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Famous as the historic source of the Nile River, Jinja is now the adrenaline capital of East Africa. Get your fix of white-water rafting, Kayaking, quad biking, mountain biking and horse riding in a gorgeous natural setting with crumbling colonial architecture. The Nile River’s world-famous rapids are under threat, however. In 2011 the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project buried around half of the rapids under a giant reservoir. Although the government has pledged to not further dam the river, Uganda still needs energy and so a new hydroelectric plant is planned for Kalagala Falls. Though worker strikes and faulty construction have it behind schedule for now, it’s expected that the Isimba Dam will flood some key rapids and even an island lodging as early as October 2018. It’s not the end of rafting though. Meanwhile locals keep pushing to keep Jinja’s tourism and Uganda safari industry alive with offerings that have wisely begun to diversify.
This is arguably one of the top things to do in Uganda and Jinja town particular. The Grade 5 Whitewater rafting experience in Jinja is the best in Africa. It is a scary activity but also very exciting and thrilling like nothing else. Whitewater rafting is organized as a half or full day activity. The activity not only involves navigating through the rapids but also making stops at some of the islands. The islands have an amazing collection of green vegetation, birds and primates like Vervet monkeys.
Prepare to be thrown out the raft at least once as you head downstream but with nothing to worry about – You will be rowing with some of the most experienced crews in the world. The crew will pick you up each time you are thrown out of the raft. You do not need to be experienced to take part in the activity. The companies know how to handle both beginners and expert rafters. Whitewater rafting in Jinja occurs throughout the year and costs between $140 and $150. All whitewater rafting companies take safety seriously. Participants are given protective gear and escorted by several rescue kayaks. So why not go for whitewater rafting in Jinja? The memory of floating down rapids of the longest river on earth will stay with you for the rest of your life.
This experience is similar to white water rafting but with a difference. Instead of using the balloon rafts, you conquer the rapids using a high speed boat moving at speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour. This activity costs $75 for adults and will also give you the same adrenaline rush typical of all the other water activities on the Nile.
The Big Game Mini-Golf course in Jinja is intriguing. It was constructed with large statues of the big five (leopard, buffaloes, lion, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and other creatures. A typical golfing day involves putting past the rhino, rounding the python, teeing past the hippo, hacking from inside the buffalo or bogeying beside the lion. It is unique golfing experience and comes with a lot of fun, drinks and mingling with the local high class and tourists from all over the world.
Using a boat, tourists can go to the point where the river begins its journey to the sea. John Speke was the first European to discover the source of the Nile in 1858. The site where Speke stood and first spotted the source has been turned into a park with beautiful garden that are perfect for relaxation and marveling at the river Nile. It is one of the most visited places in Uganda. One needs to take a boat to go up to the exact place considered the source of the Nile.
A tour of Jinja and Uganda in general is incomplete without a close encounter with the local people. A visit to one of the villages allows you to experience how Africans in the rural areas live their lives. You can choose to camp near a group of village houses or live with one of the families for a day/night. While with a local family, learn how to cook local food like Matooke or work with the men to make the local potent gin known as “Waragi”. A guide should be with you to act as an interpreter.
Go for a Quad biking adventure through the forests, villages, farms and the banks of the river Nile. You do not need to have any experience in order to take part in Quad biking. The Quad biking companies provide free practice sessions for participants. During the briefing and training session, participants are warned against overtaking and riding at very high speeds. It is important to be away of kids and animals crossing the roads. Quad biking in Jinja is very adventurous and by the end of the day, you would have learnt a lot and seen how the rural people live their lives.
Though not as intense as white water rafting or Bungee jumping, Horseback riding is a great way to experience the Nile River and the countryside. The horses are healthy and owned by an Australian expatriate. Like Quad biking, this activity takes you through the banks of the river Nile and villages of Uganda enabling you watch the locals go about with their daily lives. Prepare to see excited young children following you before disappearing back to their homes. The horse ride also offers opportunities to view beautiful forests, valleys and hills around the river banks. You do not need to have any experience with horses to take part in this activity. All participants are escorted by professional and experienced guides.
These are just some of the numerous activities that can be done on the river Nile. Kayaking and canoeing offer travelers opportunities to not only experience the great Nile River but also the surrounding villages, local people, farmlands and birds. These activities offer more effortless and quiet experiences compared to whitewater rafting. All participants are trained before embarking on these activities by experienced instructors. The participants learn the flow of the river, back and forward paddling, basic strokes, rescue and capsizing skills. More experienced Kayakers can choose to go to river sections with stronger current and rapids. The company supplies the kayaking/canoeing and safety and equipment. The cost of kayaking starts from $125.
