Home Magazine Issues Dec - Jan 2018 Jinja The East Africa Adventure Hot Spot

Jinja The East Africa Adventure Hot Spot

The East Africa adventure Hot Spot – Article By: Ayushi Ramaiya  |  Photo Credits: Siddharth Jain & Jinja Contributors 

Jinja The East Africa Adventure Hot Spot

Jinja offers you world-class adventure thrills to remember for a lifetime.
Traversing the tea and sugarcane estates, dense patches of the Mabira Forest, petite houses and farms standing pretty on rolling hills, one would not guess what Jinja, a small, fertile town in the east of the country, offers beyond just scenic drives. Travellers may be surprised to stumble upon this hidden gem, with the longest river in the world, the Nile, traversing the rich topography and flowing energetically northwards from its bubbling source in Lake Victoria. Today, this water source and the attractions around it are a playground for large numbers of adventure junkies. Travellers from around the world arrive in Uganda every year to experience some of the best activity holidays that money can buy.  Welcome, then, to the other side of East Africa, beyond the wildlife safaris and beaches.  Jinja offers you world-class adventure thrills to remember for a lifetime.

ISU international school of Uganda -
Jinja Town is located on the eastern side of the River Nile, the longest river of the world being 6,670 km in length from its source, Lake Victoria up to where it discharges into the Mediterranean Sea.

Jinja is considered to be the most organized town in Uganda, in terms of its urban layout and infrastructure There are some 500 recorded species of birds to be found in Jinja alone. Some of the most popular include the African Fish Eagle, Pied Kingfisher, Long Tailed Cormorant, White Crane and African Open Bill Storks.

Bujagali Falls was a waterfall found near Jinja in Uganda, also considered to be the source of the Nile. In November 2011, the Falls were submerged by the new Bujagali Dam. Jinja is the only place in Uganda where one can enjoy bungee jumping, play horse Polo, and white water raft and kayak.

Top Jinja Thrills

Long-famed as the starting point of the River Nile, Jinja has grown into a bustling town with a dynamic energy and thriving with multiple activities. From honeymooners to families, large groups and adventure enthusiasts, most travellers are convinced that their bucket list thrills can be fulfilled here! 

Be you an amateur traveller or a professional adventurer, Jinja is a promising vacation spot, especially for those wanting to spend holidays in one of the most active corners of Africa.

So, from the many activities available to choose from, here are our top selections:

White river rafting on the NILE in Jinja - east africa adventure

Raft Uganda Adventures

 White River Rafting

This is one of the top-rated activities in Jinja and is the best way you can experience the River Nile first hand. You can choose a half- or a full-day raft and traverse rapids from grade 1 (easy) to 5 (the most difficult). Most travelers prefer a full-day raft that takes you across eight rapids, covering a stretch of 21 kilometers in 4 to 5 hours. Enjoy thrilling rafting across calm waters, swift rapids and terrific falls in the Nile, suitable for beginners and professionals alike.It is suggested to raft with a reliable and professional company that gives priority to safety and has experience in rafting for various age and experience groups. Some renowned companies such as Adrift have experience of more than 30 years and offer rafting with limits of between 12 and 80 years of age. A rafting day begins with great excitement as the instructor and kayakers prepare you for an energetic and thrilling adventure.  Ensure that you are well fed to keep you going through the day and remember that plenty of water needs to be consumed during the day to avoid dehydration.

Post the pre-start instructions and mock drills, the rafting journey takes you across various rapids where you can enjoy the deliberate capsizing of the raft and then being carried away by the swift rapids. The frontline kayakers and safety guard boat quickly come to your rescue. Do not panic and simply follow your guide’s instructions – you are not the first people to do this!

A rafting day begins with great excitement as the instructor and kayakers prepare you for an energetic and thrilling adventure.  Ensure that you are well fed to keep you going through the day and remember that plenty of water needs to be consumed during the day to avoid dehydration. Post the pre-start instructions and mock drills, the rafting journey takes you across various rapids where you can enjoy the deliberate capsizing of the raft and then being carried away by the swift rapids. The frontline kayakers and safety guard boat quickly come to your rescue. Do not panic and simply follow your guide’s instructions – you are not the first people to do this!

River rafting down the nile - Jinja

Adrift Adventure Co.

 Nile Horseback Safaris

Ayushi Ramaiya - Image by Siddharth Jain

Ayushi Ramaiya – Image by Siddharth Jain

The close-knitted town offers great opportunities to make the most of your time with short adventure excursions. A horse riding safari takes you through rich forests, tiny villages, river routes and grazing lands and gives you a comprehensive feel of Jinja and its beauty. Riders can take journeys from a minimum of one hour up to a two-day’s experience. There is no absolute need to be an expert horse-rider.

