Jinja Tourism Guide
How to Get to Jinja and Bujagali Falls with maps.
Package Tours are available with many of the professional tour companies based in Kampala, Nairobi and Jinja. There are a lot of options for sightseeing, visiting tourist attractions and of course what Jinja is most famous for – adventure tourism. It is a great place to have a holiday or take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big cities like Kampala and Nairobi and enjoy the tourist attractions in the area. For individuals and groups, corporate and team building activities, family trips and organizations.
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 start of Africa’s longest river.
In November of 2011 of 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.
Prices and options / combos vary a bit between companies – we list approximate prices as a guide. To get the most current prices we suggest that you go to the websites of each white-water rafting company. Click-on links to each company are given below.
All companies offer great value for money and provide extras that are inclusive to the rafting packages such as transfer to and from Kampala, discounts on accommodation and discounts for other activities.
• Full-Day Rafting – $145
• Extreme Rafting / River Boarding – $145 to $165
• Half-Day Rafting – $115 to $125
• Two-Day Rafting – $250 to $255
• Family Float Trips – $30 to $50
• NOTE Minimum numbers may apply.
• Prices include; transfers from and return to Kampala, rafting, lunch and free or discounted accommodation.
White-Water Rafting Companies
To go to the website of each White-Water Rafting company – just click on the logo.
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.
No previous experience is required – A free training / practice session is provided before each safari starts on 3 specially designed circuits. Well maintained Honda and Yamaha ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) quad-bikes and Kids Quads. All ages, all levels, all adventure.
Safaris are tailored to suit the abilities of the rider and vary from easy, scenic rides to tough, challenging sections and everything in between. Protective clothing and refreshments are inclusive. No minimum numbers – 1 person welcome. And remember ‘the wetter the better’ – ATV’s love mud!
For families there are short, easy safaris and Kids Quads on supervised circuits.
There are also multi-day packages for Game-viewing and Adventure Safaris at Lake Mburo N.P.
Kayaking and Canoeing:
Kayak The Nile is the most 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. Maximize your experience on the Nile. Huge variety of rapids and sections for us to explore. Lunch and drinks everyday on the river. All necessary safety and kayaking equipment.
• Full Day Introduction to White-Water Kayaking – $125 p/p or $140 p/p (one-on-one coaching).
• Two Day Introduction to White-Water Kayaking – $295 p/p • Three Day – $420 • Five Day – $690.
• Half-Day White Water Kayaking – $95pp or $110 p/p (one-on-one coaching).
• Sit-on-Top Kayak / Canoe Cruises – $20 p/h (1 or 2 people – $30 p/h (with guide)
• Stand-Up-Paddle boarding (SUP) – Full Day trip $125 – Half Day White-Water SUP $115 – SUP Rental $15 p/p first hour or $20 for 2 hours.
Grade 5 Tandem Kayaking – Guided trips in the biggest volume tandem kayak journeys in the World; down all of The Nile’s Class 5 rapids in specialized double white-water kayaks. If you go upside down, just hold on and your guide will roll you back upright. An in-your-face full-on experience for the brave. $160 pp (1 person per kayak plus guide).
Nile River Camp also have Sit-on-Top Kayaks and Stand-Up-Paddle boards for hire.
• Sit-on-Top Kayaks – Single for 3 hours $20 – Double for 3 hours $30
• Mum, Dad and Child $30 – Guided trips add – $30
• Stand-Up-Paddle boarding (SUP).
• Per board for 3 hours $20 – Guided trips add $30
Professional friendly kayak coaching; offering a variety of kayaking experiences from beginners to experts. Based in Jinja, where the Nile flows from Lake Victoria. The River Nile is natural haven for bird life and provides an ideal environment for a wide variety of water sports. Your First experience in a kayak is important. We want to make sure you enjoy it, feel confident and gain control of your boat. A relaxed introduction on a calm section of the river Nile. We cover forward paddling, capsize, backward paddling, and rescue techniques. We even have a go at rolling.
