Top Things To Do In Jinja (Thrilling Adventures For 2023)
Top Things To Do & See In Jinja In 2023
Jinja is famous for having the source of the Nile – the longest river in the world and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. There are a variety of things to do in Jinja.
This Uganda’s third largest city sits along the northern shores of Lake Victoria – Africa’s largest lake – in Busoga sub-region, in the Eastern Region of Uganda. Jinja city is one the best destinations for safaris in Uganda and has been dubbed the “Adventure Capital East Africa.”
This is due to many adventures one can do in Jinja, such as white-water rafting, kayaking, quad biking, bungee jumping, and even mountain biking tours.
Jinja city is also very close to Kampala the capital of Uganda, easily reached in one and half hour (80km) drive from the capital.
So, you can take a day trip to Jinja, enjoy thrilling adventures and get back before nightfall. Or you can book into a hotel in a serene spot along the Nile River and indulge in the several adventure activities Jinja has to offer. Here Is a list Of the Top things To do In Jinja/Things To See In Jinja:
1. Lake Victoria
Lake Victoria – Africa’s largest lake – with a surface area of just under 70 000 km², can be experienced in several places in Uganda like Entebbe, Ssesse Islands, and Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
But Jinja city is one of the best places as you can combine it with your visit to the historic source of the Nile River and with the several adventures.
Here, you can take a relaxing boat cruise to the Lake, enjoy the scenery, watch waterbirds, and visit some beautiful islands such as Samuka.
2. Boat Cruise to the Source of the Nile
A boat trip to the source of the Nile is the perfect way you can enjoy a few relaxing hours on the Nile on your Uganda tour in Jinja. It takes you to the exact spot where the world’s longest river begins its 6,650km journey to Mediterranean.
Here, water bubbles can be seen, indicating that water is sprouting from the ground before it mixes with water from Lake Victoria to flow northwards.
3. Whitewater Rafting
The stretch of rapids along the upper Nile River in Jinja is considered one of the most spectacular places in world to go white-water rafting.
A full-day white-water rafting trip covers 9 rapids (one Grade 6, four Grade 5, four Grade 4) rafting over a distance of 20kms to end at Itanda Falls.
You can also opt for half-day rafting. And there is a choice of rafting packages that cater to families, groups that cater to all levels and experience. Tulambule Uganda safaris can organize 1 day white water rafting trip for you
Kayaking is another fantastic way you can experience the Nile up close on your Uganda trip in Jinja.
Even if you are a first-timer, after a short introductory course, you can effectively navigate your kayak with the Nile crashing around you.
You can take half or full day kayaking excursions. You can kayak solo or try out tandem kayaking on double kayak.
Tandem kayaking is ideal for first-timers since it allows those with little or no kayaking experience to take on some of the biggest and best rapids in a day.
5. Tubing on the Nile
Tubing on the Nile is another of the fun things to do in Jinja.
The activity entails floating along the River Nile on an inflatable tube while sunbathing, watching birds, beautiful islands, and green forests. You can enjoy flat/lazy tubing, white water tubing and extreme tubing adventures.
The activity is great for all ages and makes fun for team building excursions, family trips and weekend getaways in Jinja.
6. Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping over the Nile River in Jinja is the epitome of adrenaline adventure activities! You leap from a 44 meter-high platform into the Nile. This is not for the faint-hearted; rather, it is for the daredevils.
7. Jet Boating
Jet Boating is similar to white water rafting but with a difference.
Instead of using the balloon rafts, you navigate the rapids in a high-speed boat traveling at a thrilling speed of up to 90 kilometers per hour. The excursion provides the same adrenaline feeling as all other Nile water sports in Jinja.
8. Sport Fishing
River Nile and Lake Victoria are home to one of the biggest freshwater fish species in the world, the mighty Nile Perch and the tasty tilapia.
We can provide you with the opportunity to hunt these fish on both water bodies. You can book full day, morning, or afternoon fishing trips which cater for either the first-timers or the expert anglers.
All fishing gear, safety gear, and drinking water is supplied.
Tulambule Uganda safaris know the areas which have the highest concentration of fish for a great sport fishing experience in Jinja.
