Jinja Budget Travel Guide

Jinja is one of Africa's tour departure hubs.

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Adventure Capital

Jinja, otherwise known as Uganda's 'Adventure Capital', lies at the source of the great Nile River, on the shores of Lake Victoria.

White water rafting, bungee jumping and quadbiking are only a few of the adrenaline-pumping activities offered in and around this pretty, tropical town.


  • The source of the Nile River and Speke Monument
  • White water rafting, or more gentle kayaking, in the longest river in the world - The Nile
  • Bungee-jumping, with a dunk in the Nile at the bottom
  • Quadbiking through the beautiful, tropical countryside
  • Horse-back safaris
  • Visit the spot and memorial gardens where some of Ghandi's ashes were scattered

Location & History

Situated 80 km east of Uganda's capital, Kampala, Jinja sits on the shore of Lake Victoria. A pretty little town, originally a fishing village, it became populated by the British and Indians in the early 1900's, as a railway centre for sugar cane and cotton farming.

The Town

Jinja is a true African town mixing African and (slighly dilapidated) colonial architecture. In the centre of the town lies the market, which is well worth a visit. Amongst its frenetically busy stalls, you can buy from chicken's legs to beautiful textiles.

With a population of over 70 000, it has shops, pharmacies, a hospital, sports facilities and internet cafes.

Taxis and buses run regularly from Kampala and transport in town is mainly offered on boda bodas (motorcycles).

Source of the Nile

Jinja's biggest claim to fame is that it is situated at the source of the Nile. Known as the longest river in the world, the Nile leaves Lake Victoria next to Jinja and makes its journey over more than 6 000 km to Egypt, where it flows into the Mediterranean Sea.

Speke Monument

On the opposite side of the river from Jinja (the western bank) lies a monument to John Speke, an officer in the British Indian Army, and the first European to see the source of the Nile.

Mahatma Ghandi Monument

After Ghandi's death in 1948, the world famous Peacemaker's ashes were scattered in all the major rivers of the world, including the Nile. A memorial garden and statue are found here.

Adrenaline-Pumping Activities

Jinja is known as Uganda's 'Adventure Capital', and it's not hard to see why:

White Water Rafting

While the rapids, known as Bujagali Falls, close to town have been engulfed by the Bujagali Dam, the rapids a little further downstream still offer plenty of adrenaline-pumping white water rapids.

A number of operators offer water options that range from gentle kayaking to Grade 5 white water rafting, allowing you to choose how much adrenaline you want to pump! Half-day, full-day and more are offered.


If you're looking for pure exhiliration, try a bungee jump over the Nile, which ends with a little dip in the river itself. 3... 2... 1... BUNGEE!


Get muddy on a quadbike through the lush forests outside Jinja. Feel the roar of the bike as you get close to the bush on rides to suit all levels of quadbiking skill.


Jinja is close to the Equator and therefore has consistent tropical temperatures throughout the year. Daytime temperatures are in the high 20s (Celcius) all year, and night temperatures in the high teens. 

Rain falls all year, with the greatest amount normally falling in April and November. Humidity is high.

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