Jinja is the third largest urban center in Uganda, after Kampala and Entebbe. It is located on both Lake Victoria and the Nile River; the location of the Source of the Nile. In terms of services, it is comparable to the larger centers, but has the advantage of little traffic. There are many old stately homes in Jinja, a few unoccupied; during the reign of Idi Amin, the Asian community that occupied these homes were thrown out of Uganda and many of these houses remain unclaimed. The town is very lively, with many shops, handicraft workshops, Internet cafes, restaurants, hotels, bars and even a golf course. Fish is available in most restaurants, freshly caught from Lake Victoria, the southern border of the town.
A few miles north of the town, there is the newly constructed Bugagali Dam, which supplies electricity for Uganda, as well as neighboring Rwanda and Kenya. Just down the Nile river from the dam, are rapids where tourists come to go White Water Rafting and Bungee Jumping. This area is the core of the Busoga Tribe; there are many opportunities to visit local communities to engage with the indigenous people. Local markets are scattered around the town, with lots of fresh local produce for sale, plus a huge second-hand clothing market in the center of town.
Jinja is considered the cultural and arts center of Uganda; there are music and arts festivals in town, as well as many bars and restaurants with live music.
Your Jewel Safaris guide will pick you up at your hotel in either Kampala or Entebbe; a briefing of the agenda will be gone over before leaving for Jinja. You will travel on east on the Pan African highway, a good tarmacked road, heading east towards Jinja. You will make a stop at Namawojolo, at the edge of the Mabira Forest, where there are many people preparing various barbecued meats on-a-stick, such as chicken, goat meat, liver and beef. In addition, there are many fruits and beverages sold by the various vendors on the side of the road. Immediately afterwards, you proceed a few miles further to reach the entrance for the Mabira Forest, to go for a Nature Walk.
Continuing on the main road, you will pass tea, coffee and sugar plantations, stopping for photographs, as you like. You will reach Jinja for lunch at one of the local Ugandan restaurants to taste some of the local dishes. After lunch, you will go down to the Nile River to see the Source of the Nile, where Lake Victoria pours into the river. Here you will take a wooden boat out to the exact spot where the to waterways meet.
After the boat trip, you will be taken to the Masese Fishing Village to meet the local fishermen and see their boats and nets. Typically, you will find fish drying on large tarpaulins laid out as well as watching them repairing their nets. A pre-arranged visit to the Nile Brewery is possible; this award-winning brewery is next to the bridge across the Nile River entering Jinja town at Owen Falls.
Ideally, you will return to Kampala before 5 pm to avoid the annoying traffic jam; arriving in Kampala around 7.
Note: Accommodation in Kampala/Entebbe can be arranged for both or either nights.
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