Jinja is a fascinating tourist destination located on the shores of the great Lake Victoria, near the source of the Nile River – the worlds’ longest river. Before 1906, Jinja was reputed to be a fishing village that benefitted from its strategic location on the long-distance trade routes.
Today, most of the electricity consumed in East Africa is sourced from the hydro-electric power stations situated on the Nile. With a population close to 150,000, Jinja is the largest metropolitan area in Jinja District and is considered the capital of the Busoga Kingdom. “Jinja”, which means “Rock”, originates from the language of the two tribal natives (the Baganda and the Basoga) that lived on either side of the River Nile in the area. Worthy of note is the fact that in Africa, rivers like the Nile is a significant hindrance to migration; this explains the ethnic boundaries along the Nile as one moves north from the river’s source on the northern shores of Lake Victoria. Jinja is a tourist-friendly and fast growing city with lots of beach resorts and hotels as well as activities.
There’s a lot to see and do in Jinja. The most compelling sight is the spot where the Nile originates, popularly called Source of the Nile. You can’t claim to have visited Jinja without checking out this amazing spot. A sunset cruise on the Nile is another grandiose experience as tourists will be thrilled to see all manner of aquatic and bird species on the Nile. The Nile Reptile Park is promises an unforgettable experience. It is home to a large Nile crocodile as well as various species of snakes, tortoises, and turtles, guinea pigs, monitor lizards and many others. Finally, a great way to cap it all up is a tour of the Nile Brewery, Uganda’s biggest beer producing factory.
Jinja has a great variety of breakfast dishes, pizzas, fish dishes, smoothies and sandwiches; as well a range of African and Intercontinental dishes. With all these at your beck and call, you surely won’t miss home. One famous Ugandan dish you must try out is Matooke. It is a sumptuous delicacy usually accompanied by peanut sauce with a mixture of roasted meat or fresh fish. Matooke is also served with sauces like groundnut paste, beans, chicken and other soups. Other accompaniments to Matooke as a main course dish are sweet potato, irish potato, rice, posho, vegetables and greens grown from Uganda’s gardens. Wine, spirits, beer and soft drinks of all kinds are available wherever you go in Jinja.