This past weekend, nearly two months after I first arrived in Uganda, I finally made my first trip to Jinja. Kristen couldn’t believe that I’d been here so long without visiting the adventure capital of the country. To rectify the situation, we took a coach bus from Kampala to Jinja, and then a boda into town. Our plan had been to work at one of the cafes that had wireless internet, but not long after we’d eaten lunch and set up our computers, the power went out. With no indication that it would be coming on again anytime soon, we decided just to make our way to the Nile River Explorers (NRE) camp near Bujagali Falls, where we were staying. The camp is located right on the Nile – the picture to the right is the view from our banda (tent), taken while I was lying on my bed. Pretty stunning scenery…
There are endless options in Jinja when it comes to adrenaline-inducing activities. Although I hadn’t originally planned on going rafting while in Uganda, after seeing the video of that day’s group going over the rapids, it looks like way too much fun to pass up. Another thing on my wish list in Jinja was to go bungee jumping, so on Sunday morning I took a boda down the hill and checked in for my jump. Just like the first time I went bungee jumping in Nanaimo, everything went smoothly – no detached retinas or snapped cords to report, thank goodness. And what a rush! Unfortunately, since I went by myself, I don’t actually have any photos or video of my jump, but I did find this YouTube video of someone else’s jump from the same place. I forgot to ask about the water touch option, but otherwise this is basically the same as what I did:
When I got back to our camp, Kristen and I had a delicious lunch at a restaurant near NRE, and then spent most of the rest of the afternoon swimming in the Nile and playing in the tamest of the whitewater near the beach. We caught a shuttle back to a hostel in Kampala, and slept there for the night. When Kristen our dorm room the next morning to take a shower, she discovered a group of monkeys playing on a picnic table not more than twenty feet from our door. Luckily, they stuck around long enough for me to get some great video of them, unlike the monkeys we saw on the rooftops at NRE, who all disappeared from view before I had a chance to get my camera out. All in all, it was a pretty cool way to start the morning.
Given all the time we spend in the village during the week, with no significant body of water close by, it’s nice going to a place where water and greenery are everywhere you look. The fact that it’s a pretty straightforward trip from Kasana to Jinja is another point in its favour. I’m already planning to go back in a couple of weeks to go rafting, and Kristen and I will be there at least once in January to do a kayaking school. No doubt there’ll be lots to share about those adventures as well!