Jinja Town lies in southeastern Uganda, approximately 54 miles (87 km), by road, east of Kampala. The town is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, near to the source of the Nile River. The nearby Owen Falls Dam regulates the flow of the White Nile and generates electricity. Jinja Town is the largest metropolitan area in Jinja District, and is considered the capital of the Kingdom of Busoga. Jinja Municipality is the second largest town of Uganda. It was formerly a fishing village that benefited from being on long-distance trade routes. The town was founded in 1901 by the British as an administrative center for the Provincial Government Headquarters for Busoga region. This was around the time when a lake steamer service operated between Jinja and Port Florence (Jinja), the port that in 1901 became the terminus of the railway from the coast. History Before 1906, Jinja was a fishing village that benefited from being located on long-distance trade routes. The origin of the name “Jinja” comes from the language of the two peoples (the Baganda and the Basoga) that lived on either side of the River Nile in the area. In both languages “Jinja” means “Rock”. In most of Africa, rivers like the Nile hindered 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. However the area around Jinja was one place where the river could be breached due to the large rocks near the Ripon Falls. Here, on either bank of the river, were large flat rocks where small boats could be launched to cross the river. These rock formations were also accredited with providing a natural moderator for the water flow out of Lake Victoria. For the original local inhabitants, the location was a crossing point, for trade, migration and as a fishing post. This might explain why, despite this barrier, the two tribes have very similar languages, and the more powerful Baganda had an enormous influence on the Basoga. The area was called the ‘Place of Rocks’ or ‘The Place of Flat Rocks’. The word for stones or rocks in the language of the Baganda is ‘Ejjinja (Plural Mayinja), and in the Basoga dialect this became Edinda. The British used this reference to name the town they established – “Jinja” Tourism in Jinja Known as the Adventure Capital of Uganda, Jinja has a lot to offer its visitors in the way of adventure sports and activities. Bujagali is a ten-minute boda ride out from Jinja town. It’s a small tourist village, based on picturesque Bujagali Falls. Here visitors are able to go white water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, motorcycling, quad biking, and mountain biking and horse riding. Other activities include sunset Nile boat cruises, golf, camping and birding. Mabira Forest Mabira Forest is a well-developed ecotourism site. Mabira Forest is a moist semi-deciduous forest famous for walking and cycling trails. The forest is a home to over 100 species of large moths, butterfly fauna, 300 species of birds e.g. blue swallow, papyrus Gonolek and the nahan francolin, the purple throated cuckoo. Source of the Nile The Nile leaves Lake Nyanza (Victoria) at Ripon Falls in Jinja, Uganda, as the Victoria Nile. It flows north for some 130 kilometers (81 mi), to Lake Kyoga. The last part of the approximately 200 kilometers (120 mi) river section starts from the western shores of the lake and flows at first to the west until just south of Masindi Port, where the river turns north, then makes a great half circle to the east and north until Karuma Falls. For the remaining part it flows merely westernly through the Murchison Falls until it reaches the very northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a significant river delta. The lake itself is on the border of DR Congo, but the Nile is not a border river at this point. After leaving Lake Albert, the river continues north through Uganda and is known as the Albert Nile. The northern section of the river flows north almost entirely through the Sudanese desert to Egypt, then ends in a large delta and flows into the Mediterranean Sea. Egyptian civilization and Sudanese kingdoms have depended on the river since ancient times. Most of the population and cities of Egypt lie along those parts of the Nile valley north of Aswan, and nearly all the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt are found along riverbanks. More about River Nile The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, and is regarded as the longest river in the world. The Nile, which is 6,853 km (4,258 miles) long, is an "international" river as its drainage basin covers eleven countries, namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan and Egypt. In particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and Sudan. The river Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is considered to be the headwaters and primary stream of the Nile itself. The Blue Nile, however, is the source of most of the water and silt. The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in either Rwanda or Burundi. It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan. The Blue Nile begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet just north of the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Sources The source of the Nile is sometimes considered to be Lake Victoria, but the lake has Feeder Rivers of considerable size. The Kagera River, which flows into Lake Victoria near the Tanzanian town of Bukoba, is the longest feeder, although sources do not agree on which is the longest tributary of the Kagera and hence the most distant source of the Nile itself. It is either the Ruvyironza River, which emerges in Bururi Province of Burundi, or the Nyabarongo, which flows from Nyungwe Forest in Rwanda. The two Feeder Rivers meet near Rusumo Falls on the Rwanda-Tanzania border. In 2010, an exploration party went to a place described as the source of the Rukarara tributary, and by hacking a path up steep jungle-choked mountain slopes in the Nyungwe forest found (in the dry season) an appreciable incoming surface flow for many kilometers upstream, and found a new source, giving the Nile a length of 6,758 km (4,199 mi). Bungee Jumping Adventure At Bujagali Falls. The Nile High Bungee located adjacent to the bar at Adrift Nile High Camp providing a great vantage point for spectators and supplying fluids to help calm the nerves and prepare for the jump. Leap forth and try to fly over the ‘Source of the Nile from a tower, purpose-built for bungee jumping, constructed and operated to the highest New Zealand standards. Nile High Bungee specializes in tandem jumps, water touches and full-moon jumps. Bungee Jumps can be organized at most times (including in the dark) and it is recommended that you book well in advance. The minimum age is 13-years and there is a free shuttle from Kampala and Jinja. White water Rafting Adventure At the 6grade rapids of the Nile. The white water rafting begins with a comprehensive briefing and the fitting of lifejackets and helmets. The rafting is done on a 10 kilometer stretch of the Nile River. The first few rapids are low grade (1, 2) and give clients a sense of confidence. As the river meanders through beautiful scenery, the rafts are guided into the mighty challenges of the best “grade 5” rapids on the Nile. One will enjoy the most thrilling white water rafting at different grade stages. Eight major rapids are rafted plus lower graded runs to maximize the adrenaline rush of this adventure. Sezibwa Falls Sezibwa Falls is a 45 minutes’ drive from Kampala, along the excellent Jinja-Kampala highway. After Kayanja trading center on the highway, turn right onto a murram road and drive for another 1.5 km before you reach the falls. Activities at Sezibwa Falls include nature guided walks, bird watching, Primate walks, camping, boat riding and mountain biking. Sezibwa means ‘it can’t be blocked’. It is a tourism and cultural site with a lot to see and do for nature lovers. It is 200 meters at the point where the water drops then it continues its flow and finally empties at Lake Kyoga. With 135 bird species in the area, it is a bird lover’s paradise for those who enjoy bird watching. The birds that can be seen include the Mourning Dove, African Harrier Hawk, African Pied Wagtail, Mouse birds and Sunbirds. An early morning guided walk with the knowledgeable guide gives you a chance to spot some of the birds available in this area. You can also enjoy a three hour forest walk which gives you the chance to learn about the many trees that can be seen in the surrounding area including their medicinal value. Primate and Butterfly viewing are still other activities available at Sezibwa Falls with about 20 butterfly species to be seen there. You can also go for mountain biking and boat riding. For the adventurous, climbing to the top of the falls and watching the water drop down from the bridge that has been constructed at the top is an activity you would not want to miss.
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