villages, forests, sugar and tea plantations. Guides take you through how to operate the quad bike and practice circuit for about 30minutes so no experience needed. Quad biking can be done by all people above 12 years be it learners, experienced or expert drivers. There is no limit to the number of participants and the activity lasts between 1-4 hours. Safety precautions are taken and visitors are given overals and helmets for protection against dirt and mud.
Horse riding is a rare and unique activity in Uganda whereby you get to ride through the areas that are off the main tracks and get close to nature. Horse riding is a safe and reliable activity that all visitors to Jinja need to engage in. Different rides are offered to match the abilities of all visitors. Horse riding activity lasts between 1-3hours twice a day plus sunset rides. Prior booking is needed as the activity is competitive. Visitors are advised to wear closed shoes preferably with a heel, comfortable clothing, long trousers, carry drinking water, sunscreen and camera.
Kayaking is one of the adventure activity that can be done along the river nile in jinja. Its one of the best way the visitor can explore and experience the nile river while enjoying the view of the local villages living along the river. Un like white water rafting, kayaking in Jinja can be considered as the best in the whole world and its effortles and just needs short time to get experience. Experienced Instructers are always available to train participants before they begin the activity. You get to first learn how the river flows, speed, rescue and capsizing skills as well as knowing how to paddle forward and backward. On your visit to jinja dont feel worried to take a kayak because you will be allowed to take your own route on the mighty nile river mastering your rapids in short time. Kayaking company will provide the kayak and safety equipments to use.
Visiting the Colonial town and Markets
For many years Jinja has been an industrious town. Jinja town has the oldest buildings in Uganda built in 1920 and has many architectural buildings left by the Asian community who lived and operated in Jinja before they were chased out of the country by Idi Amin in 1970.
There are many craft shops, art galleries where you can buy souvenirs and gifts to carry for people back home. You can also visit the local markets to see how the people go about their daily activities.
Visiting the Mahatma Gandhi Monument
Mahatma is one of the greatest charasmatic leaders of the 20th century and also considered the father of the Indian nation by playing the vital role to transform india into democratic nation. He is remembered for promoting peace in Africa and so a monument was built as a tribute to his work near the source of the Nile. His ashes upon his request before he died were scattered in the Nile waters in 1948. This is a great memorial place to visit and currently is one of the tourist attractions in jinja city where most people always interested to take pictures while on their visit to the source of the Nile.
Tubing the Nile
Tubing the nile is another great activity you can do in Jinja which involves drifting along the nile river on an air filled pressured tube. Tubing the nile allows you to take adrenaline drifting on the tube for a period of 2.5 to 3 hours long depending on the water level of the world’s longest river in jinja. Enjoy Tubing the nile as you sun bathe, watching birds and enjoying the beautiful sceneries. Tubing trip are among the most liked guided tourist attractions in Jinja and can be best enjoyed in the afternoon and doest matter what age you are. Tubing the nile activities are grouped in three stages, that is White water tubing, Flat water tubing which is good for relaxing or groups with young children and extreme tubing. you need to make a booking before to allow the team to prepare for your experience. The tubing the nile trip can be done by people from 3 years but visitors between 3 and 18 year are young and must be accompaned by parents. There is no experience required to do this amazing activity and a trained tubing instructor will join the trip to give support.
Zip Lining in Mabira Forest
Zip lining is another great activity that has marged to be one of the favorite tourist attractions in Jinja. Zip lining makes you behave like monkeys by soaring through trees over River Musamya overlooking the forest canopy and having great views of the forest. Zip lining in Mabira forest takes you across a network of 5 zip lines stretching over 250meters guided by well-trained guides so it’s a safe activity to try out. Animals that can be seen include grey cheeked mangabeys, red tailed monkeys and a wide range of birds.
Nature / Forest walks in Mabira Forest
Guide Nature walks at Mabira forest are among the top tourist attraction in Jinja where most visitors come to do forest walk as well as bird watching. Mabira forest is the largest natural forest in Uganda covering 300 sq km in size. Mabira forest is located in Bwikwe district about 56 kilometers from Kampala city along the eastern route on Jinja road.
The journey to Mabira forest is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the junction of the Eco tourism site.
Guided nature walks in Mabira forest starts at the Eco tourism site offices just 5 minutes drive off Jinja highway.
Mabira forest has well developed network of walking trails which allows you to explore the forest and encounter different species of Birds, monkeys and tree species. If you are interested in nature walking in Mabira forest, you will be required to check in at Ecotourism offices where you will pay an entrance fee and assigned to guide who will take you through the whole experience.
Guided nature walk usually take 1-3 hours depending on your interest and according to which trail you will take. Visitors interested in bird watching have the opportunity to spot Nahan’s francolin, Dwarf kingfisher, parrot, Forest wood hoopoe, Blue throated roller, Hairy breasted barbet, African pied kingfisher, Cassin spintail, African shrike frycatcher, yellow throated tinker bird and many others.
Primate lovers will stand chances to see the endangered Grey cheeked mangabey, vervet monkey and Red tailed monkeys among other wildlife.
Visitors interested in guided walk in Mabira forest are require to carry their binoculars to be able to spot different wildlife in a distance, rain jacket, drinking water, snacks insect repellants and dressed in closed shoes, long pants for their protection from irching plants.