Best known for the towns location at Source of the Nile however for most visitors it is not Jinja town they come to visit but to experience the river rafting, quad biking and bunjy jumping conducted on the Nile some 8 kms out of Jinja at the Bujagali Falls.
Sunset on the Nile from Explorers Camp
Sunset on the Nile from Explorers Camp
Jinja lies on the shores of Lake Victoria. Old Asian-style buildings characterize the town, reflecting the days when the town had a sizeable Asian community. Many returning Asians to Uganda are choosing to set up businesses in Jinja and the town is once again becoming prosperous.
Jinja is close to the Owen Falls Dam, a hydroelectric station that supplies Uganda with the bulk of its electricity. The main Kampala to Jinja road runs across the top of the dam, and the railway line crosses on a bridge close by. Before the building of the Owen Falls Dam, the Source of the Nile was the Ripon Falls, where the Nile left Lake Victoria on its way to the Mediterranean. The waters of the new dam inundated and submerged the Falls.
Getting there and away:
Jinja is 80 kms north-east of Kampala and is easily accessible by buses and minibus taxis (matatu). There is a good tarmac road between Kampala and Jinja which continues to the Malaba and Busia border posts with Kenya. The section of road to the Kenyan border between Iganga and Tororo is severely pot holed, especially so after heavy rains during the rain season. The Akamba bus stops on the main road at the Caltex filling station outside of Jinja on its journey to Kampala from Nairobi and vice versa. If space is available you can climb on and pay on the bus otherwise you should consider making an advance booking when in Kampala. Check at the Nile River Explorers backpackers for the bus times or contact Akamba Bus in Kampala.
For accommodation at The Haven, Nile Porch, The Hairy Lemon and venues at either Bujagali Falls or on the West bank of the Nile visit the Bujagali page of this site.
2 Friends Guest House: Tel. +256 (0)434 122999 or Cell +256 (0)772 984821, +256 (0)772 768203. Plot 5 Jackson Cresent. Sign posted off the main road into Jinja town from the Kampala – Kenya highway. The guesthouse is located adjacent the popular 2 Friends Restaurant . A warm, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere prevails. Services include a TV lounge, Internet access with wifi, DSTV, swimming pool and sun loungers, laundry and telephone service, full restaurant and bar service, safe secure parking and a large garden.
Poolside self contained cottage rooms
Double US$130-, Single US$115-
Other rooms in main house
Double US$105-, Single US$90-
Extra person in room above 5 years of age US$30-. Room rates excluding a Ushs2,000- per room local government tax. The room rate does includes a buffet breakfast.
Bilkon Hotel Jinja: Tel +256 (0)434 123944, Mobiles +256 772 504452, +256 (0)774 539122, +256 (0)700 355646, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Conveniently located on main access road into Jinja town cose to town centre. 71 large spacious air-conditioned self-contained rooms with modern facilities including DSTV, GTVÂ and wirelless Internet access. The hotel is set in large grounds, with secure parking provided.
Single US$25–, Double US$35-, Twin US$45–
Room rates include breakfast
Bridgeway Guest House: Tel. +256 (0)772 480142, +256 (0)772 568665,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located 100m from the junction to the Source of the Nile and a few minutes from Jinja town. 11 self contained furnished rooms with fans and mosquito nets.
Single Occupancy US$20–
Double Occupancy US$25-
Twin occupancy US$25-
Executive Rooms U30-
Dormitory Rooms US$15- per person
Rates include breakfast and local taxes
Cool Breeze Hotel: Tel/Fax +256 (0)434 120944 or Cell +256 (0)712 897766,
email: email@example.com. Located some 300 meters off the main Kenya to Kampala road at Plot 6A Nalufenya Road. Nalufenya Rd is the main road into Jinja accessed from the traffic circle adjacent to the Ling Ling Chinese Restaurant . Cool Breeze is well sign posted on the left side after passing under the railway bridge. Bar and restaurant, DSTV.
