Jinja is a major commercial centre and the second largest city in Uganda. It is located 80km east of Kampala, on the banks of Lake Victoria at the source of the River Nile. Jinja is more than an industrial town; it is actually the source of the world’s longest river, Nile the flows northwards and drains into the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.
It takes about 3 hours to drive form Kampala to Jinja, to the source of the Nile. The surrounding rural areas are prime agricultural country with extensive plantations of sugar cane and tea.
The longest river on earth, the Nile flows for 6600 kms from Lake Victoria in the heart of Africa to the Mediterranean and it alternates between a placid, wide river and swirling white water rapids. This great waterway has played a monumental role in history. It traverses an incredible variety of landscapes, a colorful medley of cultures and since the beginning of time has enthralled civilisations with its power and mystery.
Ancient Egyptian kings sent armies in search of the source of the great river and explorers from Herodotus to Speke have sought to chart its course. Until very recently no one dared challenge the White Nile at its source – some of the most powerful and sustained rapids on earth.
The river flows from Lake Victoria, forming the Bujagali falls to Lake Kyoga then to Karuma falls after which it forms Murchison falls and then follows into Lake Albert, from there is meanders into southern Sudan for Egypt.
Nile White water rafting
Today however, you can challenge this mighty river and raft the Nile near the Bujagali-Falls. The historic first descent of the Victoria (White) Nile was in July 1996 and today there are one-day expeditions available almost every day of the year.
The Nile exits Lake Victoria and soon flows over Owen Falls Dam below which it flows freely and quickly to Bujagali Falls – the first major rapid on the river, and the point the rafting action begins. This is white water rafting in Uganda at its best – up to ten times the volume of the Zambezi thunders between the heavily forested islands and the river’s banks where excited locals congregate to see the rafts in action.
The one-day trip departs daily from Bujagali Falls and ends at Itanda, 18 kilometres away. The water levels here are subject to very little seasonal variation, so rafting is excellent at any time of year. The constant volume of water guarantees one of the most exciting one-day rafting trips in the world. The legendary rapids ‘Total Gunga’, ‘Overtime’ and ‘Itanda’ will live long in your memory.
During the adventure stop to catch your breath and enjoy a yummy picnic lunch on a forested river island. You also visit Sezibwa Falls, a cultural site located in Mukono town before you reach Jinja, Mabira forest is another stop over with trails through Uganda’s surviving untouched tropical rain forest
Accommodation is available in Jinja Nile resort, Hotel triangle, Hotel Paradise, other guesthouses, inns and many other options.