Guests will love the itineraries; morning rides spanning villages and lovely vistas to sunset journeys offering a magical view of the scenery in different lighting conditions.  Kids can also go out on ponies and enjoy the thrill of riding on horseback as they are led around for a knowledgeable and exciting tour. Horseback safaris are an ideal alternative to local village tours that are otherwise taken by foot.  These adventure trips are culturally enriching as you command your own horse at your preferred pace, with professional guides accompanying you.

Nile Horseback safaris - East Africa Adventure

Nile Horseback Safaris

 Bungee Jumping

This thrill is probably at the core of your adrenaline search and, despite any last-minute thoughts to the opposite, the tip here is, ‘Don’t Think, Just Do It!The Nile High Bungee Jump operates in the Bujagali area, and adheres to the highest of safety standards.  Run by the famous East Africa adventure company Adrift, you get to jump on your own, in tandem, with or without water touches and to enjoy the famous “full-moon” jump! The instructors make you feel at complete ease and despite the initial fears, you will be grateful to receive a small push and to then experience this “leap of faith”.

You can choose to bungee jump even at dawn, sunset or any time of the day or night, with prior booking.

Bungee jumping in Jinja

ADRIFT Bungee Jumping

bungee jumping Jinja - SID


Top and Safe Jinja East Africa Adventure with Adrift

From beginners to professionals, with world-renowned names such as Joanna Lumley and the Top Gear team, Adrift remains a preferred choice for adventure experiences, with their expertise and safety focus being the top priorities, promising thrills to amateur and professional adventure lovers alike, in and around the River Nile.

Book your adventures:
email:  info@adrift.ug | tel:  +256 (0) 755 225 587


 Sailing fearlessly across Lake Victoria with XplorA

sailing in Jinja Uganda

Lake Victoria Sailing Safaris

Did you know that there is a “Formula1” racing boat that sails on Lake Victoria and lets travellers experience the joy of sailing on a speedy catamaran? Owned by Hans Szameit, a water-sport enthusiast with sailing experience across different oceans, his XplorA  flagship will take you on some of the finest, tailor-made sailing safaris, with bespoke itineraries that will carry you across Lake Victoria and beyond. You do not have to worry about safety, Hans will always ensure you are well instructed and supervised and that when needed you have your life jacket on.

With a capacity of up to five people per trip, XplorA, built from ultra-light carbon fibre, sails with all the latest equipment, and offers a top speed of 40-45 kms per hour. The most enriching experience guests can have on this sturdy catamaran is the chance to be the captain and command the vessel, once you have understood how to harness the wind; learn and interact with this experienced sailor and enjoy the splendid views around the Lake.

Sailing safaris are specifically tailored to guest preferences; you may ideally sail for three hours around the Lake and enjoy the surrounding vistas of the fish farm, the Napoleon Gulf, The Palace of the Kabazinga and other beautiful houses on the shore, ideally on Saturdays. Hans also offers sailing tours to Samukka Island and a two-day tour to Buvuma Island, with camping and barbeque on the beach. The hi-tech Xplora charms tourists and sailing enthusiasts alike, who want to enjoy the tropical beauty of the lake and enjoy a part of Africa which is not otherwise easily accessible.

Plan your sailing safari or hop on during a pre-planned day – email: lvsailingsafaris@gmail.com

sailing in Jinja Uganda

XplorA by Peter Hogel


 Nile Sunset Cruise

After spending a few days in Jinja experiencing the varied adventures, evening cruises are an ideal way to end your trip, with soothing memories of the river Nile. Enjoy a perfect African sundowner, with great company and scenic views all round. The cruise not only offers relaxation, it’s a perfect way to experience the beauty of the Nile including bird spotting, learning about the construction of the Bujagali dam, all while meeting people from various cultures who also chose to experience the adventures on offer in Jinja. Enjoy a chilled Nile Special beer or your particular choice of drink with plenty of great food to accompany it!

Nile sunset cruises - Jinja

Nile Sunset Cruise by Nile River Explorers

Where to Stay

Lemala Wildwaters Lodge – The Best of Luxury Nile Experiences

‘A holiday in fantasyland’
is the impression of every mesmerized traveler who stays at Wildwaters Lodge. Jeweled on a rock, nestled in a thick rain forest and surrounded by the roaring rapids of Itanda and Kalangala, this luxury getaway is beyond imagination, offering undoubtedly the most rewarding and incomparable stay in Jinja.

Lemala Wildwaters Lodge

Lemala Wildwaters Lodge

Cherish for a lifetime the opulence of this handcrafted lodge, built with passion, energy and dedication to render a five-star experience in the middle of the Nile. Arrive in a wooden dhow or land in your chopper on the private helipad of the island lodge, stroll through a renovated walkway surrounded by richness of the verdant forest and step into your room; the interiors offer plush comfort and pure immersion. You will not regret calling for the spa services or floating in the bathtub while watching the river flowing endlessly by. Room no 1 and 10 are top rated for best view of the rapids and the rest for their soothing views, while all offer a bountiful, luxuriant feel and complete privacy. Honeymooners, families, corporate guests and celebrities have always chosen Wildwaters Lodge for its “out of this world” experience.