Single rooms Ushs31,000-
Twin rooms Ushs41,000-
Double rooms Ushs41,000-
All roms are self contained rooms and include breakfast.
Crested Crane Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)434 121954. This former Uganda Government Hotel doubles as the home of the Uganda Hotel and Tourist Training Institute. The hotel is located on Jackson Cresent and visible from the main road into Jinja town when approaching from the Chinese Restaurant roundabout. The hotel has undergone a major revamp offering very competative rates.
Single Ushs51,000-, Double Ushs62,000-, Suite Ushs102,000-, Presidential Suite Ushs152,000-
rates include breakfast and service charge.
Explorers Backpackers Lodge: Tel. +256 (0)434 120236, +256 (0)772 422373, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.raftafrica.com. At the Shell filling station next to the Chinese restaurant on the Kampala/Kenya Rd turn towards Jinja and take the first right turn into Kiira Rd after passing under the railway bridge. Take the second road on the left into Wilson Avenue where a set of paddles indicate the Backpackers. Just about all the locals know the place so if your lost just ask. From Jinja town take a boda boda or phone the backpackers and they will pick you up from anywhere in Jinja if they have a vehicle to hand.
The backpackers has a bar and a full menu. An MTN Publicom phone and calling cards on sale. There is a pool table, satellite TV, darts and large information board. Hot water showers and friendly atmosphere. Accommodation is free to camp or in the dorm for two nights if you raft with NRE. If you stay at NRE’s campsite at Bujagali the same offer applies and they will transport you there for free when the vehicle is going up to the campsite.
Camping US$5- p/p, Dorm bed US$7- p/p, Double Room US$25-, Extra person in double room US$5-.
Hindu houses in Jinja town
Hindu houses in Jinja town
Explorer Inn: Tel/Fax _256 (0)777 164979, _256 (0)752 538516, email: email@example.com. Located on Plot 23 Iganga Road in the heart of Jinja. Turn left at the Central Police Station. 8 comfortable twin bedded and double bedded suites all self-contained , a lounge, a bar and a meeting room. In room T.Vs and security safes are available.
Twin rooms at Ushs52,000-
Double rooms at Ushs52,000-.
Gately on Nile: Tel/Fax _256 (0)434 122400 or Cell +256 (0)772 469638, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Regarded as Jinja’s premier western style bed and breakfast guest house / hotel. Located on Nile Crescent just past the sailing club opposite the pier. 12 beautiful rooms catering for all tastes and budgets. (7 suites, 2 fully self contained economy rooms, 3 economy rooms with shared bathroom and 4 self-contained garden cottages. Many people might like to visit Gately if only to experience the garden tea or enjoy lunch on the terrace. Gately is a refurbished grand house. Safe parking with 24hr security.
Room Rates effective January 1, 2012
Main House Full Board single US$140-, double/twin US$220-
Main House Half Board single US$120-, double/twin US$180-
Main House Bed & Breakfast single US$100-, double/twin US$140-
Garden Cottage Full Board single US$160-, double/twin US$240-
Garden Cottage Half Board single US$140-, double/twin US$200-
Garden Cottage Bed & Breakfast single US$120-, double/twin US$160-
Please note all rates are nett and subject to change during festive seasons and Public Holidays. All room rates exclusive of US$1- local hotel tax.
Hotel Paradise on the Nile: Tel. +256 (0)434 121912, +256 (0)772 426707 email: email@example.com. Located in Kiira Lane off Kiira Road and also known as Sunset Hotel Annexe this 47 room hotel has spacious comfortable rooms with DSTV, a restaurant and is in close proximity to the Source of the Nile.
Single – Ushs85,000-, Ordinary twin – Ushs110,000-, Double – Ushs110,000-, Deluxe Double – Ushs140,000-, Suite – Ushs200,000-. All rates include bed and breakfast and local government tax of Ushs2,000- per room per day.
