"Jinja - Birth place of the Mighty Nile!" Jinja District by K.Knight

Jinja District Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 61 photos

The source of the Nile river.

After leaving the relative comfort of Kenya, in our big blue Kumuka truck, Anne and I headed off toward our ultimate goal, the mountain Gorillas of the “Impenetrable Forest” In Uganda.

To achieve this goal we had to traverse Uganda from East to West toward Kampala, traversing the mammoth Lake Victoria and the first stop along this highway is Jinja.

Jinja is nestled on the western shore of Lake Victoria, in Uganda, and is known for three things:
Being the home of the dictator Idi Amin.
The place where Mahatma Gandhi chose to have his ashes scattered.
Being the “source of the Nile river.”

The Equator

When traveling near Jinja you will cross the Equator. This is an excellent time to stretch your legs at the information centre and purchase a cold drink.

The line of the equator is painted across the road and tourists can be seen walking across the road, one leg either side of the line, which allows you to walk in both the Northern and southern hemispheres at the same time.

Anne and I took the opportunity to have a photo taken, holding hands, as we stood in separate hemispheres….poles apart!

It was interesting to note that on the equator:
We were 2800 feet above sea level
Our bodyweight was 3% less
The days and nights are 12 hours each
Water boils at less than 100 degrees Celsius
On the 0 degree line water drains straight down
Move the bucket 1 meter north of the 0 degree line and the water drains clockwise
Move the bucket 1 meter south of the 0 degree line and the water drains anti-clockwise

Kyabirwa Children’s Centre

While we visited Jinja, on our way to see the mountain Gorillas, Anne and I had the opportunity to “give something back” and volunteer at an orphanage and a school for the day.

Most of the others with our tour group decided that they would like to go white water rafting on the Nile River for the day. Anne and I discussed the rafting opportunity and we decided that we had come a very long way, at considerable expense, to see the mountain gorillas and we did not want to get injured and have to miss the experience!

We also decided that it would be an excellent opportunity to see the Ugandan children as they attended school and we wished to sit in a classroom with some of the youngsters. As a result, we volunteered with Soft power education to spend the morning taking classes with the 5 and 6 year old children and then the afternoon painting a classroom at the local middle school.

I can honestly say that we had the most fantastic day. We met so many interesting people, played with the children, took lessons and ate lunch with the children and we got an overwhelming sense of happiness from the loving welcome that we were given by these innocent kids.

Our day began with a 2 kilometer hike through local “tracks” that weaved their way through farm land and light forest. Seeming in the middle of nowhere we came across the Kyabirwa Children’s Centre that was home to in excess of fifty orphans that ranged in age from 4 to 9.

These Children welcomed us by surrounding us, grabbing at our hands, arms, legs and clothes as they sang, yelled and screamed in delight at seeing the white people from the west! The teachers organized the students into two main groups and the entire group sang for us for approx. ten minutes.

After the singing the children “kidnapped” each Anne and I and dragged us separately in their classrooms and it became a competition to see which class could get either Anne or I to take a lesson with them. It was just my luck that I was dragged into the mathematics class!

  • Last visit to Jinja District: Mar 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 4, 2008
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K.Knight

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