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Jinja Town

Jinja Town, Uganda’s Adventure Capital

The name “Jinja” means “Rock” in Buganda and Busoga. The area was called the ‘Place of Rocks’ and British there derived its name Jinja. Jinja is a small town located in the South-eastern part of Uganda; east of the Nile River and along the northern shores of Lake Victoria with an area of 767.7Km2 of which 701.9km2 is land and the remaining 65.8km2 is covered by water bodies. Jinja as a district is subdivided into 3 counties and these are:  Butembe, Kagoma and Jinja Municipality; with 6 Sub-Counties; 46 Parishes and 381 villages. Jinja Municipality alone has three sub-counties and 55 villages. Jinja District is bordered by Kamuli District to the north, Luuka District to the east, Mayuge District to the southeast, Buvuma District to the south, Buikwe District to the west and Kayunga District to the northwest.

Because of its fresh waters, Jinja was once a fishing village that benefited from being located on long-distance trade route. There are several Hotels in Jinja and some of which include: Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and spa, Nile Hotel Jinja, Masion Hotel, Jinja Safari Hotel, Dianwill Hotel, Speke Courts hotel, Source of the smile guest House, Unik Hotel, Living Waters Resort, Signature Hotel apartments and so many others. These all good services and facilities. Feel free to book one when you are in Jinja. Jinja has very may tourist attractions and there many activities to enjoy such as; River rafting, Bike tours, Boat tours, Gear Rentals, Horseback riding tours, nature and wildlife tours, shopping, museum, buggy jumping and many more.

Things to do in Jinja Town, Attractions in Uganda Jinja

The key tourist attractions of the district are given below.

  1. Source of the Nile

This is the greatest attraction in Jinja. The first European explorer by the name of Speke discovered   Source of the Nile, as the second longest river in the world and internationally unique attraction. It comes with a number of interesting activities to participate in such as rafting, boat cruise, bugee jumping and many more others that you will love to try out.

  1. Bujagali Falls

Bujagali falls are 10km from the Jinja Municipality and are found along the Nile River. The falls offer tourist activities such as: the scenery viewing, bird watching and rafting which will be unforgettable experience for you.

  1. Itanda Falls

The falls offer opportunity for bird watching (especially the weaver birds), camping and picnic outings and they are found 18 kilometers north-west of Jinja town.

  1. Kyabirwa Falls

Kyabirwa falls do exist for bird watching and Ethnobotany. They also offer a good scenery and landscape for campsites and they are located 8 kilometers from Jinja.

  1. Lake Victoria Beaches

These beaches include the sites at Sailing Club, Tilapia Club and Masese. Some of the activities for tourists to take place here include sport fishing and canoeing. Beside its beautiful scenery, its beaches can also be exploited for water sports.

  1. Islands in Lake Victoria

These include Samuka, Ndaiga, LwabitookeI and LwabitookeII.  Samuka is mostly exploited by tourist since it offers many tourist activities such as; boat racing, sport fishing, over-night camping, day excursions and various water sports.

  1. Industries

Agro-based industries such as sugar and tea processing establishments have potential to attract foreign resident and non-resident tourists, if included in the tour packages, for tourists coming from countries where the semi-finished or finished products are exported. The hydroelectricity plant at Jinja Owen Falls is also an attraction, especially for the school tours and other domestic excursion groups. The numerous industries found in Jinja attract excursionists, especially school tours. These include Nytil Picfare, Nile Breweries, Kakira Sugar Works, Jinja Steel Rolling Mills, Jinja Grain Millers and Masese Fish Factory and Garden Tea industries.

  1. Agriculture

The agro-based industries, the plantations have tourism potential as an attraction for tourists coming from countries where semi-finished or finished products of sugar and tea are exported. The agricultural tourism attractions include Kakira sugar and Kasaku tea plantations.

  1. Sports

Participate in several activities that take place Jinja golf pitch and the Bugembe Stadium such as cricket which offers an opportunity for attracting international and national tournaments, whose participants are over-night visitors.

  1. Community market visits

These markets are full of local foods and other interesting items that may be worth exploring as you get to learn the local life of the people staying in Jinja.

  1. Antiquities / Historical sites

The historical sites in Jinja district include: Bujagali ancestral site, for Soga tribe ancestral spirits, at Bujagali falls; the current Busoga King’s palace at Nakabango; Mpumudde hill, the historical meeting place of the Busoga chiefs and the British colonial Governors, Mpumudde where King Kabalega, of the Bunyoro Kingdom died.

  1. Crafts

The souvenir industry has a large potential in Jinja district, if programmes for sustainable use of the raw materials are developed. For example the Crafts shops, workshops and community groups are common in Jinja town and its suburbs, making mats, baskets and other souvenirs from papyrus and other natural materials.

  1. Hotel and Catering

Jinja is well developed with several accommodation and catering services offered that are of different classes of people and according to their budgets.


White-Water Rafting on the Nile

Despite the intensity of some of the rapids, most people who venture here are first-time rafters ask for an adrenaline rush as part of their tour in Uganda. The stretch of rapids along the upper Nile near Jinja is considered one of the most spectacular places in Africa to go white-water rafting. Another option to this one is a family float trip.

Jinja Tour


The solo kayak at the Nile will be yet another opportunity to experience the white water.

Boat Cruises

Have a sunset boat cruise to the source of the Nile. This will surely lighten up your evening as you will be able to take photos during the cruise and you will have a close sight of the river.

Jet Boating

Visit the Nile and enjoy an exhilarating 90 km/h speedboat trip over the rapids for about 30-minute which may include plenty of 360-degree spins, jumps and near misses for US$75 for adults

Horseback Ride along the Nile

While in jinja make sure you participate on this activity which may take 2-3 hours on healthy horses and the people waving to you as you pass their local villages will surely bring a smile to your face. The horses are very well trained and maintained by their Australian owners.

 Bungee Jumping

This will be yet another scary but very interesting activity for you. This is done over the waters of the Nile River on the plat form perched 44m. Try this out because it will be a memorable experience.

Fishing on the Nile

This is done both in the Nile River and Lake Victoria which the largest fresh waters in Uganda with many fish species, Nile perch inclusive. Get an opportunity to fish here if only you bring your equipment for the sport fishing activity and a permit from UWA.

Village Visit

These village walks will be guided by the trained resident guides who will accompany and introduce you to the members of the community. This is a great opportunity to mix with local people and experience how to cook the local food (such as the banana mash known as “matoke”), brew your own Ugandan Gin (“waragi”), and the true flavour of Uganda. Get involved in hiking and cycling tours through the village of Namwendwa just east of Jinja

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