The Source of the Nile : On the shores of the River Nile and huge Lake Victoria, is Jinja town which is Uganda’s second largest industrial town. It’s tropical atmosphere and lush vegetation are big attractions, but the main highlight is undisputedly the River Nile. Thought to be the home of the source of the Nile, the world’s largest river spanning Egypt Sudan and Uganda, it holds major spiritual significance for the local people and offers some thrilling grade 5 rapids for us visitors. Jinja is a compact, low rise town with little historical interest, apart from some interesting Asian architecture from the colonial period. It suffered at the hands of Idi Amin’s government, having once been the industrial heartland, but you can still head out to the leafy suburbs to experience a taste of it in its prime.
History about the source of the Nile
The Nile is Uganda’s longest river with its source starting from Jinja. The Nile River which starts flowing from Jinja is the Longest River in Africa. The Nile comprises of two tributaries that is the white Nile that flows north of Khartoum and its one of the longest and the two lakes, converge with the blue Nile, which flows in to Sudan and they flow and meet in Khartoum , the river Nile starts its journey in Uganda flowing to Sudan and Egypt them pours its waters in to the 11 African countries that is Burundi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea, Rwanda, Uganda , Egypt, Ethiopia it flows and pours its waters in to the Mediterranean sea.
John Speke Hanning was the first explorer to come to Africa and discovered the source of the Nile on August 3th 1858, John Speke travelled with his friend Richard Francis Burton and the purpose of the journey, was to explore central Africa. This small spot along the shoreline in Jinja, Uganda, marks the place where Speke “discovered” the Nile’s headwaters at Lake Victoria while his partner, Burton, convalesced separately at Lake Tanganyika. When the two camps reunited, Burton rejected Speke’s claim in favor of his own idea that Tanganyika was the source of the Nile River.
Burton refused to consider the matter anything but “unsettled” until Speke leveraged the British media to lay claim to the validity of his discovery. A vicious public battle ensued between the two men, and continued to spread throughout the contemporary scientific community. It took the Royal Geographic Society stepping in to send Speke back to Lake Victoria to substantiate his theory, which he did in a manner some saw questionable, before the matter of the Nile’s source was declared settled (for a time) in 1863.
The rift between the two men, however, would never heal. Speke, now a hero of the Age of Explorers, published two books that made him look a braggart. Burton, meanwhile, refused to accept defeat. A public debate between the two men was scheduled to take place at the British Association to settle matters once and for all, but on the day before the debate, Speke suffered an accidental, fatal rifle shot to the head while hunting. Popular assumption became that Speke’s death was a well-disguised suicide, motivated by a fear of facing Burton in public.
When he discovered the source of the Nile, he named it after the queen of the United Kingdom who was known as Victoria therefore, he named the lake as Lake Victoria. The River Nile is longer and it passes through Murchison falls national park, bisecting the park in to two that is the southern region and northern regions of Murchison falls national park, the Nile has also favoured the boat cruise activities down to the bottom of the falls which exposes visitors in the park to a lot of water animals and other animals seen roaming around the park.
The source of all this tumult is marked by a modest sign that reads “The Source of R. Nile – Jinja – World’s Longest River” at Ripon Falls, a series of cataracts that are partially submerged due to dams constructed upriver. A small cafe and shops, as well as boat dock with tours for hire, are located adjacent to this monument.
The Nile has contributed to variety of modernization and the development of countries such as Uganda and Egypt. Its history has been the major source as why people have been in Uganda and how they carry out different activities around the Nile. The Nile has contributed a lot to Ugandan people and the country at large by provides power to Ugandans and is a source of energy, the dam gives electricity to countries to allow them to carry out their daily activities. The rivers of the Nile are too rich to support farming and still provide people with water. Egypt is recognized as a dry land, but has been able to cultivate it on irrigation and fertile soils near the Nile. The Nile has also been the source of life and habitat to some water animals that live in the water such as the crocodiles that occupy the river banks in Egypt. The detection of crocodiles in Egypt is also said to be longer and risky.
How to get to the source of the Nile
The source of the Nile is located in Jinja, in can be accessed from Kampala via Mabira forest along Jinja highway. During the journey, you will view some attractions along the road side such as sugar cane plantations, tea and the drive time takes about 2 hours’ drive to get to the Nile on a good road, but when the jam is much, it may take much longer time than that to get to the Nile. It’s one of the great places you can don’t want to miss to visit during your Uganda Safari.