Like horseback riding and Quad biking, Mountain Biking in Jinja is organized to allow visitors explore the river Nile and nearby villages. This activity is very challenging physically considering the unpredictable terrain and routes taken. The activity takes between one and three hours through village farms and the banks of the river. There is an option of biking at the Mabira Forest Reserve located 20 kilometers away from Jinja town where participants are carried by car to the starting point. While at riding through this dense forest, take time to marvel at the beautiful trees, plants, butterflies and monkeys. The Mabira track also leads to hidden local villages, sugar and coffee plantations. By the end of the activity, you would have an idea of how the rural peasants go about their daily lives in Uganda. The cost of maintain biking ranges between $30 and $40 and includes lunch or a picnic at the forest. All the available mountain bikes are of high quality, robust and imported from Europe. The guides are experienced and know how to repair a bike in case it breaks down.
Mabira forest is the largest natural lowland tropical forest in central Uganda. It’s about 2 hours drive from Kampala past. The forest is home to over 200 species of birds and about 5 of primates. The forest has become a popular place for camping.
The construction of a Dam at the former Bujagali Falls formed the Bujagali Lake that is perfect for boat cruises. This activity can take half a day and is a great time to mingle with others, party and enjoy beautiful moments with close friends. There are both day and night boat cruises which all offer opportunities to eat and drink while marveling at the river Nile and its creatures like bats, monitor lizards, monkeys, otters and birds. Those who love fishing can cast their lines to catch large Nile Perch. Apart from Launch cruises downstream at the Bujagali Dam, boat cruises are also arranged close to the source of the Nile.
Uganda is known as a one best places for birding in the world – Jinja and the particularly the Nile river are no exception. Birding tours are arranged by companies in Jinja for both inexperienced and seasoned birders. The companies provide binoculars, recording devices and a book for identifying the species. Birding is done using boats by the river banks, the numerous islands and close to the source of the Nile. Bird are most activate in the morning hours and in the evening as they prepare to roost. Birding tours take at least two hours but arrangements can be made for full day Bird watching for seasoned birders. Those who opt for the full day birding experience can expect to spot at least 40 bird species in a day. Birding for two hours costs $40 while the Full day birding tour costs $90.
Jinja has some of the best fishing spots in Uganda and in the Nile Perch; the River Nile has one of the largest freshwater fishes on earth. It is possible to catch Nile Perches weighing over 150 kilograms. Fishing is arranged throughout the day. The best time for fishing on the Nile is in the morning but afternoon trips have also been known to produce amazing catches. Fishing is open to both experienced and first-time anglers. Full day fishing starts in the morning and ends late in the evening with breaks for lunch. For the full day option, anglers need to move packed lunch. The companies arranging the activity provide all the necessary fishing gear, bottled water, safety and camping equipment. Apart from the Nile Perch, the other notable species are the tilapia, cat fish and yellow fish. Anglers are required to release all the fish in the water except for those that won’t recover after being caught. The fishing techniques used include spinning, bait fishing and trawling.
The Ssezibwa Falls are located along the Kampala – Jinja highway. The local Baganda people consider it an important cultural site where the spirit of their ancestors still rest. Tourists love the place because of the crystal clear water falling from a steep cliff into the nearby forest. Visiting the place isn’t all about the falls. The scenery is beautiful with lush green forests that act as sanctuaries to birds and small primates. While at the falls, do not forget to visit the local snake cave where people still perfume rituals to appease their ancestors.
This is another of those amazing adrenaline raising activities that makes Jinja such a great place to visit. The activity involves drifting along the river Nile on an inflatable tube while sun bathing, marveling at the birds, beautiful islands, green forests and local people washing by the river banks. The companies offer both single and tandem tubing in either calmer water of the turbulent rapids of the Nile. To guarantee the safety or participants a group of safety Kayakers escort the crew.
We have experienced adventurous gorilla trecking, chimpanzee tours, safari accompanied by waterbuffalo, pumba, giraffe, antilops etc encounter that has made our trip supercool I appreciate to have Martin as a… read more local fixer/guide/driver who was familiar in topics, flexible in unusual clients requests and cheerful guy that is soooo needed when travel long hours in a van.Samuel also was cooperative and reliable too
18 days with tent on top of the car with driver. Our driver Alonso helped us and guided us at all times! Good tips for sleeping, where to eat… read more and buy!!! In the safaris he knew all the parks very well and was passionate about birds!!! Agustin and Silvia from Spain we return in love with this country and its nice people!!! Thanks Alonso and Samuel!!! from Laba Africa Expedition!!
