Location: in Jinja District at the convergence of Lake Victoria, and the Source of the Nile bordered in the West by Kayunga & Mukono, to the north is Kamuli while in the East is Iganga.
Population : It has a total human population of approximately 392,000.
Main town: The largest town in the district is Jinja which also ranks 2nd among the significant towns in the country. Between the 1960s and 70s; the town was the industrial center of the country.
Area: 767.7 square kilometers.
Land and Vegetation: 6.94% is open water, 1.63% wetland and 8.3% forest.
The key tourist attractions of the district are given below.
1. Source of the Nile
The source of the 2nd longest river in the entire world -the Nile was discovered by one of the very first European Explorer –Speke, and is an international renowned attraction. Paying for a study on how to improve this place as a tourist site to attract both international and local tourists should be put in place.
2. Bujagali Falls
These spectacular falls are found on the course of river Nile at 10 km from the municipality of Jinja. The numerous rafting activities and the beautiful scenery of the Bujjagali falls have attracted numerous people although the falls currently are still underutilized. They have the potential of offering international tourism and other excursions. Bird watching too can be done at these impressive falls.
3. Itanda Falls
The intanda falls are also found along the Nile River, 18 km north west from Jinja town. The falls provide opportunities of watching birds particularly the weaver birds, picnic trips and camping.
4. Kyabirwa Falls
The Kyabirwa falls which are also on the Nile, 8 km from jinja town provide a breath taking scenery and backdrop for campsites although it is not currently being exploited to its fullest. There is potential for future bird watching safaris and Enthobotany.
5. Lake Victoria Beaches
The beaches around this lake have not been exploited to their fullest, particularly for tourism purposes. There are different beach sites like Tilapia Club, Sailing Club and Masese. In addition to the spectacular scenery, the lake can also be used for water sports which will certainly attract vast numbers of tourist both international and local.
Potential also exists for sport fishing and canoeing.
6. Islands in Lake Victoria
Among the islands on this lake are Ndaiga, Lwantonde II, Samuka and Lyanntonde I. other than SAmuka , the other islands are still not yet exploited for the purpose of tourism and yet they have good potential. The activities that can be done on the island are: sport fishing, camping, boat racing, dat time trips and several other water sports.
Jinja has many industries that have attracted many people to take tours particularly the schools. Among these are Nile Breweries- for beer, Kakira Sugar Works –for Sugar, Jinja Grain Millers-grain milling, Garden Tea Industries-for tea processing Jinja Steel Rolling Mills- for rolling steel and Masese Fish Factory –for fish processing.
There are also agro-based industries that have been establish for sugar and tea and this have the ability of attracting both local and international tourist, particular those whose countries only have the finished product of the items; if they were to be included on the tour itinerary.
At the Owen Falls Dam in Jinja is the Hydroelectricity plant that has seen a number of tourists visiting it especially school children and other social groups.
The existing sugar and the tea estates are today being utilized as tourist attractions. Just like other agro based industries, these estates have the potential of attracting tourists from all corners of the world and also some fro within the country.
Some of the agricultural tourism attraction are Kasaku tea plantation and Kakira Sugar works.
Sport facilities are also available like the stunning Jinja Golf Course and Bugembe Stadium which present the opportunity of hosting national together with international tournaments and wonderful accommodation to facilitate the visitors.
9. Community market visits
Jinja has a main market which operates alongside other smaller markets on different days of the week. All these serve as wonderful tourist attractions.
10. Antiquities / Historical sites
There are several historical and cultural sites in the District of Jinja. Among them are ; the present palace of the Busoga King’s at Nakabango, Bujjagali Ancestral Cultural Site with the ancestral spirits of the Soga tribe found on Bujjagali Falls, the British colonial governors and the historical assembling place for the chiefs of Busoga on Mpumudde Hill. Notably, the famous Kabalega King of the great
Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom died from Mpumudde Hill.
Common in jinja town and the surrounding surbubs are several craft shops, community groups and workshops that make marts, impressive souvenirs and baskets out of papyrus and other materials.
If only programmes would be established to plan the proper utilization of the available raw materials in Jinja District, then the great potential of the souvenir industry would reap big.
12. Hotel and Catering
Jinja District’s hotel & catering industry is moderately well developed. The available accommodation facilities range from up-market to low budget facilities.
Never the less, there is need to train the service providers while on their job especially the catering sector so as to guarantee their clients up to date standards for catering services.
It is rather wise to invite many more investors to the hotel industry so as to cope with the overwhelming number of visitors taking caution not to cause more harm than good especially when it comes to the quality of services and prices.
Author: Sandra Nans