The Perfect 2 Day Itinerary for Jinja, Uganda

The Perfect 2 Day Itinerary in Jinja, Uganda

The adventure capital of East Africa, the town of Jinja in Uganda certainly isn’t short of adrenaline-pumping things to do!

Set at the Source of the White Nile, river-based activities (unsurprisingly) take the main stage here, but the stunning scenery and great community of Jinja, Uganda also means there’s a lot to enjoy out the water too.

I found myself in Jinja as part of my overland trip through Africa – to be honest I’d never even heard of the place before the tour, but was delighted that our itinerary included 3 days there… if only it had been sunny!

But despite the clouds and the occasional out of season downpours (this is Uganda after all!) I had a blast getting to see the best of this small city.

And so, if you’re travelling in Uganda, East Africa or even Africa as a whole, make sure you allow at least 2 days for Jinja, Uganda.

For many, it’s a highlight.

Uganda, Jinja, Nile Views

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Day 1 in Jinja, Uganda

Uganda, Jinja, Boat Ride



Uganda, Jinja, Me at Source of the Nile

Your first day in Jinja, Uganda really should be all about the Nile – in it, on it and around it!

As such I recommend starting your day with a boat trip to see this river’s great source.

Actually, when you get there, it’s a bit of anti-climax – a small amount of bubbles marked with a random metal sign – but there’s something so African, nonchalant and understated about it all, I kind of liked it!

Plus, I’m also recommending a boat trip to the Nile, because it means you get to take in this city’s stunning location from the water and to spot some beautiful birds and snap some great photos too.

After all, who doesn’t like a boat trip?!

There’s a cheap way to do a boat trip to the Source of the Nile, which actually skirts the national park and therefore entrance fee, but means you don’t get to see the statue marking the spot where Gandhi’s, yes that’s right Gandhi’s, ashes were scattered.

If you do want to see this, you’ll have to cough up a bit more for an official tour.

Otherwise ask around and score yourself a cheap, local deal!


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In the afternoon of Day 1, it’s time to get a bit active, so choose from either kayaking or white water rafting on the River Nile.

These are the 2 most popular activities to do in Jinja, Uganda and, as such, are offered by numerous companies based in the town.

Almost any accommodation provider, should be able to connect you with a tour and all you’ll have to do then is to decide how hardcore you want it!
And, if you’re all about the adrenaline activities, then no trip to Africa would be complete without a stop at Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe / Zambia border.

The adrenaline capital of South Africa, check out these 8 incredible things to do in Victoria Falls guaranteed to get your heart racing!


If you’re interested in an unforgettable, well-priced tour in Uganda with guides you can trust, or a self-drive trip organised by a great company, then email me at [email protected] and I’ll send you my top recommendations – simple!



Uganda, Jinja, Sunset

What better way to end your Nile day than with a sunset cruise.

There’s few more memorable ways to take in the majesty of the world’s most famous river than with the colours of the fading sunlight bouncing off the glass-like water… a beer in hand!

Normally, you’ll need a set number of people to secure a cruise, so try to get a group together and enjoy en masse. It’ll be cheaper this way too!

A sunset cruise really is Jinja to a tee!

And when it comes to accommodation in Jinja, I highly recommend staying at the Nile River Camp.

They have a choice of camping, glamping or bungalows and can organise loads of great activities for you.



#1 Insect Repellent – Malaria is a big risk in the Jinja area, so cover up at night and pack a 30% DEET spray.

#2 Sunscreen & Cap – Things get hot here, especially on the water, so do be prepared!

#3 Good Camera – An absolute must if you’re looking to capture the incredible landscape of Jinja. I love my mirrorless Sony A6000, which is light, compact and robust – ideal for Africa travel.

#4 Active Wear Dri Fit Shorts – These ones from Nike would be ideal for taking part in many of physical activities on this list.

#5 Nerves of Steel – If you’re rafting, enough said!


Day 2 in Jinja, Uganda



Uganda, Jinja, Nile River Camp

Hopefully you’ve had your Nile fix, because Day 2 in Jinja, Uganda is all about exploring other parts of this great town.

Set in the centre of the action are some great cafes.

There’s a large NGO crowd in Jinja, which means Mzungas are provided for and you can get some excellent coffee and green smoothies here, which I thoroughly appreciated!

The Source Café is a firm favourite, but I actually preferred The Deli.

After breakfast, it’s time to wander the streets of Jinja, investigating the many souvenir and art shops, as well as snapping some of the crumbling colonial buildings – I loved the Post Office in particular.



I would never think of travelling to Uganda without proper coverage and always recommend travel insurance from World Nomads who I’ve used during my time in this country and throughout Africa.

I love their great coverage of adventure activities – crucial for a country like Uganda – as well as their excellent customer service and ability to claim online, which is very handy if you’re travelling in remote places for a long time.



The 2nd afternoon of your Jinja, Uganda itinerary again involves some active fun, but this time on land.

Choose from either mountain biking or horse riding and you’ll get to see the beautiful, lush green, landscape of this part of the world in a way you normally wouldn’t.

Again, most accommodation providers in Jinja should be able to arrange the above activities for you.

Otherwise, during your morning in town, do some investigating and bargain yourself a low price for a same-day departure.



Uganda, Jinja, Nile Lookout

Finish your 2nd day in Jinga, Uganda by getting your hands on one of the country’s famous Rolexs.

No I’m not talking about watches here!

I’m talking about a Ugandan delicacy – essentially a chapatti rolled up with cooked egg, meat and vegetables inside.

Available at almost any street snack stall in Jinja, those situated near Lake Bujagali do some of the best I’ve tried and you can then enjoy your dinner at the side of this beautiful body of water just a short walk away.

Oh, and don’t forget your camera for this lake either!


Volunteering in Jinja, Uganda

If you have any more time to spend or spare in Jinja, then I highly recommend volunteering some of it with the great organization – Esubi Kids.

An orphanage and school project, this superb grassroots operation is always keen for helpers and the kids and staff are amazing!

In fact, I spent a day picking beans with these guys and it still stands as one of my top Uganda experiences.

If you are interested, please email Happy Apio on [email protected] or call / whatsapp her on +256 793 114 881 / +256 705 280 521.





So there you have it, my perfect 2 day itinerary for Jinja, Uganda.

Have you been to this great town?

What was your favourite thing to do there?


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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Alejandra says:

    Hi Steph, nice recomendation in Jinja, I wonder how much cost you to do the boat trip to the Source of the Nile?
    How is your Sony a6000 working? It’s my second year and keeping some problems with the dial even after sent it to repair with the warranty :/

    • Steph says:

      Oh that’s a shame to hear about the camera Alejnadra – mine is working great! I’m trying to remember how much the boat ride to the Nile source ost.. and I can’t! I do know that we went to there and hussled our own price however, rather than booking a tour… and it was cheaper! So my advice would be to do that!

  2. ernest pinto says:

    thanx for having created this beautiful site. its really informative for budget travellers like me coming from 3rd world countries having a passion for travel but have to do it on ashoe string budget.

  3. Pratham Chandra says:

    Hey steph,
    Read your article and loved it.Went to nile river camp for 2 nights.It is a nice place only if the colour of the skin is white… being a brown skin ,never expected to face such racism in this part of the world…

  4. Jinja says:

    You have captured the lights of Jinja very well and the information is very accurate and well done. Jinja is an amazing destination to visit and tour for a small budget.

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