Activities found along the source of the Nile
The River Nile has offered a variety of activities to the visitors and people visiting the Nile, Visitors visiting the park, will participate in a number of interesting activities offered at the Nile. The activities are full of fun and so adventurous thus offering you the best of your visit to the source of the Nile. The activities include;
White water rafting;
White The Nile’s source is one of the world’s most spectacular white-water rafting destinations, white water rafting has become one of the popular and exciting activity to the visitors who come to visit the river Nile, the rafting trip has become the highlight of many activities offers at the Nile, for many visitors to Uganda, they have always taken time to visit the source of the Nile and enjoy the white water rafting experience with beautiful views of scenery, sunshine among others
During water rafting, you can expect long, rolling strides but the activity is conducted between Grade IV and V rapids, with lots of thrills and spills. Despite the intensity of some rapids, most of the people who venture here are first-time rafters, it’s the perfect opportunity since there will be a guide training on how to paddle. White water rafting in the Nile, gives you a chance to explore the source of the Nile. Channels. Forested islands, as you bounce down in to the water rapids where you will experience the water spills, thrills hence giving the best of your adventure in the River Nile.
Horse riding in the river Nile;
Horse riding in Jinja has become one of the adventurous and unique activity during the horse ride, you will be able to view a number of attractions situated within the shores of Lake Victoria and the nearby neighbouring communities around the Nile, tea plantations, sugar farmlands, Jinja town hills around the Nile and many other features of interest that will enable have the best of your safari trip to the source of the Nile. Horse riding activities can be done either in the morning or during evening or sunset ride that starts from the Nile, you will be guided by an experienced professional guide who will lead you throughout the activity to ensure that you do not encounter any challenges on your way as you explore the beautiful sceneries along the banks of the river Nile. Do not worry in case you do not know much about horse riding the horses are trained which means that they know what to do they are also equipped with mounting block, saddlebag, rain jacket to enable you have the best of your safari experience in horse riding in the river Nile. It also starts with the briefing where by you will be trained before the start of the activity. They also offer an opportunity for kids who would like to take horse ride trip in river Nile, and takes about 1-3hours depending on the interest of the travellers. In case you are interested in the activity, you are advised to book early in advance through the tour companies to void missing out on this exciting experience due to the fact that the horses and the guides are limited.
Bungee Jumping, a sport that is certainly not a fainthearted activity. But surprisingly, for the express purpose of Bungee Jumping into the ancient Nile River, they make their way to Jinja on the Nile. you can do bungee jumping both during the day and the night hours. Bungee-Jumping can be done anywhere in the world, but Bungee-Jumping into the longest River on Earth, the historic River Nile is another thing you don’t want to miss, bungee jumping is a newly introduced activity at the source of the Nile and its among one of the few Uganda tourism destinations that offers an opportunity to travellers who want to participate in Bungee jumping.
Mountain Biking, this is one of the activities that has gained a lot of popularity along the Nile at Jinja Biking along the River Nile and beyond and it’s done by more visitors to the Jinja area. It is a safe and scary activity which in most times you are scared of doing but you will led by an experienced tour guide following trails through the communities, Nile banks, Bujagali falls, Bugembe trail and you will have an opportunity to view the lake Victoria Nile and pass through the Mabira forest where you will view a lot of birds, monkeys, baboons, plants and many more , the best part of these activity is that it can be done by families with children and people of all ages. Biking Trips beyond the River Nile are even offered with experienced guides who also know how to fix a bike should you have a rare break-down.
Quad Biking After white water rafting, quad biking has become one of the most popular activities offered in the Nile. and can be done by the whole family, it comes with a lot of fun and full of excitement. it has offered an opportunity for visitors who would want to take more days doing some of the different activities offered here in Jinja on the river Nile. This region is on an all-day journey along the Nile River from a few hours. This is also a cultural trip as you go on a quad bike along the Nile to visit villages during your time. Quad-biking should be arranged before arrival in your safari, if you have interest in participating in these activities, just let us know you’d like to include this in your safari time in Uganda and especially in Jinja in the source of the Nile.
Jet boating, these involves a boat cruise on the Nile, where you will have an experienced guide captain leading you throughout the activity, during jet boating, you will enjoy the water rapids, jumps, spins and others giving you a great experience on the river Nile.
Swimming, you can also participate in swimming in the river Nile, the Nile is free from diseases like Bilharzia, infectious diseases, and free from dangerous animals that can cause harm to people. These has made the Nile one of the safe water bodies to take part in swimming exercises.
Sport-fishing, visitors can also participate in sport fishing in the River Nile, during the activity, you will be able to catch fish species like Nile perch, Catfish, Tiger fish, Tilapia and others, you can therefore book your fishing activity in advance and can be done both morning and during the afternoon hours. A professional guide is offered to help you during the activity, fishing equipment are provided but you can also come along with your own fishing gadgets in case you will need to use them.