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Jinja


Introduction

Jinja is the second largest town in the state of Uganda. It’s the closest town to the source of the Nile. Lying on the shores of Lake Victoria it has become the adrenaline capital of East Africa and is just the right place for adventure lovers. Even after being close to equator the climate here is pleasant throughout the year owing to the altitude of 3750 ft. The town was a British Colony and later became a town in the state of Uganda. The name Jinja comes from the language of Buganda and Busoga people meaning ‘rock’.


OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW

Location: Eastern Uganda

Area: 673 sq kms (district)

Nearest rail head: Jinja Station

Nearest airport: Entebbe international airport

How to reach: By road, Jinja is a 2 -3 hours drive from Entebbe

Famous for: Water sports and Bujagali falls

Months open: all year

Best time: June to September and December to February

WHAT TO SEE

Owen Falls Dam

Bujagali falls Dam

Nile brewery

Source of Nile Bridge

Jinja market

Swaminarayan Temple



Details

Culture

Uganda is a home to several tribes of Africa. The Bantu speaking people however, dominate the region. Most of the people follow Christianity next followed by Islam. Here are a sizable number of Hindu and other religious groups. The traditions of the ancient days still are there in the region. The national dress for men is Kanzu and for women its gomesi, suuka and busuti. The music and dance in the region is a mix of all tribes. Every community has its own genre of music, type of musical instruments and complex dances of their own.

Owen Falls Dam

Today known as Nalubaale Power Station, Owen Falls Dam is one of the most popular places in Jinja. The dam is the source of hydroelectric power. This is one of earliest dams created in the state. The name of the dam was changed to Nalubaale which is the name of Victoria Falls in Luganda Language.

Rippon Falls

The falls were in earlier in the 19 th c. Considered as the source of river Nile. The falls were completely submerged during construction of the Owen Falls Dam. However local guides do mention it.

Bujagali Dam

Bujagali Falls is another beautiful fall on Lake Victoria. The falls were said to be the source of River Nile. A dam was made in 2011 in the fall and it is now an adventure park for water sports. There are several beliefs revolving around the falls. It is said the spirit falls live in a person of the nearby village. Source of Nile Bridge Also known as New Jinja Bridge, it is a cable stayed bridge across the river Victoria Nile which is the first few hundred miles of the river. The bridge was built in 1954 and renovated in 2018. The original name of the bridge was Nalubaale Bridge.

Nile Brewery

Nile Brewery has been producing some of my favorite brands of beers for over 40 decades. Guided tours are conducted on specific days of the week for limited tourists to show around the beautiful establishment and the process of beer brewing.

WHAT TO SEE NEARBY

Entebbe

Entebbe is a neighboring major city to Jinja, Uganda. The name of the city means seat in the local Luganda dialect. It was named thus as it was the seat of British who colonised the region 19 th century. The city is a settlement ashore Lake Victoria which is said to be the origin of the River Nile. The region is known for its beautiful and serene natural surroundings. Apart from natural beauty there are several man-made attractions in the region that recently grabbed the attention of travellers worldwide.

Activities

White water rafting: across the longest River on earth is one of the must experiences in Jinja. Kayaking on the waters of Nile is another popular activity in the region. Quadbike safaris can be done in adventure parks of Jinja. A prior training is given on the parks itself for those who want to do that activity. Bicycle tours across the natural beauty in the region of origin of the River Nile is another fun experience one does not want to miss.

Cuisine

The cuisine in Uganda is influenced by Asian and English cuisines while maintaining the traditional tastes. Yams, potatoes, pork, chicken and fish constitute major ingredients of the food here. There are Chinese, Italian and Indian restaurants in major towns and cities of the state. The traditional dishes include Millet bread, Chapati, Simsim, Mandazi, Pombe, Matoke and Posho etc.

Reaching Jinja

The nearest airport to Jinja is Entebbe. From here the town of Jinja is just a few hour’s drive. Cab and bus is easily available from Entebbe to reach Jinja Jinja is accessible via roadways easily. Jinja is just 2-3 hrs drive from the capital city of Kampala if no traffic is there. Bus, minivan taxi, taxi are easily available from the capital to reach Jinja.




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