More Than Rafting!
At about two hours (about sixty miles) from Kampala you will find Jinja. This is the third largest city in Uganda and thanks to its rich past it is a very interesting city to visit. The area around Jinja is very fertile and due to the abundant rainfall, agriculture is the most important activity (closely followed by tourism). Here you will also find the brewery of Uganda’s most popular beer; Nile Special.
Jinja is the place where the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria and this makes the city a magnet for thrill seekers. They come to conquer the category five rapids and we can tell you; they are very intense! The Bujagali Falls have ensured that Uganda is not just visited for the National Parks, the rafting is now one of the most popular activities in Uganda.
Jinja is a quiet and green city with a little more than 115,000 inhabitants. It is a nice city to walk, the city had many rich Indian inhabitants and that is why you see so many beautiful houses. There is a lot of green so there are many places where you can picnic. A must is the central market where you can buy all kinds of exotic vegetables and fruits. Try to look for the soursop, a fruit praised for its medicinal properties (and very delicious!).
A bit away from the centre of Jinja you can visit the origins of the Nile. It is slightly less exciting than rafting but fun to mark off your list. Top Gear devoted a whole episode several years ago to the search for the origins of the Nile. A very nice episode where you can see a lot of Uganda, definitely worth a look!
More Info On The Activities
ATV Quadbike Safaris at Bujagali Falls
All Terrain Adventures provide drive yourself adventure rides and guided sightseeing safaris ‘off the beaten tracks and into the warm heart of Uganda’, taking you to places that many visitors never get to see.
White-Water Rafting on the Nile
In 1996, Adrift and Nile River Explorers started commercial white-water rafting on the upper section of the Nile from Bujagali Falls. Because of the high volume of water (approximately 1 million liters per second), the white-water activities in the area are particularly safe – so long as you are wearing a life jacket and with experienced guides you can enjoy the ride and natural beauty along the Nile without the danger, but with lots of adrenaline rushes. Over the last 18 years, many other adventure tourism activities have been established and Jinja district now proudly bears the label of East Africa’s centre for adventure.
Four rafting companies are operating on the upper Nile and offer clients some of the best wild-water in the World, combined with beautiful sections of lush, green, African scenery at the river.
In November of 2011 the ‘Bujagali’ Dam filled to its new level of 2011 meters above sea level. Several sets of cascades including Bujagali Falls and the Grade 5 rapids at Kyabirwa (Total Gunga) and Namizi (Big Brother/Silverback) were inundated. White-water rafting and kayaking trips now start below the new dam and extend into the section that was originally reserved for 2-day trips. The trips still include BIG rapids and beautiful scenery, with time to relax on calmer stretches and let the adrenaline cool down, ready for the next section of raging white-water action.
Tubing The Nile
Tubing the Nile is proudly known as the first Uganda Tubing Company found in Bujagali Jinja, Uganda that gets you on adrenaline drifting on the Nile with an inflatable tube while sunbathing, bird watching and combined with beautiful sections of lush, green, African Scenery on both mild and wild adventure sailing with safety kayakers. They offer tandem and single tubing on both flat and white water section, boat riding on River Nile including drinks and snacks.
Kayaking and Canoeing
Kayak The Nile is a very experienced kayak operator on the African continent and offer the ‘kayaking holiday of a lifetime’ on (and in) the warm waters of the Victoria Nile. Kayak the Nile is based at Nile River Explorers Bujagali Camp. Learn to kayak on one of the world’s greatest rivers. Receive expert instruction from guides and maximize your experience on the Nile. There are a huge variety of rapids and sections for you to explore. Lunch and drinks everyday on the river.
Horse Riding Safaris
Nile Horseback Safaris provide an ideal way to explore the Nile River up close, see a traditional Ugandan village and view the fantastic panorama from the hills overlooking the Nile River valley. The horses are superb, the landscape is spectacular. Never been horse riding before? No need to worry, the majority of people that ride on the short safaris have minimal or no horse riding experience. The horses are well trained and understand what is required of them. There is a brief training before your safari on the basics of controlling your horse. The safaris go at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Bungee Jump over the Nile
Nile High Bungee is located at Adrift Riverbase, 3km upstream from Bujagali Falls. Leap out over the Nile from a tower purpose-built for bungee jumping, constructed and operated to the highest New Zealand standards. The bar provides a great vantage point for spectators and source of calming fluids to help prepare for a jump. The minimum age is 13 years
Explorers Mountain Biking is based at Explorers Backpackers in Jinja. Whether it’s a physical challenge you are looking for or just want to meander through villages on the banks of the Nile, there is a tour to suit you.
Boat Cruises at Bujagali Falls
Nile River Explorers have a variety of cruises which start from Explorers River Camp at Bujagali Falls and explore the start of the world’s longest river. The Nile Explorer, a two storey pontoon boat is a great way for large groups to spend time together.
Fish & Fin Pursuits operate from The River Camp and specialize in birding and fishing trips on Bujagali Lake. A truly rewarding activity available to everyone, whether it is your first time birding or you are a seasoned birder. All equipment required to make this a great experience is included; a check list which you can take with you which has all Uganda’s species listed, binoculars, recording devices and bird identification book. Boats are specifically designed as birding/game viewing craft and can accommodate 8 people and 11 people and come with all the relevant safety gear.
Fish & Fin Pursuits offer full day, morning and afternoon trips catering for first time or experienced anglers. All fishing gear, camping equipment, safety gear, and drinking water are supplied. Target species are; Nile perch, tilapia, yellow fish, and cat fish. They practice a strict policy of catch and release and will only keep fish which are obviously not going to recover after being landed.