Swim in the pool with the river rapids rushing right by you, mere inches away. Enjoy the finest meals overlooking the Nile, made by award-winning chefs, including the masterful preparation of the famous, five-course dinner. Create the most enduring of memories at this high-end, all-inclusive lodge, for private, corporate and celebratory stays alike.  Combine your stay with a more authentic Nile experience, as you venture into the adventure activities with sister company, Adrift.

Special Mention: Wildwaters Lodge was recently declared by the 2018 Safari Awards as being the Best Value Safari Property, Best Safari Cuisine, Best Family Safari Experience, Best Location, Best Design and runner up in Best Ecologically Responsible & Best Community Focused.

For queries and details: 256 (0) 772 237 400  |  info@wild-uganda.com 

The Haven Eco River Lodge –  Tranquility and Views in Mid-Range Price 

Haven Eco River Lodge

Haven Eco River Lodge

On the way in to Jinja, one of the first lodge signboards that you will come across by name is The Haven Uganda! Drive through the small village to locate the gateway to a serene, isolated and memorable experience. The ‘Eco Friendly’ concept is well implemented with solar panels and water funnels harvesting nature’s abundance.

What a view! As many guests exclaim for its scenery around the lodge, the Nile flowing past, the fishermen and kayakers sailing on calm waters and birds of many kinds flocking around the mighty river. Take note of the attractive dining area, the jetty, swimming pool and the spa offering personalized experiences as you awaken to the rising sun, relax during the quiet afternoons while discussing your adventures that day or in the evening just gazing at the million stars in this heavenly lodge.

Favorite for families, big groups, couples and adventure junkies, The Haven offers accommodation with varied options, from lazy camping to luxury bungalows, plus a special honeymooner suite. All rooms excepting No.7 face the river. This spacious location, ensuring ‘privacy’ for all guests, is a big win. Don’t expect an elaborate feast, just the right kind of appetizing food to tease your taste buds and get you going, ready for the many activities in and around the lodge.

For queries and details: 256 (0) 78 290 5959  |  thehavenuganda@yahoo.com

Nile River Explorers Camp – Stay and indulge on a budget

Nile River Explorers Camp

Nile River Explorers Camp

Famed for its line-up of adventure activities and wide choice of accommodation on a budget, this camp is busy with guests and has an energetic vibe to it throughout the year. Located in the famous Bujagali area, Nile River Explorer’s Camp is for those who want to spend most of their time exploring the thrills of Jinja, with its sister company ‘Rafting Uganda’.  Relax in basic but comfortable rooms, post the adrenaline rush.

The basic amenities are centric to the beauty of the River Nile; enjoy hot showers with a view, stay in tents facing the river or enjoy a ‘Nile Special’ beer and the famous burger or nachos at the bar as you watch the sunset cruise sailing by on the silent waters. It’s not surprising to see many guests choosing to stay over for longer periods in the dorms, camps or petite rooms and enjoy the main attractions of Jinja from this location including Nile horseback safaris, walking or bicycle activities, cultural tours, quad biking, sailing or kayaking, not to forget the famous rafting.

Nile River Explorers Camp is ideal for adventure enthusiasts, large groups and travelers on a budget. Well connected to the main Jinja city and all the major attractions around, the place can get busy with others also intent on exploring the Nile to its fullest!

For queries and details: Tel: +256 (0)772 422373 | Email: rafting@raftafrica.com


Eat Out

Jinja is blessed with a number of restaurants, all having their unique menus and food styles. Explore these restaurants as you move around by day or night and enjoy the vibe of this town bustling with tourists.


The best-known café in town, Deli offers a rapid service including espressos, fresh salads, sandwiches, nachos and brownies, not to forget its assortment of local meat and imported wine. Enjoy eating in a local atmosphere.


A unique floating bar, built to enjoy drinks in the open air. This place is famed for its DJ nights and lively events.

Black Lantern

One of Jinja’s finest dining locations, with an elaborate and pricy menu. The place is famous for Jazz nights and exotic food like barbeque spiced ribs and tilapia served in banana leaves.


Moti Mahal

A basic comfort hotel serving delicious varieties of typical Indian food including spicy curries and tandoor.

Gately on the Nile

Offering a Bistro-style menu with a varied selection of quality continental meals spiced by additional authentic Thai cuisine. The place is beautifully surrounded by exotic plant- and bird-life and is an ideal dining place that is a little distance outside of the busy town centre.


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