Explore Jinja, the Adventure Capital of Uganda

Jinja, the Adventure Capital

The tour to Jinja starts in Kampala transfer through Lugazi which is a favorite place of rest and healing for the Kabakas of Buganda Kingdom, en route visit the ssezibwa falls – one of the most powerful water falls in Uganda, proceed to Mabira forest which is also one of the biggest tropical forest in Uganda.

In Jinja, you can enjoy some of the following tourist activities boat cruise on the source of the Nile, the culture of the people living in the town of Jinja, white water rafting bungee jumping and swimming among others. Jinja town was established in 1907 by the British as an administrative centre for Busoga region.

Jinja town is situated in the South East of Uganda, 87 km north east of the capital, Kampala. The beautiful town is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile River.  Jinja is the major town in Jinja District, remained the capital of Busoga region and is considered the capital of the Kingdom of Busoga. It was the industrial heart of Uganda between 1954 and the late 1970s.

Jinja town is dominated by the Bantu ethnic group and Cotton-packing, nearby sugar estates, and railway access all enabled it to grow in size. By 1906 a street pattern had been laid out, and Indian traders moved in from around 1910.

Farming here thrives on the productive soils, plentiful water sources and dependable rainfall. Additional industries are metal processing, leather and paper processing, grain milling, sugar, some organic fruits and coffee growing for export, and brewing for local sale. There is some local and export fishing on Lake Victoria and Bujagali Falls, which is located downriver from Owen Falls Dam about 8Kms north of Jinja. Bujagali Falls is a world-class spot for kayaking and white water rafting, and also a popular weekend picnic area for local Ugandans. There is an active Hindu temple near Jinja, which has a bronze bust of Gandhi. There is also a Buddhist temple where tourists can go to study more about world religions.

On return in the 1990s, the Asians preferred the proximity of Kampala to the market, and established their factories near the capital, not in Jinja, which by the time of Amin’s economic misadventure in 1972, had become East Africa’s most industrialized town, boasting of beer, textile, cigarette manufacturing, food processing, sugar milling, metal, leather, paper and fish processing industries. Hence Jinja’s recovery remained sluggish.

With the benefit of hindsight, this was a blessing in disguise for it allowed Jinja to retain an old-fashioned look: new buildings have come up, yes, but these are carefully planned to accentuate the elegance and beauty of natural features such as the lake, the river, the islands and hills. It is easy to appreciate Jinja’s freshness and quiet; it still has green spaces and lots of space for future economic expansion—the exact antithesis of Kampala which has traded green spaces and trees for ad hoc glass and concrete buildings on almost every inch of space.

With such factors playing in its favour, Jinja could take a portion of the more than $600 million that Uganda earned from tourism last year, but also, it would provide some relief from the insanity of the capital.

Visiting Jinja

Jinja is one of the top destinations that travelers taking safaris in Uganda include in their itineraries! You can start with a tour of this historical city or consider adding it to the end. The most popular adventures include white water rafting, horseback riding, bungee jumping and more.