Jinja Town is located in the south Eastern Uganda on shores of Lake Victoria in the north.it is found in the north of the equator at an altitude of 3,750 feet(1100 meters) above the sea level. The place has pleasurable climate with temperatures ranging from 63 to 82 degrees F. (17 degrees to 28 degrees C).
Around 1990’s tourism was refreshing in Uganda, and worldwide adventure tourism was developing in attractiveness. By having the natural beauty and big waterfalls a few kilometres downstream, beginning at Bujagali Falls, Jinja got an additional benefit in 1996 when commercial White-Water Rafting first began on the upper reaches of the high volume River Nile shortly after the rapid-busting trips by Cam McLeay (Adrift), Jon Dahl and Fraser Small (Nile River Explorers).
In 2011 around November the accomplishment of the Bujagali Dam waterlogged several of the large rapids above the dam but rafting trips shifted their start point to bottom of the new dam and stretched further down the Nile.
Jinja is spread out with few towering structures outside city center. It preserves a much more ‘laid-back’ feel qualified to the adjacent capital of Uganda, Kampala is presently undertaking main renewal such as the latest building of a innovative multi-storied central market and road repairs together with many new hotels.
As you reach Jinja from Kampala, the region’s most important ecological feature is directly clear. Jinja ‘Town’ is positioned on the east bank of the River Nile, the longest river in the World; the Nile twitches its 6,670 km journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea. After what can be a very slow sector going through Kampala traffic to Mukono, the drive to Jinja passes through an exciting attraction of Uganda with small towns, farmland, and Mabira Forest, tea & sugarcane plantations.
You cross the Nile at the Owens Falls Dam which was completed in 1954 and will find Jinja a laid-back contrast to Kampala – a very welcoming place with a concentration on tourism and friendly generosity.
How to get there.
By road: The road to Jinja from Kampala is smoothly well tarmacked. The journey covers 2 hours’ drive covering a distance of 80 kilometers; the slowest section is getting out of Kampala and past Mukono. From there (apart from a stream of slow heavy vehicles) the going is generally much easier and you pass through areas of sugarcane and tea plantations, Mabira Forest and down from Mbiko into the Nile Valley, crossing the River over the Owens Falls and Nalubale Dams. A new bridge is currently being built for completion by 2016.
By Air: The Jinja Airfield is now in operation. In case you need to travel by flight, speed way safaris will arrange for you a flying safari from Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala and from Entebbe Airport .
Explore Jinja town.
Enormous houses with large backyards are a part of the bequest that the innovative designers offered to the town, with noiseless, tree lined streets giving setting to the laid-back and warm comfortable that guests normally experience on arrival. Urgency hour in Jinja is very different from that in Kampala. With less traffic it is very simple to move around. At least half of all vehicles are bicycles and small motorcycles (boda-boda taxis). Normally there’s a cool breeze blustering in from Lake Victoria, clean air rather than smog to breath.
Beside the Main Street there are outlooks out over the lake. Parking is hardly a problem. Boda-boda motorcycle taxis provide an easy way to move around the town and are found on almost every street corner. There is a slow, steady feel to life here. A recent Town Council campaign to clean up the streets and shop fronts has made Jinja even more attractive.
Tourism is providing a new motivation to Jinja’s economy. Worthy accommodation have been put in place, a serene laid-back welcoming atmosphere, cool weather all year round almost on the equator but 1150 above sea level makes for a very enjoyable climate, features of natural beauty lake views and the ‘Source of the Nile, and a lots of things to do in the near locality such as the adventure activities at Bujagali Falls; these are all elements that are contributing to Jinja’s growing popularity as a tourist destination.
There are many options for all budgets; hotels, guesthouses, and backpackers in and near Jinja. Jinja has got very good hotels and guest houses all over the town and nearby, there are classic restaurants with a wide variety of gastronomes. There is also travelers’ lodging and camping in the town and nearby. Take a walk along Main Street and the neighboring streets in the evening and you will meet lots of restaurants and bars with indoor, garden and pavement seating.
ATTRACTIONS IN JINJA.
Source of the Nile; The Source of the Nile is the second longest river in the world, marketed as a discovery of one of the first European explorers, namely Speke, is an internationally unique attraction. Commissioning a study to improve it as a tourist attraction and implementing the recommendations would greatly help to enhance its potential as a tourist attraction for both international tourists and domestic excursionists.
Boat cruises on the Nile; A boat ride from the Source of the Nile Gardens out to nearby Samuka Island is another special way of seeing the town, giving a different perspective of Jinja while looking back to the town from the lake. Bujagali falls and nearby Mabira Forest are only a few kilometers away.
