Jinja is located in the Eastern Region of Uganda. The town is approximately 81 kilometres (50 mi), by road, east of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda.
It sits along the northern shores of Lake Victoria, near the source of the White Nile.
Famous as the historic source of the Nile River, Jinja is now the adrenaline capital of East Africa. Get ready for a tour of this gorgeous town with crumbling Indian colonial architecture dating as far back as 1920’s.
These buildings were owned by Asians mainly of Indian origin who had been brought to Uganda to help the British in the construction of the Uganda railway but a number of them stayed in the country after successful application for citizenship was granted by the British colonial government.
Most settled in Jinja town due to easy access to cheap electric power after the completion of the Owen Falls Dam that was built by the British Government. They set up various businesses like shops and other small scale industrial investments.
Fast forward to the 1970’s, many Indians in Southeast Africa and Uganda were employed in the sartorial and banking businesses and Indophobia was already engrained by the start of Amin's rule in February 1971. While not all Ugandan Asians were well off, they were on average better off than the indigenous communities, constituting 1% of the population while receiving a fifth of the national income.
In 1972, then President of Uganda Idi Amin expelled all foreigners from the country starting with the British and soon after all Asians followed. Most were resettled in United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and other countries.
They left lots of buildings in Jinja town of which most are still present in the old town though many of them are largely abandoned. Among them is Uganda’s first 2 storied building Madhvani Building construted 1919 by a wealthy Indian Businessman Muljibhai Madhvani. A tour of the old beautiful town will be conducted by your guide.
The Nile River's world-famous rapids are under threat, however. In 2011 the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project buried around half of the rapids under a giant reservoir. White water rafting is still done further downstream at the remaining rapids which is the most thrilling experience and adventure most people will ever encounter in their lives.
White water rafting