Travel Guide Africa Uganda Jinja



Jinja is a very cool place in Uganda. There are a lot of adventure activities you can try. One of the things to do is river rafting on the Nile. Jinja is placed at the source of the Nile at the Lake Victoria. It is a very nice town only 85 kilometres from the capital Kampala, but most people visit Jinja for the adventure activities.



Sights and Activities

Source of the Nile. Although the experience of going here is not that interesting, it may be worth it for the sole reason that you can go home and tell everyone that you visited the source of the longest river in the world. There is a small monument in the area dedicated to Gandhi. Some of his ashes were released here. USh 3,000 per person.
Swaminarayan Temple.
The Jinja market is in the very centre of town, and consists of multiple acres of colourful shacks squeezed on top of each other selling everything from chicken hearts to motor parts. Definitely a must-see, even if you're in Jinja for one day.

The easiest and best way to see the town is to flag down the nearest boda boda driver (motorcycle which takes passengers) and ask him for a tour. Pay no more than USh 6000 however, for less than an hour tour.



Events and Festivals

Festival on the Nile

This weekly celebration takes place at the beginning of August in Jinja, and focuses on the rich and diverse cultures of the people that live along this famous river, blended with traditional art and culture from all over the globe. It features music, dance, theater, folklore and storytelling, and food as well as live performances. It also has a street parade, children’s activities and dance workshops. It is a great opportunity to learn about the tribes throughout Uganda, and the lineup changes each year.



Getting There

Matatus from Kampala to Jinja are USh 5,000 per person, although the price varies (USh 5000-7000) depending on passenger volume. Coasters (mini-bus) always charge the same as matatus.
The Post bus comes from Kampala and Mbale. Get on and off the post bus at the clock tower on the highway.just before the train station. same place where the bus ticket offices are for buses from Kenya. the one way post bus fare from Jinja to Mbale is USh 10,000. and Jinja to Kampala port office USh 5000.
From Kenya, Easy bus has 2 buses a day from Nairobi via Kisumu going to Jinja. The ticket office for the Easy bus is on the highway near the clock tower.
Jinja is on the East African Highway which links Mombassa to Uganda, eastern DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. 14-seat passenger taxis and 30-seat passenger coasters are available from Kampala. Buses from Kenya and Tanzania will drop you off on their way to Kampala.
Road distances: Kampala 80 km, Entebbe 117 km, Kisumu 236 km, Nairobi 578 km, Arusha 854 km, Mombasa 1498 km, Dar es Salaam 1691 km.



Getting Around

The town is quite spread out, if you intend to go shopping for gifts etc, get a taxi to 'the source' and all of the touristy shops are within walking distance. If going further afield, boda-bodas or matatus are the best way. A Boda-boda any where in down town Jinja is USh 1000 per person.




There are several restaurants and cafés in the centre of the town. Of which probably 'Flavours, Coffeebar, Restaurant,' Gately on the Nile, The Source café and 2Friends serves are the best in town. There are numerous Indian and Chinese restaurants close by. For cheap food, local vendors are a safe enough bet for most things, but maybe stay away from the meat. Samosas and chapattis (basically an omelette wrapped in a tortilla) are done well here, are very cheap, and filling.

Flavours provides an exclusive Coffee Bar, Restaurant and Pub on Main Street. Flavours gives you the opportunity to have a nice cup of tea, coffee, fresh juice or any other refreshment in an inspiring environment. They also serve good food. Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays they host Brood Breads from Kampala where you can buy high quality breads and pastries.
The Source Cafe offers great coffee and pretty good food. You can use internet (wireless is available) while you wait.
2 Friends, food is good, but be prepared to wait a long time for the food to be prepared. The couple that own the place are extremely friendly (as the name suggests), and will even let you make your own playlists from their extensive music collection.
Nalubale Tea House, is based on Kira Road and is well known for there high quality all day breakfasts, as well as the best steak pies in Jinja. They also do Fire Spinning Nights and Film Nights. They have a free high-speed wireless Internet connection and are open Monday - Sunday 9am - 4pm.




Nile Special beer produced in Jinja.
Waragi - a spirit, (essentially banana gin) mix with bitter lemon, tastes awesome, potent.




Nile River Explorers Backpakers, Wakoli Ln, between 41 Wilson Ave. and Kiira Rd.. Check-out: 10AM. NRE has a hostel which helpfully takes payment in US dollars or shillings, and has a great bar. The same people also run a camp site/hostel somewhat out of town directly on the Nile. Camping US$7 per person. 10-bed Dorm US$12 per person. double room with outside bathroom $30.
Nalubale Tea House, 38 Kiira Rd. (Opposite of Sunset Hotel). Dorm US$10.
Bellevue hotel Kutch West Road in the city center offers a/c double rooms with own bathroom. TV. From USh 60,000per night.
Nile High Camp, Kimaka road (4 km north of Jinja), ☏ +256 772-286433. Camping/dorm beds. US$5/10.
Bridgeway Guest House, 34 Bridge road, ☏ +256 772-480142. Single/double rooms with own bathroom. from USh 60,000.
Ark Nile Guest House, Bridge Street. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Double room with own bathroom. USh 44,000.
Biashara Guest House, Janja-Main street. Check-in: 8AM, check-out: 11AM. Fan double room with own bathroom. TV and breakfast. From USh 72,000.
Baraka Guest House, Bell Avenue. Check-in: 8AM, check-out: 11AM. Fan double room with own bathroom. USh 75,000.
Jinja Backpackers Hostel, 8 Bridge Road, ☏ +256-784-591252. Check-in: noon, check-out: noon. Dorm beds/camping. US$5/10.
Blashara Guest House, Main Street (over the street from the police station). Single/double rooms. USh 31,000/40,000.
Guest House 2005, Plot no 6 Lady Alice Muloki Road (near main market.), ☏ +256 752-131878, +256 772-431950. Big clean single/double room with own hot water bathroom and net. USh 40,000/50,000.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Keep Connected


Internet cafes can be readily found in Kampala and Jinja. In most larger towns you'll find internet cafes running off of either VSATs or mobile phones. The Internet connection bandwidth is very low and can be frustrating for those who are used to a high speed internet connection.


See also International Telephone Calls

Mobile phone network coverage is available in most parts of the country (over 80%), but geography can cause trouble in the mountainous regions. SIM cards are cheaply available everywhere in 'starter packs' but need to be registered before use. They make a good deal though, as prices for international data roaming are extremely high.

Mobile broadband (3G, HSDPA, HSPA, HSPA+) is available in several places. Airtel has mobile broadband available in larger places along Jinja Road. An example of price for mobile broadband on a phone through Airtel is UGX25,000 for 1GB traffic in one week.In the more rural areas, a slower (EDGE) connection might be available. Orange also offer mobile broadband. Other networks include MTN (the biggest in Uganda), Warid Telecom and Uganda Telecom.


Posta Uganda offers reasonable services. Prices are not high, though it might not be the fastest company. Expect postcards and letters to take at least 7-10 days to Europe, longer to North America and Australia. Post offices are generally open from around 8:00-9:00am until late afternoon. If you want to send parcels overseas, it would be better to use companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx or DHL, as they are competitively priced and also much faster.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 0.437773
  • Longitude: 33.203079

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This is version 11. Last edited at 11:34 on Oct 7, 20 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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