Jinja town is one of the top tourist destinations in Uganda and East Africa. It is a one-hour drive from the capital city, Kampala. The town has many interesting ventures and these are the top ten that should not be missed. Let’s not waste our time and let’s learn about the top 10 things to do in Jinja.
1. Bungee Jumping
Jinja is the only place that offers bungee jumping experiences in the whole of East Africa so far. So it is a must-do activity when you find yourself here. As you enter the town center, take the Nalunfenya road and branch off on Cliff road. This is where you will find the bungee jumping operated by an established company called Adrift. They have professional well-trained staff and standard equipment to ensure maximum safety and a memorable experience. You can choose between a short jump or a long jump where you get to touch the water below. The staff is also always ready to help you take magnificent photos of your jump.
2. White Water Rafting
Enjoy white water rafting along River Nile, the longest river in Africa, while in Jinja. The river has Grade IV and V huge challenging rapids that give an unforgettable experience. There are guides that give warnings and instructions before and during the journey. Safety kayaks are always available to offer help and take back those who may give up along the way. There are a number of good water rafting companies within Jinja and you can choose any depending on their prices which are usually between $100 and $200. Some packages also include transportation from Kampala as well as some meals.
3. Sport Fishing
Sports fishing involves baiting and catching fish out of the water for fun. You get the fish and celebrate your accomplishment with memorable pictures of your catch and then you let the fish back into the water. This is to help preserve the fish and not to deplete them. River Nile and Lake Victoria in Jinja harbor some interesting types of fish like the Nile perch, Tilapia, Catfish, Tigerfish, Ngara, among others. During this sport fishing, you can get to catch and see fish that is 100kg and above. Some of the tour companies you can book for sports fishing in Jinja are Nile River Explorers and Nalubaale Rafting.
4. Quad Biking
Get a chance to ride through Jinja in a four-wheeled powered quad bike. You do not need any prior experience to be able to operate the bike. Plus, training sessions are conducted for about thirty minutes around some circuits before taking off. The routes follow hidden marram roads away from the main roads with traffic to enable an uninterrupted excursion. This also enables tourists to go through and see villages, farms and the shores of river Nile up-close. It is a fun energetic experience with tour guides that tag along to tell you about the history and interesting stories of the places.
5. Horseback Riding
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Take a tour around Jinja on a horseback. Trot along River Nile as you take in the beautiful scenery around. Go deep in the villages and see the village life and people there who are always happy to see visitors. Also, tour and explore the vast plantations of tea and sugarcane. Guides ride along on their own horses and they explain the lifestyles and activities around. There is no rush and tourists are able to ride at their desired pace. The horses are strong, healthy and very well groomed for the journey. You can book for a sunset ride or an overnight ride.
6. Boat Cruise
A boat cruise along the longest river in the world, River Nile and the largest fresh water lake in Africa is one of the other unique experiences that Jinja has to offer. The landscape and scenery along the river is beautiful with many bird species and other animals like monkeys in the trees. There are lunchtime cruises that are accompanied by delicious lunch buffets and drinks as you enjoy the ride. There are also sunset cruises in the evenings with barbeques and cocktails. You can also opt for a morning ride with breakfast. The boat sizes vary to cater for small and big groups of people.
Jinja has many great places for camping with a number of tour companies that provide various camping packages. Most campsites in Jinja have a good view of Lake Victoria and River Nile which is priceless. Some sites are located on small islands like Buvuma island which is good for bird watching. Others are near waterfalls like Sipi falls and Itanda falls. Tour guides are present to give day tours as well as camping tips of the area. There are a lot of interesting things to see and learn about while on a camp in Jinja. The experience will definitely leave you refreshed.
8. Go to The Beaches
Some the best beaches in Uganda can be found in Jinja lying along the shores of Lake Victoria and River Nile. The atmosphere is cool and relaxing without any crowding at the beaches. This is because Jinja is a get-away from the busy parts of the country. There are also water sports and fishing excursions that you can take part in. Most of the beaches are next to hotels for easy access to accommodation and varying cuisines with fish as number one on all menus. Some of the beaches to check out are the Sailing Club, Tongolo resort beach, A-One beach among others.
9. Explore the Itanda Waterfalls
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The Itanda waterfalls is a scenic beauty hidden away 30km from the Jinja town in an area called Itanda. The area around is still very natural and untampered offering a refreshing view. Some of the locals consider it a blessed place where they go and say prayers. It is a good spot for bird watching with many diverse bird species in the trees. In addition to monkeys and baboons that are entertaining as they jump around other activities that you can enjoy there are water rafting and kayaking. The rapids of the water have three levels from Grade IV up to Grade VI, which is a bit dangerous.
10. Visit the Source of the Nile
This is the point at which the River Nile starts its long journey, descending from Lake Victoria all the way to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. The spot was created after a European explorer to Uganda called John Hannington Speke confirmed it in 1858. It is now a top tourist destination for many. There are many tour operators who take the tourists around on boat trips, canoe trips, or just walking tours along the banks. They tell the history and interesting stories and facts about the whole area. The sights around are also relaxing and good for a picnic.