Nile High Bungy is in Jinja, a short trip of 4 km from the jinja town is the Nile Resort. The bungy jumping booking can be done here for 55 $ per person. It is one of the beautiful locations overlooking the Nile River. The bungy is 44 m high and at the top the feeling is just great !!!
White-water rafting and Jinja are almost synonomous and Bujagali Falls is the place to go. Even if white water rafting in the developing world isn't your cup of tea, Bujagali Falls is a fun place to spend an afternoon.
There is a small cafe near what once was the giant falls (they have since been reduced in size, due to the hydro-electric dam nearby). Enjoy a Nile Special or a Bell lager and watch the day go by.
Admission is nominal.
OK - so the source of the Nile isn't the most stunning thing in the world, and was somewhat arbitrarily designated by Mr. John Hanning Speke, one of the first European explorers in the area, but ... ok ... when's the next time you're going to be at the place where the Nile river begins its 4,100 mile journey north?
It's about $5.00 to get in, and it's just a simple body of water, but it's pretty cool to say, "I was at the source!" Definately worth a visit on a lazy Saturday.
It is interesting to see how the local villagers have adapted to modern life, yet they have still held onto their traditional way of life. The kids in all countries around the world are almost always smiling, wondering what you are doing, why you look different and where you are from. Most importantly, they almost always want to know what you are going to give them!
Modern houses and clothes in Uganda often gives way to adults without shoes, no form of modern transport and a staple diet of vegetables, goats meat and yams.
To say hello to the locals and to play with the kids is free, but the experience to the locals is priceless. Mostly, the friendly villagers welcome visitors and feel honored that you took the time to visit.
Uganda is famous for the drums that they manufacture.
Littered along the highway, near Jinja, are numerous cottages and huts that act as shop fronts selling drums. When stopping at these huts you will come across the entire drum making process laid out in all the different stages.
From the cow hides that are lying in the sun to dry, the woodcarving that is in progress, a workman stringing the drum or the women that are completing the finished product, it is interesting to stop and look at the craftsman in action.
A small drum was approx US$12 and the large drums that stand 24 inches tall were approx $60
When traveling near Jinja you will cross the Equator. This is an excellent time to stretch your legs at the information centre and purchase a cold drink.
The line of the equator is painted across the road and tourists can be seen walking across the road, one leg either side of the line, which allows you to walk in both the Northern and southern hemispheres at the same time.
Anne and I took the opportunity to have a photo taken, holding hands, as we stood in separate hemispheres….poles apart!
It was interesting to note that on the equator:
We were 2800 feet above sea level
Our bodyweight was 3% less
The days and nights are 12 hours each
Water boils at less than 100 degrees Celsius
On the 0 degree line water drains straight down
Move the bucket 1 meter north of the 0 degree line and the water drains clockwise
Move the bucket 1 meter south of the 0 degree line and the water drains anti-clockwise
Amazing that it may seem, I must say that the one thing that I never saw anywhere in all my time in Africa was a food inspector from the health department!
Food stalls are literally everywhere in Africa, and Uganda is no exception. Anne and I frequented these stalls on a regular basis to stock up on bottles of water but after several health problems in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique, my street food days are over.
Although some of the street food looked very nice, and the prices were even nicer, I kept thinking of those adverts on television about the traveler holed up in a dingy hospital somewhere with food poisoning. (And the thought of Anne’s voice ringing in my ears for years to come, “I TOLD YOU SO!”)
As the afternoon wore on the principal of the school approached us and offered us fruit for lunch and a cold drink. The hospitality of the teachers and students was amazing and although there was little for these people to eat, they all offered us something!
Here we were, in a poor nation where volunteers had to help build the schools, where the heat and humidity was extreme and no air-conditioning was on offer, where the classrooms were all cement and concrete, where the bars on the windows were akin to a jail and not a classroom and they were feeding us!
It was at lunch that Anne removed a photo album from her bag that had a picture of our granddaughter as a baby. All of the eyes in the room were in awe of the picture and it was then that an elderly woman advised us that she had never seen a photo of a white baby before! Anne left the album with the principal of the school to use in the classrooms!
It was now time to depart the Kyabirwa Children’s Centre and head to the middle school for the afternoon.
We were piled onto the back of an open air truck and whisked along dirt tracks and main roads to what seemed like the other side of Uganda! After approx 45 minutes we arrived at the middle school and we were once again amazed at the welcome we received from the children, although they were aged between eleven and sixteen.
Anne and I volunteered to paint a classroom at this school.
When we were entered the classroom it was completely empty. No desk, no chairs, no bags, no students….nothing. The paint rollers were old and worn, there were no ladders, the poles we were to use to reach the high walls were tree branches and the heat was intolerable! But, here we were giving back to the community and the children!
Jinja is nestled on the western shore of Lake Victoria, in Uganda, and is known for three things:
Being the home of the dictator Idi Amin.
The place where Mahatma Gandhi chose to have his ashes scattered.
Being the “source of the Nile River.”
From Jinja, the Nile begins its long trek past the ancient cities of Egypt to the Mediterranean ocean. The river is truly spectacular and has an abundance of bird life and fish…not to mention crocodiles!
One of the main attractions here is the white water rafting that is offered by numerous operators. Anne and I stayed at the Nile River Explorers who was the very first organization to be granted a licence to raft these waters. The cost is US$120 for a full day, including a bbq dinner.
It was at this point that Anne and I decided to head back to town and buy some extra goodies such as health biscuits and sweets for the children.
After we returned to the school to distribute the items, Anne and I were amazed to be told by the teacher that many of the children had never tasted chocolate! The sight of these kids sitting in the classroom, chewing on a piece of chocolate for the first time in their short lives, was an amazing experience.
After spending an hour or so walking between all of the classrooms, Anne and I had morning team with the children. It was amazing to see that every child had their own plastic container that housed a simple sandwich or a piece of fruit to eat. The older children took a keen interest in the younger children, making sure that they all had something to eat before eating themselves.
These Children welcomed us by surrounding us, grabbing at our hands, arms, legs and clothes as they sang, yelled and screamed in delight at seeing the white people from the west! The teachers organized the students into two main groups and the entire group sang for us for approx. ten minutes.
After the singing the children “kidnapped” each Anne and I and dragged us, separately, into their classrooms as it became a competition to see which class could get either Anne or I to take a lesson with them. It was just my luck that I was dragged into the mathematics class!
I can honestly say that we had the most fantastic day. We met so many interesting people, played with the children, took lessons and ate lunch with the children and we got an overwhelming sense of happiness from the loving welcome that we were given by these innocent kids.
Our day began with a 2 kilometer hike through local “tracks” that weaved their way through farm land and light forest. Seeming in the middle of nowhere we came across the Kyabirwa Children’s Centre that was home to in excess of fifty orphans that ranged in age from 4 to 9.