JINJA SAILING CLUB
By Maanan Madhvani
The Jinja Sailing Club is proving to be one of the more popular social destinations in Jinja. It has a newly renovated restaurant, bar and conference facilities, all conveniently located on the shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the River Nile. The Madhvani family, also owners of Kakira Sugar Ltd. recently decided to completely renovate the Club. The gardens have been re-designed, the clubs main restaurant and bar have been completely reworked with modern touches and a conference building has been built on the same premises.
The site was initially chosen for its close proximity to the source of the River Nile, as well as for its beautiful setting on the shores of Lake Victoria. The picturesque and tranquil gardens on the lakeshores set the scene for a perfect family day out or equally for an individual retreat.
Quaint, individual seating areas with views spanning across Lake Victoria, set the scene for quality time waiting to be spent with friends and family. The continuous on-shore breeze offers some cooling, rejuvenating air to mask the heat of the day. Immediately upon arrival, the setting allows you to escape and forget the hectic hustle and bustle of town and city – a rare respite for many of us today.
Boat cruises on the River Nile that helps you de-stress and unwind and allow you to watch the sun setting with a sundowner in hand, is a key attraction at the Sailing Club. The Club plans to start offering sailing courses in the future and leisure boats can be hired privately for functions.
Post sailing, guests can enjoy a delicious Continental or Indian dish and on Sundays choose from an expansive and diverse buffet. They can also have a drink at the bar, or relax in the gardens with friends or business colleagues.
One quirky structure that has remained on site throughout the renovations is a sculpture of a T-Rex Dinosaur located in the shallows of the lake nearby. This is a fun reminder to bring a gigantic appetite when visiting!
The Captain’s Table Restaurant:
Whether coming alone or with a large group, the Captain’s Table is the perfect place to have your meal. The completely renovated restaurant has marvelous view of Lake Victoria, and the interior décor and ambiance create a delightful atmosphere in which to wine and dine.
There are several set menus to meet the varied requirements of guests and befitting varied and diverse occasions including a BBQ, African and Indian specialties, as well as world cuisine dishes. Amongst the more popular dishes is the “kuku in a basket” – breaded chicken and chips presented in a straw basket. Prices are reasonable, making a dining experience at the Sailing Club affordable for most. The wine list presents a wide choice, with a large selection of South African and new world wines and the bar also stocks a good selection of beers and spirits.
The Explorer’s Bar
Whether it’s for that well-deserved beer at the end of the day, or to watch your favourite sports team playing a match on TV, the Explorer’s Bar offers it all; comfortable seating areas, the brand new. Fully stocked bar, satellite television (DSTV), great music and a great atmosphere with soothing lighting. Beers are priced at UGX 5000/- and other alcoholic drinks and spirits are competitively priced.
The Conference Centre
The brand new conference room is housed in its own, exclusive building, a short walk from the main club. Professionally designed and with free WI-FI Internet access, the Club can cater for everything from corporate events and team-building activities, to individual meetings. Ample space in and around the club’s gardens lends itself well for any corporate function or event.
The beautiful gardens lend themselves to anyone wanting to organise private functions or events. From birthday parties to weddings and outside catering, the Jinja Sailing Club can organise it for you. There is ample space in and around the beautiful gardens, as well as in the restaurant and bar. Children’s birthday parties and everything from bouncy castles and clowns can be organised, to make your event a memorable one.
Boat Cruises and Boat Services:
Jinja Sailing Club has two boats for use on Lake Victoria – “The Sun Tracker” and “Kingfisher”
The Sun Tracker can accommodate a maximum of twelve people, whereas the Kingfisher accommodates seven.
The sunset cruise or boat trip experience to nearby attractions such as the Source of the Nile or Samuca Island, offers guests an experience similar to that of the early explorers who sailed these same waters over a century ago.
You can also rent the boat out privately for your special occasion, and have fully catered services with bar services, canapés and other snacks offered on board by well-trained staff. The boat tariffs range from 30,000/- UGX to 60,000/- UGX (per hour?). The coxswains are highly experienced and educate guests on the wildlife, birdlife and other flora and fauna around the lake. Common sightings include various monkeys, Monitor lizards and Kingfishers. Boat cruises are conducted from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
The Jinja Sailing Club has plans to revive competitive sailing by hosting sailing events in 2015, and as mentioned above with a plan being developed to offer courses, as the flat waters around the club are ideal for such events. Sailors are invited to keep their boats at the Sailing Club.
Live Guitarist Night
Every Saturday night a Live Guitarist Night is organised in The Explorers Bar. Having a drink while the soothing strings create a groovy atmosphere is a relaxing and different way to spend a couple of hours. The dim, warm lighting sets the mood for an evening that anyone would enjoy!
Jinja Sailing Club is located at 1-5 Pier Road, Nile Crescent, next to the golf course in Jinja. The grand doors at the entrance open to reveal a magnificent view of the lake below. The center of Jinja town is a 10-minute walk away, making it easy for those wanting to explore Jinja by foot.