We had a 8-day wonderfull travel in Uganda, so well organized by LABA Africa. If you want to discover Uganda, choose this company, and you will have the… read more best experience ever.
We visited Bwindi Forest National Park with gorilla trekking – unforgettable -, beautiful Lake Bunyonyi – with a refreshing swim -, cykling safari between zebras, giraffes, antilopes and birds and finally boat trip to the source of the river Nile in Jinja.
All guides were knowledgeable and took very well care of us, espacially Robert, our excellent driver and guide for the whole tour.
The accomodations were perfect, confortable rooms, helpful staff and good food.
It’s amazing to be able to get so close to the animals, and experence the beautiful landscape and scenery of Uganda.
Thank you so much, Samuel and Robert.
AMAZING journey with Laba Africa all around Uganda for 21 days !! – We’ve had the chance to travel with ALONSO from LABA AFRICA for 21 days all around Uganda. We have met a lot of turists along our trip and I can… read more assure you one thing… LABA AFRICA is THE best company to discover Uganda.
Communication is really easy with Samuel (Laba’s Boss). He will take care of the itinerary, chimps and gorilla’s permits and will advise you perfectly on what to do, what to expect, and will make sure to answer all of your questions before your arrival.
Samuel even bought a Sim card for us to make sure we could get internet data as soon as we arrive in Entebbe Airport.
Our guide was Alonso.
Alonso is our best guide ever… We’ve traveled in a lot of countries, but I can assure you Alonso knows his country better than any other guide. He is very open minded and is able to talk for hours about everything related to his country (way to live, politics, economy, religion, local us and beliefs, etc.).
Alonso is also a true legend all around his country, he knows someone at every places we have been.. he knows perfectly all the natural reserve and taught us many things about the animals during our safaris.
He is an excellent driver.
If your are planning to come in Uganda and do self driving… Please don’t.. The roads are terrible and I wouldn’t advise anyone that is not used to it to drive on these roads by himself.
The car that Laba Africa provided us was amazing. Big SUV with 4 wheel drive with an open roof and a tent on the roof (amazingly comfortable).
The car is very comfortable and safe. Laba Africa even provided us sleeping bags (for the roof tent), cooler, camping chairs, cooking gaz and all the ustensiles we needed to cook ourself.
Alonso and the company has always been attentive to our wishes, needs and desires and is really customer focused.
During our trip, we’ve met a lot of locals, and it has been an amazing human adventure. Uganda is not only a destination to see animals and wildlife, it’s also a beautiful country that has so many to offer (waterfalls, landscape, tea fields, lakes, mountains, volcana, natural reserve, culture, traditions, people, local dance, music, crafts, hikings, cycling, rafting, boats trip, etc.)
Here are the main places we’ve visited : Kidepo National Park, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchinson Falls National Park, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Bwindi Forest, Bigodi Village, Kibale, Lake Mburo National Park, Sipi Falls, Jinja, Kampala.
Among our best memories, we will remember for ever our homestaying with a lovely local family within the Bigodi community, our night safari in Queen Elizabeth NP with the Lions turning around the car, and the quiet Jinja city on the Nile.
We really wanted to spend some time with locals and share a night with them. Laba Africa never organise Homestaying before. We’ve asked Alonso if it was possible. Of course, he made it possible because Alonso would make anything possible for you. So i wanted to thank him again because he made this trip amazing for us and now we keep this experience as our best memory from this trip.
Our trip was supposed to end on the 31st of December as our flight was very early in the morning on the 1st of January.
Alonso drove us to Samuel’s house. Samuel and Morgan (Sam’s GF) cooked for us for lunch and have spend the 31st of December with us. They’ve made a city tour for us, drove us to the craft market in order to buy some gifts for our family before our departure.
And the cherry on the cake… They took us with them in a party to show us “how we celebrate new year Eve in Uganda”. It was on the best rooftop of Kampala, to watch the midnight fireworks.
Honestly, do you know some company that can offer you such experience?
Don’t make a mistake and hire Laba Africa for your journey in Uganda, and please, stay at least 2 weeks if you want to discover most of the things this country has to offer.
Thank you again Samuel, Morgan and Alonso.
I will not forget you guys and I wish you the best for the future, you deserve it!!
