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Home » Jinja – Uganda

Jinja – Uganda

GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION Jinja is one of the districts found in Uganda. It is the second largest town in Uganda and also the second busiest Centre after Kampala.

Jinja was established in 1907 and found in the southwestern Uganda about 87km by road from Kampala on grid reference0°25′28″N33°12′15″E.

Jinja is found on the shore of Lake Victoria near the source of the Nile and surrounded by districts of Kamuli to the north, Mayuge and Iganga to the East and Mukono and Kayunga to the West.

HISTORY The name Jinja both in Baganda and Basoga language means rock. These two tribes lives in either side of the lake and share the same meaning of Jinja.

Jinja was a fishing Village due to the present of the Nile. River Nile explains the ethnic boundaries along the Nile as it hindered migration north wards from the source on the northern shore of Lake Victoria Jinja town was founded by the British in 1907 as an administrative Centre for the provincial Government Headquarters for Busoga region.

The town remained Busoga Capital until 1956 when it was granted municipality status. The town became the industrial heart of Uganda between 1954 and 1970s and was supported by power from the Owen Falls Dam.

INHABITANTS OF JINJA Around 1910, Indian traders moved in to Jinja. They were Catholic Christians and English-Speaking and originated in the former Portuguese Colony of Goa on the west of India. Today, Jinja is inhabited by all the tribes found in Uganda and also different races and nationals.

POPULATION According to the population census of 2002, estimated Jinja’s Population was 71,213; in 2008 the population was 82,800 and about 392,000 people in the all district.

ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES Agriculture is one of the major economic activities in Jinja due to the present of fertile soil, abundant water sources and reliable rainfall.

Apart from agriculture, other industries include metal processing, leather and paper processing, sugar, grain milling, some organic fruits among others.

Nile breweries headquarter is also found in Jinja at Njeru, a suburb of Jinja near the source of the Nile, from which the Brewery has been drawing its water for the pass fifty years.

Attractions Found in Jinja

  • Source of River Nile;River Nile is the longest river in Africa and the second longest in the world. The Nile is shared by 11 countries namely Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Burundi, Eritrea, Sudan, South Sudan and Egypt. River Nile in particular is the primary source of water in Sudan and Egypt.  The source of the Nile was discovered by the first European explorer called john Hanning Speke in Lake Victoria found in Jinja. The source of the Nile has for long attracted many safaris to Uganda because of its unique attraction recognized internationally.
  • Bujagali Falls; Bujagali Falls was a waterfall near Jinja where the Nile River comes out of Lake Victoria. The falls where submerged by the new Bujagali Dam. The Falls is some time considered as the source of the Nile. The Falls offers opportunity for excursions and bird watching.
  • Itanda Falls; Itanda falls are found on the Nile about 18km North-west of Jinja town. Itanda falls is the hidden treasure that is a must see. The falls provide opportunity for bird watching, camping and picnic outings
  • Kyabirwa Falls; Kyabirwa Falls are Located 8 kilometers from Jinja and offers a beautiful scenery and landscape for campsites, birding and Ethnobotany.
  • Lake Victoria Beaches; This side of the lake has been used for hotel development for tourism purposes. The beach has a breathtaking scenery beauty and can also be used for water sports by both domestic and international tourists.
  • Islands in Lake Victoria; The island in Lake Victoria includes Samuka, Ndaiga, LwabitookeI and LwabitookeII. These islands are being exploited for tourism purposes. However other islands are not being use for tourism purposes in spite of the potentials that exist like sport fishing, overnight camping, day excursions boat racing and many water sports.
  • Industries; Jinja comprises of many industries which are now attractions in the town. The industries attract mainly school children or tours. These include, Kakira Sugar Works, Nile Breweries, Textile, and steel rolling, Grain milling and fishing and tea processing industries. These industries can also be an international attraction if put on the tour packages especially visitors coming from where goods are imported in packs or final products. They can see the process of transforming the goods from first stage to the last stage of consumption
  • Agriculture; Clients can also visit the plantation as part of tourism especially visitors coming from where only semi and finished goods are imported
  • Sports; Sports in Jinja includes the outstanding Jinja golf pitch, Bugembe Stadium
  • Community market visits; Several visits can be made to the market places, Jinja main market
  • Antiquities /historical sites; Tourists can visit the historical sites that exist in Jinja like Bujagali ancestral site for the Soga tribe ancestral spirits at Bujagali Falls, Mpumudde hill, the historical meeting place of the busoga Chiefs and the British colonial governors and many others
  • Crafts; Crafts like baskets, mats among others made from the natural materials are found in Crafts shops, workshops and community groups.

Tourism Activities in Jinja

  • White-Water Rafting; The Upper stretch of the Nile, along, boisterous string of grade IV and V rapids is one of the world’s most spectacular white-water rafting destinations and it is among the highlights of Uganda safaris. This is the most beautiful adventure activity which will give you a hint about African Safari.
  • Kayak the Nile; Clients can also opt to go solo and Kayak through the raging river with a variety of paddling courses, starting with a one day introduction at US$ 115. Zen Tubing This is also an alternative to enjoy water sports. This involves being hurled around in a rubber tube
  • Boat Cruises; The most popular boat cruise is the sun set canoe cruises Quad Biking Quad biking is done along the beautiful banks of the Victoria Nile. Horseback riding Horseback riding takes you along the hills above the Nile River and through local Villages. Kilombera Workshop Visitors can stop by to watch the process of transforming cotton into table runners, bedspreads, place mats etc.
  • Explorers Mountain Biking; This takes you through the villages between Bujagali Falls and Jinja and you finish with a boat ride to the source of the Nile.
  • Jet Boating; This is also done on the Nile Jinja club Clients can pay for golf course in Jinja club. The club offers the only public swimming pool in Jinja, tennis and squash, and a nine-hole golf course.
  • Community Walks Here, you will visit the local villages, eat local food, sample village beers and optional funding of village projects.