Kingfisher Safaris Resort: Tel. +256 (0)772 510197 or +256 (0)772 632063, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located on the west bank of the Nile 1 km beyond the Source of the Nile Gardens. Access is via the junction adjacent to The Nile Breweries by the Owen Falls dam on the Jinja-Kampala highway. Excellent thatched cottages, swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Camping in pleasant gardens with Lake frontage.
Cottages self contained
Triple rooms US$155-
Room rates including breakfast.
New Daniel Hotel (1998) Ltd: Tel: +256 434 121334, Mobile: +256 772 405719, +256 772 850541, +256 712164694, +256 782 240202, +256 793 327702, email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Located on old Kiira road at Plot 18d close to Sunset Hotel International. The hotel has 11 rooms with rates including breakfast.
Single – Ushs41,000-, Double – Ushs60,000-, Suite – Ushs100,000- .
Nile Anchor Palace: Tel. +256 (0)434 120735, +256 (0)712 600223, email: email@example.com. A uniquely refurbished grand home offering high quality accommodation with a secure environment in a large garden.
Single – Ushs72,000-, Double – Ushs92,000-, Double Executive Ushs155,000-.
Nile Guesthouse and Apartment: Tel. +256 (0)434 122226, +256 (0)752 934588, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located on the Jinja to Kyaunga road some 5 km from Jinja town at Plot 13/15 Nanso road, Njeru. The guesthouse offers guests modern comfortable facilities in 24 rooms and 8 apartments. Facilities include fully serviced rooms and apartments each with wireless internet and DSTV. Guests are served meals in the restaurant where not self catering in one of the appartments.
Standard room: Single USD45- / Double USD50- / Triple USD55-
Suites 103 and 104: Single USD45- / Double USD50-
Suites 101: Single USD45- / Double or Twin USD50- / Triple USD65- / Quad USD85-
Rates include breakfast
Safari Inn: Tel. 0772 400955, 0782 816741, +256 (0)434 122955, email: email@example.com. Located opposite the Cool Breeze Hotel on Nalufenya Rd. This is the main road into Jinja from the traffic circle adjacent to the Ling Ling Chinese Restaurant and the main access road when coming from Kampala. Safari Inn is well sign posted on the right some 300 meters from the roundabout. The hotel is set in large shady gardens with a safari sports bar. A new wing to the main building is home to the new twin and executive double rooms. Clean and pleasent surroundings.
Singles Ushs51,000-, Doubles Ushs60,000-, Twin room Ushs65,000-, Family rooms Ushs90,000- (2 adults and 2 children). Rates include breakfast.
Surjio’s Guesthouse: Tel. +256 (0)772 500400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Plot 24 Kisinja Rd. Bed and breakfast accommodation in the former Ugandan Presidential Guest House. Do you want to sleep in the same room as Amin and Obote once did! Authentic Pizzeria restaurant. Beautiful swimming pool, family orientated, DSTV lounge and free wifi Internet access. Safe secure parking.
Single rooms from US$65.00- B&B per night
Double rooms from US$110.00- B&B per night
Triple rooms from US$120.00- B&B per night
Sunset Hotel International: Tel. 043 412 0115/123705, Fax. 043 412 0741, email: email@example.com. 80 room, elegant 3star hotel with swimming pool.
Single standard room Ushs77,000-, Double standard room Ushs87,000-, Single deluxe room Ushs92,000-, Double deluxe room Ushs102,000-, Executive room Ushs122,000-, Executive Room (Jakuzzi)- Ushs152,000-, Suites Ushs142,000-.
Rates include breakfast.
Timton Hotel: Tel. +256 (0)434 121233, +256 (0)712 485087. Plot 15 Jackson Cresent. Located at the end of the road close to Explorers backpackers Lodge. This is the cheapest camping option in Jinja. Timton offers good value single and double rooms all with en-suite bathrooms. Bar & restaurant. Well kept gardens. Safe secure parking. Room rates include breakfast.