9. Nyege Nyege Festival
Nyege Nyege is a relatively new festival that has become a phenomenon as it is arguably the most sought-after festival in Uganda and East Africa.
Revelers throng Jinja from all over the world to experience art, enjoy different types of music entertainment with artists and djs coming from different countries, eat an array of dishes and freely express themselves during the 4 day festival
10. Sunset Boat Cruise
If you are to spend like two days in Jinja, consider going on a 2 hour sunset boat cruise.You watch the sun as it settles over the shores of Lake Victoria and the River Nile!
Sunset cruises accommodate couples and families, as well as large groups requiring a two-level pontoon boat for special events.
11. Mountain Biking
Mountain biking tours are a great way to explore Jinja and the banks of the River Nile, with a knowledgeable local guide.
They take you through towns, villages, and small farms, with spectacular views of the Nile, along the way. You can also enjoy a thrilling 20km ride from Jinja to Mabira Forest.
You ride through the forest on narrow tracks with a canopy of trees providing shelter from the sun as you experience nature at its best. This ride wanders through small villages, sugar and banana plantations and gives a good taste of rural Uganda.
12. Quad Bike Tour
Quad biking is another thrilling Jinja adventure activity. It is also family-friendly as children are catered for. The quad bike routes run along the Nile, giving you an unparalleled view of the river as it meanders through the countryside. The tour last between 1 and 3 hours and can include visits to local villages.
13. Horseback Riding
A two to three hour horse ride is also one of the fun things to do in Jinja.
You explore the beauty of the legendary Nile River with people waving at you as you ride through local villages. The horses are very well trained and maintained by their Australian owners. There are horses for riders of all experience levels
14. Relaxation In The Middle Of the Nile
After an adrenaline-pumping adventure in Jinja, you can cruise a few kilometers downstream Nile to the luxurious Wildwaters Lodge, one of the most tranquil lodges you will ever encounter in Africa.
It is located on roughly 6 hectare s on Kalagala Island, on a unique private island mid-stream within the mighty River Nile.
It is uniquely perched on granite rocks with dramatic and exciting rapids roaring all around. It offers a relaxing and intimate location for honeymooners and couples looking for some quiet time.
15. Relax at Samuka Island
Samuka Island is a small lush island in Lake Victoria that is reached via a 30 minute boat ride from the lake shore at the source in Jinja.
The island is seated on a 15 acre piece of land and wholly occupied by the resort. It offers a unique opportunity to escape and relax in total peace and tranquility.
The island has got cottages, a lovely swimming pool, restaurant and bar. Outdoor games like volley ball and football are available. It’s also very ideal for those into camping.
16. Sundowner along River Nile
There is no better way to spend your evening than on a sundowner along River Nile to Lake Victoria in Jinja. You sip on a cocktail as you enjoy the magnificent views of the Nile and the lush countryside.
17. Visit Local Markets
You can take a tour through the city as you explore the lively streets, local markets, and shop for souvenirs ranging from clothes, jewelry, musical instruments, bags, wallets, curving, molds, to paintings.
18. Visit Mahatma Gandhi Monument
Gandhi is one of the greatest and most charismatic leaders of the 20th century.
He is also considered to be the father of the nation of India and is remembered for the great role he played during India’s transformation into a democratic nation.
Gandhi is also remembered for his work in Africa and one of his last wishes was to have some of his ash sprinkled on the river Nile.
A guide can give more details about Gandhi and his work of activism especially in South Africa. Don’t go without taking a photo with the famous monument.
19. Village Walks
If you would like an authentic Uganda safari tour experience in Jinja, we highly advise you to take a community village walk in Namwendwa, just east of Jinja.
During your tour, you learn how to prepare local food, brew your own Ugandan Gin (“waragi”), and of course, meet the local people.
20. Golfing At Jinja Golf Club
Jinja city has two famous golf courses to play golf while in the adventure city, the Jinja Source of the Nile Golf Course and the Big Game Mini Golf Course.
The Nile Golf Course was established in 1912 by the colonial administrators and is one of the top five golf courses in Uganda.
It is a 9-hole course and is open to everyone who wishes to test their golfing skills. It also has other facilities like a swimming pool, a snooker table, a tennis court, a bar and a restaurant.