Hope to see you again.
we keep in touch
We experienced a very well organized 9-day trip with a driver& guide (Robert) filled with amazing experiences like game drives, chimpz and gorilla tracking and boat safaris. The communication… read more with Laba Africa was very smooth and they tailored the trip according our wishes. The guide was very flexible and came up with ideas and options while on the road. We really appreciated him being with us. The Laba Africa guide had a vast knowledge about flora and fauna and was happy to answer all our questions. The accomodations chosen and booked by Laba Africa were absolutely stunning with very helpful staff.
Laba Africa planned a (4 days, 3 nights) trip to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with a stop in Lake Mburu (Uganda’s smallest national park). We had a great and friendly guide… read more in Alonso, who was very organized and patient. Making a stop in Lake Mburu breaks up the long drive to Bwindi, and is a great opportunity to get very close to giraffes and many other animals in the park. The gorilla trek itself was amazing and surreal getting very close to a gorilla family. All the lodges booked by Laba Africa, were in beautiful and serene locations with nice rooms, friendly staff and good food! After my third trip with Laba Africa, I would recommend them to anyone any day!
Great 3day trip go Murchison national park and falls! Also passed by rhino sanctuary on our way there. Really liked our driver and guide (Robert) who drove is there safely… read more and found tons of animals for us to see in the park.
Robert was a great guide. We went on Safari at Murchison and to the rhino sanctuary. The bGreat food and company. 10/10
On the way to the safari we went to the rhino sanctuary which was a cool experience. We slept at Fort Murchison which was a really good place to stay… read more in. The next day we went on the safari trip and a boat trip which was amazing. We saw so much animals.
Our guide, Robert, really gave us the best experience one could get.
Really recommend going with Laba!
I certainly got way way more than I imagined on this trip. I seen it on YouTube but not many indulge how fantastic the service this company has provided. My… read more guide Patrick was 10 out of 10. Friendly, informative and never refused an activity I wanted to see or do absolute gentleman. Then little did I know I was going to be provided with bony a top top quality chef. I was expecting package meals but no the food was excellent that I actually gained weight on this trip. I travelled the world but must say this company really exceeded my expectations.
Sam put together a perfect itinerary for our mother-daughter trip. Alonso took us around Kampala and showed us the main sights (Buganda kingdom, the mosque and bustling downtown Kampala), and… read more Robert took us to Murchison Falls National Park, then to Jinja and our final destination Entebbe (4 days). We had such a wonderful time and loved every minute of it: the roadside life, the food, the nature, the magestic animals, the friendly people – everything. They say that once you have experienced Africa, you will always feel a tug to return. Be prepared Laba!
My mom and me went on a two nights trip to Murchison Falls for safari and it was amazing! Sam organized a great trip for us and the communication was… read more very smooth the whole way. Our guide Robert was so nice and we saw so many animals each day. Sam also organized a city tour in Kampala for us and we also went to Jinja on a boat trip to see the source of the Nile, the local markets, and ate Ugandan food. Every part of our holiday was amazing and I would recommend Laba to anyone travelling to Uganda (and elsewhere)!!
I went on a two day Safari in Lake Mburo with Laba Africa Expeditions and it was an amazing trip. Everything was organized very well and our guide Samuel was… read more wonderful and came with suggestions during the trip and listened to our wishes as well. I would recommend this to everybody who wants a fun, safe and amazing safari. Even the rangers at Lake Mburo was great. I had not expected a safari to be such a incredible experience but it really was!
Samuel is the real fixer in Uganda! Within a week he got me the Gorilas permit to Bwindi. He also advised me in anything else I needed.
Adam, my… read more driver who took me from Kigali (Rwanda) to Bwindi, crossing Uganda’s border, became a friend. Is the best guide to move you around! Truly recommend both of them. Laba africa is the best!
We rented a car with roof tent for three weeks and I can highly recommend Laba Africa.
Great advise for trip preparation and replied instantly to all our (many) question… read more by whatsapp. Also arranged for gorilla trekking which was very pratical.
Car turned out to be great, no mechanical problems. Our rooftent was never used before it was brand-new.
Uganda is a beautiful country with very friendly population. We had a great time.
We went three friends on a safari to Murchison Falls (2 nights) and we had the best time. Everything was timed and organized to the last detail by Sam –… read more the best guide and the best company. We saw so many animals and it was an incredible experience for all of us. Sam was very knowledgable about the animals and the nature in general, which added to the whole experience. We stayed in a great lodge just outside the park. There was great food and a nice pool! We would definitely recommend this trip to anyone!
Christopher and I have been filming in Uganda for the past week, and the excellent results we got wouldn’t of been possible without Laba Africa. Top professionals who made our… read more work trip go super smooth. We would highly recommend them to other media professionals.
