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Activities in Jinja

Jinja has a vibrant downtown and broad leafy residential streets set next to the Nile River. Tourism has grown to compete with the manufacturing past of the town as nearby watersports draw visitors from all around.

Here you can get your fix of kayaking, whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, horseback riding, and mountain biking.


Before the arrival of Europeans, Jinja was a small fishing village on the edge of the mighty Nile River which constituted the border between two distinct peoples – the Baganda to the east and the Basoga to the west. With the arrival of British colonial rule in 1906, the town began to grow as a trading centre and important river crossing.

By mid-century, the town had grown significantly with Indians, Africans, and Europeans living in somewhat segregated neighbourhoods on the west side of the river. With the arrival of hydroelectricity (from Owen Falls dam) and the railroad, Jinja was ideally situated to become the industrial capital of the country with sugar and cotton processing making up a large part of employment. During the difficult political crises of the 1970s, Jinja’s trading and manufacturing economies suffered.