Jinja - The Source of Adventure in Uganda

August 10 2017

Originally famed as the source of the Nile, Jinja is where the world's longest river exits Africa's largest lake. More than 150 years after explorer John Speke identified Ripon Falls as the headwaters of the Nile, Jinja is now known as "the Source of Adventure." Located approximately 80kms east of Kampala (about a 2 hour-drive) Jinja is easily incorporated into a traditional Ugandan itinerary, and a major feature if you are looking to experience adrenalin-filled activities.

What to see and do

Jinja is akin to Southern Africa's adventure capital, Victoria Falls. Here visitors can experience a plethora of activities.

For those seeking action-packed "selfies", the Grade 5 rapids offer year-round white water rafting, while adventure kayaking and jet boating provide further adrenalin-fuelled experiences. Those in search of more sedate water activities will enjoy the sunset cruises on Lake Bujagali or the flat-water kayaking and paddle boarding.

Horseback safaris are on offer and those looking for more "horsepower" than "horse" can explore the quad biking trails in the area. A Nile community walk and mountain biking provide alternative ways to experience the surroundings.

Visitors looking for a heady rush can leap towards the Nile from the 150-foot high bungee platform. Or, midway between Kampala and Jinja there is a rainforest zipline system at Mabira Forest. The Canopy Super Skyway offers a network of 5 zip-lines that stretch 250m across the Musamya River enabling visitors to soar between the some of the tallest trees.

Where to stay

Jinja is a lively town and regular influx of thrill seekers ensures plenty of accommodation options. There are some upmarket guesthouse properties complemented by the moderately priced and backpacker variety. The more popular Jinja options include Gately on Nile, and the hospitably named 2 Friends Guesthouse and Source of the Smile Guesthouse.

Those looking to be out of town will do well to consider staying just downstrean of Jinja. Here, a number of properties have magnificent views across the Nile, the most popular being the luxurious Wildwaters Lodge. Near the Kalagala Falls it's situated on an island in between white water rapids and is a unique place to stay.

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