• Full Day Beginners – $115 – A relaxed introduction on a calm section of the river Nile. We cover forward paddling, capsize, backward paddling, and rescue techniques. We even have a go at rolling.
• 2 Days – $260 – A two-day intensive course designed for the complete beginner: covers basic strokes, rescues and an introduction to white water kayaking.
• 3 Days – $400 – A two-day intensive course designed for the complete beginner: covers basic strokes, rescues and an introduction to white water kayaking.
• 5 Days – $550 – The course will really get you going in the sport of kayaking. We aim to show you control skills, practice routines and let you experience several fun river trips
• Full Day Children’s Kayaking -$80 – The key to teaching children to paddle is to make learning fun. Children’s kayaking classes are taught by instructors who have experience teaching children and want kids to have a blast.
Horse Riding Safaris beside the Nile:
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.
Nile Horseback Safaris run Short Safaris (1hr, 2hr & 3hr rides) 7 days a week at 10am in the morning and 2pm in the afternoon. Bookings are essential as they have limited horses and guides.
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. For safety reasons there is a weight limit for clients of 90Kg. Available between 10am and 2pm.
• Kids Rides – Pony rides for kids from 3 to 10 years. 30 minutes. 60,000 Ush
• 1hr Mixed Group Safari – aimed at novices, kids, aged riders and those that are a little nervous. $40
• 1.5hr Mixed Group Safari -a slightly more advanced version of our 1 hour ride, but still a slower paced safari more aimed at being a sightseeing tour through the village and along the river bank. $50
• 2hr Advanced Rider Safari -a great ride for advanced riders, with lots of cantering in the hills and plantations but also with the section in the village and along the Nile. $60
• Overnight horse safaris – for experienced riders as the route and length of this ride is physically demanding. Treks are approximately 15km down river to The Haven Riverside Lodge.
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 and minimum numbers apply. It is best to book this activity in advance with Adrift Adventure Company
Prices 1 jump – $115 or 3 jumps for $165.
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.
Bujagali Ride: Explore the area on the east bank of Bujagali Falls on a 1½ – 2 hour guided bike ride. Cycle along tracks through villages and small farms and with views of the Nile along the way.
Bugembe Viewpoint: Cycle up to a viewpoint giving a panoramic view of Jinja and Lake Victoria, before heading down to explore Jinja town and the Source of the Nile. An optional boat ride from the lake to the Source can also be included.
Mabira Forest Reserve Ride: From Bujagali Falls or Jinja, riders and bikes are carried by van to the start point 20kms from Jinja. Home to over 300 species of birds as well as numerous and some endangered species of butterfly, monkeys, plants and trees, Mabira Forest is ideal for mountain biking with its narrow tracks and shading canopy of trees. Cycling through villages, coffee, sugar and banana plantations you will get a taste of rural Uganda before heading into the main forest in search of monkeys and birds. All trips are flexible to suit the needs and physical fitness of your group; your guide will run the trip just as you like.
DOTCOM Mountain Biking at Nile River Camp also have mountain bikes for hire. From $30 per person unguided, $40 per person guided. 2 hours, 4 hours and full day options available.
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.
Nile Lunch Cruise: Enjoy a buffet lunch while cruising around the newly formed Bujagali Lake. Search along the shores and small islands for birds, otters and Nile Monitor lizards, or cast a fishing line and trawl for a big catch. $30 p/p
Nile Sunset Cruise: An African sunset over Bujagali Lake, the smell of delicious food cooking on the BBQ and an ice cold drink in hand, a lovely way to spend a few hours. Complimentary food and drinks keep flowing throughout the trip. Just sit back and soak up the peaceful /or party atmosphere. The finger food buffet includes; an assortment of dips, pate, crudities, brochette, and freshly cooked from the BBQ, an array of mini kebabs, chicken drumsticks and pork spare ribs. $45 p/p.
