Jinja is known worldwide as the Victorian source of the River Nile, where what becomes the White Nile begins its 4230 mile journey to the Mediterranean. Intrepid Victorian adventurers settled on Jinja on the western shores of Lake Victoria as the most distant source for the world’s longest river in the mid-19th century. It’s impossible to visit Uganda without feeling the tug to visit the spot and thus began the unlikely fame and popularity of this small sleepy town, so easily reached from Kampala, just over an hour’s drive away.
White Water Rafting on the River Nile
Jinja town itself may be a little quiet but white water rafting the Nile River is the major draw for a new generation of thrill-seekers. At the Bujagali Falls, 8km from Jinja, modern adventurers take on some of the finest white water rafting in the world. The source of the Nile is now known as East Africa’s ‘adventure capital’ and as well as Grade 5 white water rafting, Jinja offers other adventure activities such as kayaking, quad biking, the ubiquitous bunjee-jumping and horse-riding as well as the more tranquil ways to explore the Nile, such as riverboat cruises on Lake Bujagali. If you would quite like to try some white water rafting but don’t fancy spending so much time upside down or outside the raft, try the Grade 3 rafting.
The Nile is still a great choice for ‘rest and relaxation’ after a Uganda safari, even for those not giddy with excitement at the prospect of watery thrills and spills. Stay on an unspoilt riverine island in a private oasis of comfort about 26km downstream. Enjoy guided walks, swimming and fishing or just chilling out in a spot where you get the charge of energy from being near surging frothy water – but without the immersion. The Wildwaters reserve protects several of the tropical rainforested islands mid-stream in the Nile, providing sanctuary to endemic birds, schools of fish and unique flora and fauna. The Wildwaters Lodge is on a mid-stream island only accessible by canoe and you are surrounded by rapids and rushing waters but you are some half an hour away from the main white water rafting and adventure sports jamboree.