Jinja Source of the Nile
The source of the Nile River fascinated the intrepid explorers of the 1800’s. It was finally discovered on 3 August 1858 by John Hanning Speke who, together with Richard Burton, searched for it for two years. Legend has it that Burton was so angry that Speke found the source first, he never forgave him for it.
Starting at Jinja, Uganda the Nile flows for over 4258 miles, through 11 countries, ending its journey at the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Egypt. The river offers a great economic boost to all the countries it flows through. In Uganda, it helps to provide some of the electrical power the country generates. The banks around the Nile are also incredibly fertile and good for farming.
Of course, Jinja is a very popular tourist town as it sits on the northern edge of Lake Victoria. Much of the activities to be found here centre on the Nile itself. For the intrepid adventurer, consider a white water rafting experience or even kayaking along this fierce river. If it is speed you are after, a jet boating trip is just for you. For those who prefer a gentler meander down the river, the African Queen, a restored steamboat from the 1920’s provides the perfect journey. A houseboat on Lake Victoria might be the answer should you prefer total relaxation, however. History buffs will want to take some time to visit the Speke Monument, celebrating the life of John Speke.
Many other activities can be found in the town and surrounds including bungee jumping, horse safaris, mountain biking trails, quad-biking or a tour of the Nile brewery (which produces Nile Special, a favoured local beer). Other locations near Jinja well worth a visit include the Ssezibwa and Itanda Falls, the Mabira Forest (for zip-line tours and guided walks) or play a round of golf at the Jinja Golf Club.
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