Uganda is without doubt East Africa’s top destination for fun-filled adrenalin sports. And Jinja is the base for those seeking to add thrills and spills to their otherwise leisurely trip to Uganda.
The top sport is white water rafting, which has been around since the mid 1990s, and today there are several companies offering trips on the fast-flowing stretches of the River Nile below Jinja. There is rafting and then, for the really adventurous, there is extreme rafting, offering a chance to shoot the truly ferocious Grade Five rapids using smaller-than-usual rafts and with passengers certain to spend time in the water. This activity can be combined with river surfing.
Adventures in Jinja water sports: a new definition of fun.
The submerging of the Bujagali Falls, as a new dam project takes shape, has had some impact on rafting, but just means that trips now start from a location further downstream from the centre of Jinja. The fun and excitement remain just as intense and the dangers are undiminished.
Bungee jumping is equally popular, but instead of leaping from a high bridge across a river, the jumpers use a specially built platform 44 metres above and out into the River Nile. This platform is located next to the Jinja Nile Resort.
A less dangerous but no less exhilarating means of seeing the Nile is by 450 hp, 12-seater jet boat. Again, these boats operate from bases in the Jinja area. This particular wind-in-the-hair fun ride is open to passengers of all ages (well, from five upwards) and costs about $75.
Newly added to these daredevil sports is tandem paragliding from Mount Wanale in Eastern Province. Paragliding as a commercial activity began in mid 2012, providing a fresh challenge for those looking to enjoy as many of these white-knuckle sports as can be crammed into a visit to Uganda.