Walking down the densely populated streets of jinja says solittle of its former glory, Save for the dilapidated colonial architectural structures. Although there are a few industries left like the Nile breweries, steel rolling mills, tembo steels company, a –ply wood plants, among others, the former industrial capital buzzing with thousands of operating industries is now a shadow of its former self. In spite of this, it has not robbed jinja of its status of the adventure capital of east Africa and being the second largest city in Uganda. The construction of the Owen falls dam which you may consider the gateway to the adventure paradise has also kept the former British administrative base afloat as it draws many industries because of the hydro electricity thus the development of the city. The city originates its name from a former king of Buganda Kabaka kyabagu who took over this place during his reign and gave it to one of his loyal subjects titled omwami. Every time the omwami had someone to meet he asked them to meet him on the stones locally called Mayinja(plural) jinja(singular) the place had a lot of stones and it is against this background that the place is called Jinja.
Jinja is often regarded as one of the major tourist destination in Uganda especially for adventure tourism the town is the home of the historical source of the Nile, the world’s longest river, flowing gracefully into Lake Victoria. And although there other tourist activities, most of the activities here are focused on the River Nile as the leading centre of Ugandan tourism. They are the leaders and innovators of bungee jumping, white water rafting, kayaking in Uganda and a range of other adventure tourism activities. They have the perfect setting and natural resources to offer comprehensive range of adventure tourism products that are land, water and air based.
Travelling to the Nile’s birth place is a more than rewarding experience. The 80 km journey from Kampala is stuffed with stimulating scenery from the terraced hills (not as big as those in the west), large tea plantations, sugar cane plantation, and the sights of local vendors with roasted treats. Not to mention the Ssezzibwa falls, and the Mabira forest that bursts with rhythms and sound of life, and the freshest air you have breathed in a long time. There are a number of production companies that are lined on the route ranging from sugar companies, rice processors, iron smelters, brewery, among others. You may occasionally get stuck behind a trailer but the wait is worth it because impatience may be the lead to your death.
The Owen falls dam is an awesome sight and you could consider itthe gate way to adventure safaris in Uganda unlimited. However there are no pictures allowed at this point you can only admire the beauty and continue to the city centre. While in Jinja you could visit the source of the Nile and enjoy east Africa’s finest beer: a Nile on the Nile. Boat tripscruises are available to take you to the other side of the river but that is not without stopping at the source of the Nile. Visit the Speke monument where a land mark was laid to mark the source of the Nile. If you are a bird lover then you will enjoy yourself here as there tones of bird species which you can lookout for as you sip the Nile special beer and probably fish. There also overnight stays available on the island.
Ohh how about a little more adventure after all it is the adventure capital? There are a number of adventure caps along the Nile which ever you choose that’s a decision for you to make. If you are up to bungee jumping, then you can only get it at the adrift camp and if you want a quad bike ride you can only cruise it with the all terrain adventures. But for the rest of the thrilling adventures, kayaking, rafting, boat rides, river boarding among others you have a variety to choose from. From the Nile explorers company, adrift adventure company, Nalubale rafters, equator rafters have more than you can ask for. If you’re the kind that is not into thrills, these people have not left you out, there are adorable sun downers that can be done by couples, families set against one of the most beautiful tropical sunsets you may ever encounter and just before you leave do not forget to visit the virgin itanda falls. For the love of people and culture you will not be left out you can also visit the kyabazinga’s palace and have a taste of the native busoga culture.
If you are looking for a rush of adrenaline, the adrenaline capital of east Africa will be gladly waiting for you with arms wide open.