Visit the Bujagali Fall; these are located along the Nile River, within a distance of about 10 kilometers from Jinja municipality. The scenery and rafting activities of Bujagali Falls currently exploited on a small scale have an enormous potential for both excursions and international tourism. The falls also offer opportunity for bird watching.
Itanda falls; Itanda Falls are also found on the Nile, 18 kilometers north-west of Jinja town. The falls offer opportunity for bird watching (especially the weaver birds), camping and picnic outings.
Islands in Lake Victoria; these include Samuka, Ndaiga, LwabitookeI and LwabitookeII. Apart from Samuka, the rest of the Islands have not been exploited for tourism purposes despite the existing potential. The existing potential includes boat racing, sport fishing, over-night camping, day excursions and various water sports.
Lake Victoria Beaches; The lake’s beaches have been partially exploited for location of tourism developments, especially hotels. These beaches include the sites at Sailing Club, Tilapia Club and Masese. Besides the scenery, the lake can be exploited for water sports, which would attract the domestic, foreign resident and foreign non-resident tourists.
Kyabirwa fall; Located 8 kilometers from Jinja, the falls offer a good scenery and landscape for campsites that is not yet fully exploited. Potential also exists for bird watching and Ethno botany.
Whiter water rafting; The Nile is home to the best grade 5 white water rafting in Africa perfect for adrenaline junkies and learners. Full day, Half day rafting trips can all be organized for you .
Bunge jumping; This one of the most interesting activity as it involves free falling from a tall structure into the Nile and rebounding off the water is really one thrilling activity that will get your adrenaline pumping
Kayaking; the activity involves sitting in small narrow boat wrapped around your waist equipped with a double blade paddle and explore the Nile on your own. Kayaking lessons are available for those who may need to learn kayaking.
Quad biking; Enjoy quad biking tours through the beautiful country side of Jinja . This activity is ideal for small groups and families – Explore local communities on your own pace.
Jet Boating; Explore the Nile river on a high speed jet boat- Enjoy 360 degree spins and Feel the splash of water on your skin as you ride through rapids under guidance of a professional boat.
Horseback Riding ; Experience a new and exciting way to explore Jinja’s numerous attractions- Visit the Nile, local communities and other popular places on riding on the back of a horse
Jinja guided tour; Enjoy guided tour in Jinja in the comfort of an air-conditioned safari van – Visit local markets, fishing sites plus other popular attractions around town.
Car hire; Hire a Car in Jinja securely online with Jinja Tours – We offer cheap car rental services for tourists in need of self-drive or chauffeur guided trips-
Sports; Sports facilities, especially the out-standing Jinja golf pitch and the Bugembe Stadium, offer opportunity for attracting international and national tournaments, whose participants are over-night visitors.
Antiquities / Historical sites; A number of historical sites exist in Jinja district. These are: Bujagali ancestral site, for Soga tribe ancestral spirits, at Bujagali falls; the current Busonga King’s palace at Nakabango; Mpumudde hill, the historical meeting place of the Basoga chiefs and the British colonial Governors. Mpumudde is also the place where King Kabalega, of the Bunyoro Kingdom died.
Industries; the numerous industries found in Jinja attract excursionists, especially school tours. These include textile (Nytil Picfare), beer (Nile Breweries), sugar (Kakira Sugar Works), steel rolling (Jinja Steel Rolling Mills), grain milling (Jinja Grain Millers) and fish (Masese Fish Factory) and tea processing (Garden Tea) industries.
Agro-based industries such as sugar and tea processing establishments have potential to attract foreign resident and non-resident tourists, if included in the tour packages, for tourists coming from countries where the semi-finished or finished products are exported.
The hydroelectricity plant at Jinja Owen Falls is also an attraction, especially for the school tours and other domestic excursion groups.
Agriculture; The tea and sugar estates are currently exploited as tourist attractions. Like the agro-based industries, the plantations have tourism potential as an attraction for tourists coming from countries where semi-finished or finished products of sugar and tea are exported.
Community market visits; Jinja main market and several other markets operating on various days are a potential attraction particularly to foreign tourists
Craft Shops and Art Galleries; located along the Main Street and Iganga Road are many craft shops and a several art galleries. Crafts shops, workshops and community groups are common in Jinja town and its suburbs, making mats, baskets and other souvenirs from papyrus and other natural materials.
The souvenir industry has a large potential in Jinja district, if programmes for sustainable use of the raw materials are developed.
Hotel and Catering; The hotel and catering sector is fairly well developed in Jinja district. The existing accommodation establishments rage from backpacker to upper class tourist ones.