Jinja town is situated in Jinja district in Eastern part Uganda Busoga sub-region. It is most probably 81 kilometres (50metres) travelling by road east of kampala the capital city of Uganda. It lies in the north of the shore of lake victoria which is known as the birthplace of the mighty Nile River the longest in Africa were water spills to his journey to mediterranean seawith two different dams Nalubaale and kiira dams generating electricity in and around Jinja districtBujagali waterfall located around 10km from central Jinja. Jinja is the largest metropolitan area in Jinja district and 14th largest town in the country with various neighboring towns and villages including Njeru, Buwenda, Kimaka, Masese, Walukuba, Mpumudde, Bugungu and Bugembe.
History Originally, the name ‘’Jinja’’ comes from the two different people (the Baganda and the Basoga) who lived on their side of the Nile River in the area meaning ‘’Rock’’ which was the fishing area in the time of long distance trade. The Bagandaused to the stones or rocks Ejinja (plural Amayinja) and Edinda in Busoga language. The British used this information to name it ‘’Jinja’’. Most of the flat rocks that aided in naming the area Jinja disappeared under water in 1954 as the construction of Owen Falls Dam which was later renamed Nalubaale Power Station started and Ripon Falls were submerged and the description of the area now can obtained in John Hanning Speke’s notes the first white to see the source of the Nile. The town became popular for its source of River Nile, cotton processing sugar estates and railway access that hindered its growth. The existence of lake victoria which was so important for transport linking Uganda to Kisumu a Kenyan town prompted the British to make Jinja the administrative center for the provincial government Headquarters for Busoga region in 1907.
Infrastructure Jinja possesses the main post office and several other branches, Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, dispensaries and pharmacies, a town hall. A golf course, a center for tennis and other facilities available also exist, sport stadiumin the city center for football and an athletic stadium in Bugembe, several internet cafes, commercial establishments including factories, shopping malls, cinemas, casinos, supermarkets and shops
Finance Several financial institutions obtain branches in Jinja which include centenary bank, orient bank, Bank of Africa, Barclays Bank DFCU Bank, Post bank among others
Education The city has a number of educational establishments that play a part in tourism and these include ; Makerere Eastern Campus, Jinja College, Busoga College, international School of Health Science, MUBS Jinja Campus, Riverside Academy, The YMCA, Jinja High School, Kiira High School, Lords Meade School among others.
Transport Jinja is a major station of the Uganda Railway and a port for Lake Victoria ferries since 1900s were access to the railway was by ferry to the railhead at kisumu. Favorable tarmac road west is 81 kilometres from Jinja to the capital, Kampala (50Mi) which is 90minutes by car, and two hours by bus. Another tarmac road access is Tororo-Jinja highway 100 kilometres east from Tororo to Jinja that has been improved with completion of the Jinja-Bugiri Highway. Buses and minibus which are locally called taxi provide transport in and out of Jinja town. Air transport also exists in Jinja town as small civilian and military airport are located at Kimaka about 4 kilometers north of Jinja’s central business district. A new bridge construction called New Jinja Bridge to connect the town of Njeru from Jinjawas started in 2013 and might end in 2016.
The Source of the Nile, the second longest river in the world is an internationally unique attraction attracting both international tourists and domestic excursionists. Bujagali falls that are situated along the Nile River about 10 kilometers from Jinja town. The scenery and rafting activities of Bujagali falls attract a potential number of both excursionists and international tourists. They also offer opportunity for bird watching.
Itanda falls are also located on the Nile, within adistance of about 18 kilometers north-west of Jinja town. They provide an opportunity for bird watching (mostly seen are the weaver birds), camping and picnic outings. Kyabirwafalls which are located 8 kilometers from Jinja providing beautiful scenery and landscape for campsite but it is not yet fully exploited, bird watching and ethnobotany.
Lake victoria beaches including the sites at sailing club, Tilapia club and masese are have been fully exploited due to the water sports which attract domestic, foreign residents and foreign non-resident tourists. Sport fishing and canoeing are other activities that attract tourists.
Islands in lake victoria which include Samuka, Ndaiga, Lwabitookel and Lwabitookell. It is only Samukaisland which have been fully exploited tourism purposes despite the existing potential in all islands that include boat racing, sport fishing, over-night camping, day excursions and water sports.
Antiquities/Historical sites existing in Jinja district. They include; Bujagali ancestral site for soga tribe ancestral spirits at Bujagali falls, the current Busoga king’s palace at Nakabengompumudde hill, the historical meeting place of Busoga chiefs and the British colonial Governors. Mpumudde is also known as place where king Kabalega of Bunyoro Kingdom died.
Activities Viewing of the sources of Nile River is the major activity attracting domestic tourists in the area and the international tourists who wish to participate in the same activity which was done long ago John Speke the first European to lay eyes on the source of the Nile River. Other activities which attract tourists in the area are; white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, sport fishing, quad biking, cycling, community tour, horseback riding, jet boat cruise among others. In conclusion Jinja district comprises of various tourist attractions creating a chance of different tourists participating in different activities of their wish making it the best destination to visit amongst all destinations in East Africa.