The big game mini-golf course is much smaller course and designed for families with children. It has ten holes that are decorated with animal sculptures and takes less than an hour to complete.
More Things To Do Outside Jinja
1. Mabira Forest Visit
Mabira Forest is located about 20 minutes’ drive from Jinja.
Actually while traveling from Kampala to Jinja you go through this green expanse of forest located along the Kampala – Jinja highway.
Mabira is the biggest natural forest in the central region of Uganda.It spans 306 square kilometers and home to a number of wildlife such as monkeys, months, butterflies, squirrels, reptiles, plants, trees, birds, etc.
The forest normally does not miss on itineraries of nature lovers going on a day trip to Jinja. On the way to Jinja one can stop over for bird watching, zip lining, nature walk, mangabey monkey tracking, mountain biking, picnic and camping.
2. Sezibwa Falls
Sezibwa Falls is another great spot located 30 minute drive on the Kampala – Jinja highway. It also that provides a nice stopover on trips to Jinja.
Here, you can enjoy a hike to see the beautiful waterfalls, take in the lovely natural surrounding and learn about the cultures and traditions associated with the place.
Sezibwa is an important Buganda Cultural Site where traditional worship of ancestral spirits is still practiced.
There is an interesting tale that the Sezibwa falls and the river were created by strong spirits which then decided to stay at Sezibwa.
The traditionalists then set up shrines at the site to worship and make sacrifices to these spirits in return for blessings and favors.
A site attendant will take you on a guided nature and cultural walk to explore the natural beauty falls and cultural heritage.
3. Kagulu Hill Hike
Jinja is not a known destination for hiking, but Kagulu hill is a famous hill with cultural and historical significance as it is known for being the first settlement of the Basoga people who occupy Jinja.
Standing at 3048 meters, the hill is worthy a day’s hike for the hiking enthusiasts and rock climbing lovers, and also those seeking to learn more about the traditions of the people in this area.
Kagulu hill is also located out of Jinja, in Buyende district about 2 hours’ drive from Jinja.
4. Sipi Falls Tour
Sipi Falls are arguably the most beautiful waterfalls in Uganda. The falls are quite a distance away from Jinja, farther in eastern Uganda, however it is a highlight worthy including on the trip to Jinja for the hiking enthusiasts.
Sipi falls are located in the foothills of Mount Elgon – Africa’s eighth highest mountain at 4321 meters. The drive from Jinja to Sipi is about 3 hours.
From Jinja you can go hike to the falls, do the abseiling adventure on the falls, take a coffee plantain tour, and get back to Jinja in one day.
Where Can You Stay in Jinja?
Jinja has a variety of places to stay in Jinja, including hotels, guesthouses, lodges, campsites, and hostels. These Jinja accommodation facilities are found in the middle town, residential quarters, banks, and islands of the River Nile.
They are categorized as offering budget, mid-range, and luxury facilities and services. Here are best places to stay in Jinja in their categories:
- Lemala Wildwaters Lodge
- Jinja Nile Resort
- Haven Eco River Lodge Jinja
- 2 Friends Guesthouse Jinja
- Gately On the Nile
- Bilkon Hotel
- King Kingfisher Safari Resort
- Sunset Hotel International
- Brisk Hotel Triangle Jinja
- Jinja Source of the Nile Hotel
- Explorers River Camp Jinja
- Nile Porch
- Busoga Trust Guesthouse
Suggested Uganda Safari Itineraries Featuring Jinja/Things To In Jinja
Our Uganda safari itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Jinja. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.
1 Day Jinja Tour And Visit To Sezibwa Falls And Mabira Forest
1 Day White Water Rafting On The Nile In Jinja
2 Days Jinja Day Tour & Sipi Fall Hike
3 Days Ultimate Outdoor Adventures Tour To Eastern Uganda
4 Day Jinja Tour & Sipi Falls Trip
5 Days Gorilla Trekking & White Water Rafting Safari, Source of the Nile
8 Days Uganda Safari Tour – East & Northern Adventures
16 Days Uganda Safari
21 Days Uganda Safari & Adventure VacationTags: Uganda Travel Guides, Visit Uganda