Jinja deerives its name from the stones or rocks that the Baganda and Basoga tribes used in the fishing area during the long distance trade. These rocks were borderline for each tribe to live on the other side of the Nile. The stones were covered during the construction of the Owen Falls Dam in 1954.
Jinja is one of the largest towns in Uganda popularly referred to as the adventure capital of Uganda. This town is situated on the northern shores of Lake Victoria near the source of the White Nile. Jinja is not only a transport hub but a major tourist and industrial centre just 85km away from the country's capital, Kampala. Jinja's economy is the third largest in East Africa given the numerous corporations and manufacturing plants.
The location of Jinja near the source of the Nile and surrounded by Lake Victoria has made the town notable for a few key beaches. These include the Sailing Club, Tilapia Club Masese and Nile Beach Resort-where the annual Nyegenyege Festival is held. Swimming is highly discouraged due to Bilharzia but not to worry, most of the beach resorts have swimming pools.
The best time to visit Uganda for revellers is for the world reknown fetival, Nyegenyege Festival which happens in September.
If you are going to swim in the Nile and go water rafting, visit Jinja during the dry season, which is from January to February and June to September.
Find some of the top restaurants and cafés at the town centre for your meals (whether international or traditional), and be sure to visit the popular Jinja market for fresh vegetables and fruits.
Jinja is accessible by air through Jinja Airport. You can also enter the town from Kampala city by road, which is about 84 kilometres away. The town has several methods of transportation such as using taxis, minibuses (matatus) and motorcycles (boda bodas).
Jinja town has several places to visit for a great adventure. The source of the river Nile is the main tourist attraction in Jinja. The rapids and thunderous waterfalls at the start of the Nile are a wonderful sight.
Top activities in Jinja include:
Other interesting places to visit while in Jinja include the , Jinja Temple and the Gandhi Shrine-Swaminarayan Temple, where the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were scattered.
The Busoga King’s Palace at Nakabango is a historical site in Jinja. The Bujagali ancestral site close to the Bujagali Falls is the spirit resting place of the Basoga tribe.