In this Backpacking Jinja guide, you’ll find tips on how to get there, travel requirements, things to see and do, where to stay and activities in Jinja, Uganda.
Jinja travel Requirements for Kenyans
- Valid travel passport (Or Pass).
- Yellow Fever vaccination card.
- Money to support your trip.
- Means of Transport.
- Accommodations options: You don’t have to book in advance.
Arriving in Jinja from Nairobi by Bus
There are a number of bus companies operating from Nairobi to Kampala via Jinja.
Some of the best operators include; Mash East Africa, Kampala coach, Bus car Coach, Simba Coach, Modern coast and Guardian Coach.
The journey to Jinja from Nairobi takes about twelve (12) hours through Busia border point and there are only a few departures each day – early morning or late evening. (Check your favorite bus company’s website for prices and schedule).
Getting Around Jinja
Jinja is not a very big town. You can easily find your way around using Matatus (Buses), motorcycles (Boda Bodas), Tuk Tuks and Taxis. The rates are reasonable and depend on the distance traveled.
Where to Stay
Jinja is one of the main tourist destinations in Uganda and there’s a full range of accommodation options to choose from – from budget hostels, homestays, and Campsites to luxury hotels.
For an adventure traveler, Nile River Explorers Camp (Bujagali) is a highly recommended option. It is a good hub to begin your backpacking jinja trip. This is due to its close proximity to the Nile river and Jinja town. For more options, check out Hotels and Lodges in Jinja.
Things to do and see in Jinja
- Visit the Source of River Nile.
- Do Water Rafting in the Nile.
- Do a Nile Sunset Cruise.
- Attend the Nyege Nyege Festival (Takes place early September).
Wander in Jinja
Other than visiting the source of the Nile and water sport activities, Jinja is also a great town for a wanderer. One can go sightseeing, run a marathon, interact with locals and learn about its rich history.
Buses from Jinja to Kampala
If you would like to extend your journey to Kampala, you can take a matatu or bus to the city either from Jinja town or Bujagali (Free). The best shuttle is the pineapple express which departs from Explorers River Camp in Jinja and takes about 3 hours to Kampala.
Pineapple Express Bus (Jinja to Kampala)
- Morning: (7:30 am – 10:00 am)
- Afternoon (13:30 pm – 16:00 pm)
- Price: $14
Check out their website for Schedules, Prices, Pickup and Drop off Points.
Useful Resources for Backpacking Jinja.
Custom Google Maps: This is your custom map for all the places included in this guide.
Accommodation Booking: Use this link to check/book your accommodation. If you make a booking, at no extra cost to you, I will get a small commission.
Airbnb link: Airbnb is the other good option to get accommodation. Join and check out facilities close to your activities.
Nile Explorers Website. For rafting, sunset cruise and other activities in Jinja (Featured Photo Courtesy).