We rented a car from Laba Africa. They are very service minded and nice people. The car was kept in good condition. Recommended
We hired a land cruiser with a tent on the roof. The car and tent were great and pick up and drop off were very smooth- they met us at… read more our hostel each time.
We had a wonderful time with Laba Africa. From the beginning till the end of the trip we felt welcomed and very comfortable.
The accomodations we‘re well chosen and they… read more even prepared a surprise for our honeymoon :).
Samuel and our driver Alonso know a lot about the country and their way of presenting it to us was very pleasant.
The gorilla trekking in bwindi forest was definitely the highlight of our trip. Only after 30 minutes of walking we met the gorilla family and the rangers made sure that all of us could take nice pictures of the animals without disrespecting their personal space. We can really recommend the Bakiga Lodge for the Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi. The staff was really friendly and the food was great. The view from the top is breathtaking and the lodges are lovely decorated.
All in all a trip we‘ll never forget.
The gorilla trekking with Laba Africa was absolutely gorgeous. We were lucky to find the family after just 20 minutes of walking through forest. The rangers were always helping us… read more to get great pictures and they knew much about the animals.
Our driver Alonso was also very kind and gave us many valuable information on the pearl of Africa.
We really enjoyed every single moment that trip and can recommend it to everyone else.
An amazing experience! We saw so many animals, so many incredible landscapes. We also have the chance to discover the local cultures.
The guides were very nice… read more and we learned a lot!
Every lodge we slept in, was perfectly chosen. Uganda is worth a visit! Go there!
Did a great weekend tour visiting the Mundari tribe near Juba, South Sudan. Everything went well, I really enjoyed the trip.
Traveling with Laba Africa was a great experience!
We saw amazing landscapes and animals in different national parks and spent the nights in beautiful lodges. The guides were extemely… read more nice and fun to be around.
Especially the planning of our trip was amazing. We had some special requests because I wanted to visit some friends in between our Safari tours. That was no problem and got nicely included in our plan for the trip. Whatever we requested was made possible!
I can only recommend traveling with Laba Africa. We will definitely return!
My family and I just came back from a three-week-customized roudtrip of Uganda with Laba Africa. It was a tremendous experience!
Starting with chimp tracking in Kibale, we saw lions… read more the same day in Queen Elizabeth NP. Then on to Ishasha, Lake Mburo NP and jinja, where we had a short break. Then we went to a small village near Soroti to visit friends of our daughter. From there we went on to Karamoja, Kibale NP, Murchison Falls NP before we came back to Entebbe.
It didn’t matter what special requests we made, Laba Africa made them possible, sometimes even more!
But the most important thing is this: The planning of this trip startet in autumn 2019 and it was mostly paid for in January 2020. It should have taken place in March 2020, but then the pandemic destroyed our plans. Through all the insecurities for that 18 months peroid until we finally could make the trip, Laba Africa held contact, took care that our chimp tracking permits did not to expire und charged nothing additional – except for some new requests we had.
So Laba Africa is absolutely the best and most reliable partner for visiting Uganda or any of the other countries they are offering tours to! We will return to Uganda and to Laba Africa for sure!
The best part was definitely chimpanzee tracking, that was an incredible experience! Next amazing part of our trip was community walk, where locals showed us their traditional beer, gin, coffee… read more and basket making. It was great to have time to talk to them :) Game drives through savanas was so amazing, our guide Alonso did everything to try to find the best parts of the park and to find every animal there is to see, but you can never be sure, you’ll be lucky enough to see them all. We also saw Murchison falls, that was so nice, although the boat ride to see them from the river was kind of boring, too long for too little of experience. But overall amazing trip!
We really enjoyed out trip through Uganda with Laba Africa. The tourguides took good care of us and they showed us so many fascinating things! Furthermore, it was very… read more easy to change or add additional things to our already existing program.
I can really recommend a trip with Laba Africa to everyone! :)
Thank you very much to Samuel and his team! We really enjoyed our time in Uganda and with you.
Amazing experience!! Very serious and friendly team!! I really advise this company to travel in Uganda!!!
My friend and I did a 10 days Safari through Uganda which was one of the best things we‘ve ever done! Laba Africa organized an amazing tour and we really… read more enjoyed all of it. They took very good care of us. We also got to know local communities such as the Batwa tribe. Thanks to Samuel for this unforgettable adventure.
The trip was simply amazing! Had an experienced guide(Alonso) who showed is not only ugandian nature, but also explained many things about culture of this country. I would aspecially recommend… read more visiting community near Kibale NP.
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White Water Rafting
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