Uganda, the No.1 tourist destination in the world, boasts of the source of longest river in the world, River Nile. The source of the Nile is in lake Victoria. A trip to the source of the Nile should be on everyone’s to do list or may I say ‘Travel Destinations before You Die’. The source of the Nile in Jinja Town offers relaxation, rejuvenation, satisfaction, content and takes you to another place altogether; Jinja town is an adventure-lovers paradise, with several rafting and adventure companies offering an array of activities from quad-biking through to horse-riding to kayaking.
The River Nile, stretching across half of Africa, flows northwards from the tropical mountains and forests of the Equator to the temperate Mediterranean Sea. The most amazing fact about River Nile is that it runs through ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda. The Nile ends in a large delta that empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
There is something magical about the Nile; it flows lazily and with elegance and pride, seeming aware of the awe in which it is held by the world. For centuries the legend that is the Nile’s has fascinated many while leaving others mystified. Nile is a famous Greek word simply meaning valley.
A tour to the Nile will take you through another life of adventure. There is a golf course unwinding along the banks and the source of the Nile provides a pretty focal point to the flow of water from Lake Victoria’s only outlet. A boat ride out to Samuka Island is another trip of itself, not counting the beautiful fauna you will see along.
Booking a safari downstream on the Nile River brings you to Adrift Nile High Camp with various activities including Bungee jump. A few kilometers further, is Bujagali Falls, the adventurer’s capital with grade-five white water rafting, kayaking, river boarding and mountain-biking. These activities offer a unique way to explore the riverbanks, passing though farms, forests and villages beside the Nile.
Up along the Nile’s course is Lake Kyoga; it also feeds the river with fresh water. The course then leads you to the great Murchison Falls, where roars of millions of litres of water dropping form a lullaby. Activities such as spot fishing, game drives and scenic viewing can make your safari to Murchison Falls an exhilarating experience. The Murchison Falls National Park which is named after the Murchison falls provides boat trips to the foot of the falls that enable you to look at hippos, crocodiles and magnificent bird life. Similar to gorilla safaris, the park at the falls organizes nature walks to the top of the falls for trekking chimpanzees.
From this point, River Nile flows though Lake Albert to the northern part of Uganda, to Sudan and finally I Egypt were it pours its mass into the Mediterranean Sea.
On the White Nile, the roar of the rapids drifting upstream with the gentle breeze and wooden canoes laden with excited locals congregate in the calm waters anxious to see the rafts in action is a common sight. Rafts explode through huge walls of whitewater and adrift through warm green pools in the equatorial sunshine; whitewater rafting at its very best.
Adrift Uganda is the most preferred agent when it comes to water rafting and any other activities on the Nile. Adrift has developed quite a following due to their consistency and safety measures with internationally qualified guides who are carefully chosen based on their skill, experience and their ability to address the need and expectations of each individual client. Adrift has the most experienced team on the continent (with over 100 years combined experience) and all guides are comprehensively trained in CPR, wilderness first aid and swift water rescue.
Flanked today by the city of Jinja, the waterfall described by Speke now lies submerged beneath the Owen Falls Dam, Uganda’s main source of hydroelectric power. Still, a visit to the source of the Nile remains a moving and wondrous experience, no less so to those who have seen the same river as it flows past the ancient Egyptian temples of Luxor some 6,000 km downstream.
The source of the Nile, alluded to hazily in the ancient writings of Ptolemy, stood as one of the great geographical mysteries of the Victorian Age.
Closer to home, the Nile downriver from Jinja offers some superb white water rafting and game fishing. Its crowning glory, however, is Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river funnels through a narrow fissure in the Rift Escarpment to erupt out of the other side in a crashing 43 metres plume of white water. The river below Murchison Falls is no less spectacular in its own way, with its profuse birdlife, thousands of hippos, and outsized, gape-mouthed crocodiles.
The Nile has is said to be the best rafting, kayaking and river boarding location in the world that gives an unique white water adventure.
The Nile can be viewed easily from the terrace at most Lodges that are cleverly placed along its banks.
For all who have been lucky to visit the source of the Nile, there is a definite mystique attached to the river, something exciting and mysterious. Knowing that the water flowing past your feet will leave Lake Victoria on its long, long journey through many countries on its northern journey to the sea is enough to get you thinking and wondering.
You can choose to take a one day trip and return to Kampala because transport back from and to the city is provided by most companies but if you are one to extend your trip then accommodation will not be a problem, in fact you will be spoilt for choice because there are several places to stay when in Jinja for all budgets from medium to five star. You can stay at Chobe Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Explorers River Camp, Wildwaters Lodge and lots more.
For more information on how to spend your ultimate Uganda holiday, Safaris Uganda, a local tour operator offering a wide range of tours and safaris within the country!