Since peace returned to Uganda, Jinja has become the byword for African adventure sports. Here, it is not so much about the wildlife. Instead, visitors are drawn to raft the wild waters of the Nile River and seek adrenaline-fuelled fun, far from any gorilla.
Reasons to Go
The bustling town of Jinja is situated at one of the sources of Africa’s longest and most renowned rivers: the River Nile. The Nile has long been a symbol of life and prosperity for all the countries it passes through, before its journey ends in Egypt, far north of here.
Jinja has quickly become East Africa’s adrenaline capital, and thrill-seekers can get their fix white water rafting, kayaking, quad biking, bungee jumping or horse-riding through crumbling colonial ruins.
Natural beauty is never far away. Serene nature walks on the river bank and boat cruises on Lake Bujagali can be taken at a more comfortable pace for those who like the gentler sides of life.
Get the adrenaline flowing with a white water rafting excursion.
Things to Do
White Water Rafting
The main draw of Jinja is its heart-palpitation-inducing white water rafting.
There are three different levels of rapids to choose from. Class three rapids are for intermediates, class five rapids for experts and adrenaline junkies, and class two rapids for families and beginners.
Helmets, life jackets, safety training and photos of the experience will all be included as part of the tour package.
There are no hippos in this part of the Nile and crocodiles are extremely unlikely (there has not been a crocodile related incident in 20 years of rafting).
For white-water kayakers, the Nile is one of the best rivers in the world.
If you have experience, but would benefit from a refresher, experienced guides and multi-day courses are available.
River Surfing is also available for those willing to brave the cold waters.
However, for beginners and families, a more sedate option is to kayak on the flat-water of Lake Bujagali .
Feeling courageous? kayak or river surf over foamy white rapids in the Nile.
Lake Cruises and Birding Tours
Lake Bujagali is also the venue for lunch and sunset cruises using two-storey cruisers similar to those on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Nile at Murchison Falls.
Full and half day birding cruises are offered by specialised operators, providing the chance to see the local birdlife from the water.
Notable species include the martial eagle, white-backed night heron, rock pratincole, papyrus gonolek and crimson-rumped waxbill.
Take a relaxing boat cruise to view some of Jinja’s bird life.
If you are looking for an extra thrill, then a 44 metre bungee jump is available for the brave or foolhardy at Adrift’s Nile High Camp.
Bungee jumping can be done both at night and during the day, but most people do it in the day to fully appreciate the madness of it all – plummeting down before dipping your fingers into the Nile as the elastic pulls you to safety.
Adrift follow New Zealand safety standards, and per the guidelines regularly check that the equipment is safe to use.
Plunge 44 m and dip your fingers in the Nile with a Bungee Jump.
When to Visit
You can visit Jinja year-round. The flow of the river is dam-controlled and so is not affected by the rains.
The most popular time to visit Uganda is in the drier months of late June to October and late December to early March, but it is possible (and enjoyable) to travel outside these times