Noah’s Ark: Boat Rides on the River Nile from Bujagali Falls, near Jinja. 2 hour river tours between the Owens Falls Dam and the Bujagali Dam. While on the boat cruise you may get to see animals such as otters, monitor lizards, monkeys and bats. You will also see many beautiful birds that are endemic to the area or are migrating along the Nile. Approximately 25,000 shillings p/p but you may have to do some negotiating to get a reasonable price.
Nile River Camp also offer Sunset Cruises – Includes 2 complimentary beers or soft drinks. One and a half hours on the water.
$25 per person, minimum 4 guests per trip.
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.
AM Birding – Early morning birding excursions on the Nile departing from Nile River Camp, a minimum of 2 hours on the water. This is the most active period of the day for birding. A memorable start to your day! From $40 per person. Conditions apply.
PM Birding – Last light birding excursions on the Nile departing from Nile River Camp, a minimum of 2 hours on the water. This is the second most active period of the day for birding as they prepare to roost for the night and is the best time to experience the raptors and predatory species the Nile has to offer. Fantastic sunsets are an added bonus! From $40 per person. Conditions apply.
Full Day Birding – Dawn till dusk birding for the real enthusiast either with a packed lunch or a midday break for lunch at the River Camp. It is quite likely that you will rack up 40 species or more in just one day! Recording devices are supplied to tempt lurkers out in the late morning and early afternoon when they are at their least active. From $90 per person. Conditions apply.
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.
Early morning fishing excursions departing from Nile River Camp, targeting Nile Perch, Tilapia, Yellow Fish and on occasions Catfish using the following techniques, trawling, spinning and bait fishing. All fishing and safety gear is supplied. Fly fishers are most welcome but will need to bring their own gear.
Late afternoon fishing excursions departing from Nile River Camp, targeting Nile Perch, Tilapia, Yellow Fish and on occasions Catfish using the following techniques, trawling, spinning and bait fishing. All fishing and safety gear is supplied. Fly fishers are most welcome but will need to bring their own gear.
Full Day Fishing – Early morning departure from Nile River Camp until dusk fishing excursions inclusive of a packed lunch or a midday break for lunch at the River Camp targeting the same species as above and the same techniques. All fishing and safety gear is supplied. Fly fishers are most welcome but will need to bring their own gear.
Jinja Fishing Safaris are located in Jinja town- A great option for the serious fisherman with the opportunity to go out on Lake Victoria in a 32ft boat and look for some big Nile perch.All the fishing equipment supplied including GPS, fish-finder, the latest rods and reels, the latest lures, and an experienced and capable skipper. These trips regularly bring in the big fish.
Jinja Fishing Safaris also offer a Nile River trip that done by car traveling to all the fishing hot spots and casting lures from the river bank.
Half-Day Fishing Safaris – 9am to 1pm or 2pm to 6pm – 1 pax $100 – 2 or more, $80 (max. 4 people)
Full-Day fishing safaris – 9am to 5pm. Includes lunch and drinks. – 1 pax $180 – 2 or more $150
Children half price.
Big Game Mini Golf:
Big Game Mini Golf at All Terrain Adventures – an African safari themed Crazy Golf course with life-sized statues of the Big-5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant) and other animals. Big Game Mini-Golf is open every day from 8am to 5pm. Putt past the python, round the rhino, tee past the (African) tiger, hack from inside the jaws of the hippo and bogey beside the buffalo
Enjoy an hour or so of entertainment and competition with cold drinks available at All Terrain Adventures.
10,000/= p/p. 5,000/= p/p for Ugandan citizens and all families.
Cafes, Restaurants and Bars:
Good food is essential to fuel every adventurer and, in the evening, there is often some “adventure” to be had in the bars in the area.
• Bujagali Falls Chapatti Stalls – for the world-famous Bujagali Rolex
• The ‘Fork n’ Paddle’ at Nile River Explorers. Burgers, fish & chips, tacos and more. Great views from the viewing platform out over the Nile.
• The Black Lantern Restaurant – à la carte menu, offering international cuisine with a view of the river. Famous for their one-kilo servings of pork spare ribs.
• Adrift Riverbase – restaurant and bar. Beside the Bungee Jump.