Single Ushs35,000-, Twin room/Double Ushs60,000-, Suite Ushs65,000-, Camping Ushs4,000-
Several guest houses have excellent restaurants providing a range cuisines for both lunches and evening meals. 2friends Restaurant (probably the best pizza in Uganda) and Gately on Nile are all highly recommended.
If your looking for a great sandwich ‘to go’ or a delicious ice cream then visit the Indulge Deli or otherwise known Georgie’s Deli one street down from Main Street in the centre of town. On offer is a great selection of sandwiches on white or whole wheat bread bursting to the seams with filling. Georgie’s sandwiches can only be regarded as a meal witin a meal.
Ling Ling Chinese Restaurant: Located on the main Jinja – Kampala highway at the turn off next to the Shell petrol station into Jinja town. This is part of this family run business with Ling Ling Guest house
Rumours Pub at the Source of the Nile has a restaurant deck located on the rivers shore.
Internet and Email:
The Source Cafe Jinja on Main Street offered surfing @40- shillings per minute or Ushs1,000-/30 mins in addition to excellent coffee, fresh juices and wonderful homemade cakes.
With now no less than nine cafes dotted around Jinja finding somewhere to check email is certainly not a problem. Berts Cafe on Sciindia Rd is highly recommended @Ush50- shillings per minute weekdays and Ush40- on weekends.
International Medical Centre Jinja. Plot 14, Circular Rd. Tel +256 (0)434 122499. Part of the International Air Ambulance Group.
Mountain Bike Tours are now on offer from Nile River Explorers in and around the Jinja area. Whether it’s a physical challenge you are looking for or just want to meander through villages on the banks of the Nile this has become a very popular activity. By taking a guided tour you will see places you can’t go in a vehicle and also learn about the local industries, bird life and vegetation in the area. Individual bike hire for the day is also possible, so if you have a bit of knowledge of the area and just want to cruise at your own pace, this could be for you.
Individual Bike Hire: Day Hire – US$25
Guided Trips From: – US$30
The Source of The Nile:
The actual source of the Nile was the Rippon Falls now drowned after the construction of the Owen Falls Dam. Speke was accredited with the discovery in 1862 as the first European to locate the source. You can walk or take a boda-boda from town to get there. Continue along Bell Avenue crossing Nile Crescent into Bridge St. Continue a short distance where a left turn into Cliff Rd will take you to the visitors parking area. A small entrance fee is payable, non Ugandan adults Ushs3000-, children Ushs300- and vehicles Ushs2000-. To get to Spekes monument you will need to take a boat across the Nile to The Source of the Nile Gardens (Ushs20,000- this can be divided by a group). There are no facilities at the gardens presently after the privious tenant closed the information centre and coffee shop.
The Owen Falls Dam:
Constructed in 1954 the dam supplies electricity to Uganda and much of Kenya. A new dam has been constructed adjacent to the original and a third dam is in the process of construction slightly up river. The completion of the 3rd dam will see an end to the river rafting activities on the river at Bujagali with the existing rapids being flooded.
The main Kampala-Kenya Rd passes over the top of the Owen Falls Dam wall. Stopping is not permitted as is photography forbidden.
Owen Falls Dam
Owen Falls Dam
Samuka Island Retreat: Tel. Office +256 758660020, Mobile: +256 703660020, +256 713 660020. Located 40 minutes off Jinja by motor boat. Pick ups from Rumours Pub and Sports Bar at the Source of the Nile Jinja. Up-market self-contained cottages, bar and restaurant.
Sunset Cottages double bed
Single Occupancy US$90- B&B
Single Occupancy US$120- FB
Double Occupancy US$120-
Double Occupancy US$160-
Island transfer from and to The Source of the Nile USD40- individual or shared costs.