Jinja is a city by the Nile river that is packed with outdoor activities. We had two days in Jinja – one I spent white water rafting and the other was a free day for me to try out various activities.
Our campsite offered white water rafting, tandem kayaking over the rapids, kayak lessons, calm-water kayaking, horseback riding, quadding, bird watching, Nile cruises, mountain biking, and more.
I had been torn between quadding and horseback riding, and in the end decided to go quadding with friends in my tour group. We got up for breakfast, and then headed across the roads to the quad bike company.
This company offered 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-hour quad safaris, promising an exciting way to tour the area and see wild animals. We opted for the 2-hour safari, and got suited up in coveralls, a helmet, goggles, and a bandana to protect our lungs from the dust.
Before we could begin the tour, we had to drive through a small course, to prove our driving competency. Then we were good to go.
The tour was a great way to see rural Uganda. We drove through corn fields, and passion fruit farms. We high-fived children who came running over shouting “hello” or “How are you?” on repeat.
Rural Uganda is so, so green, but it is also incredibly dusty. The area is all red earth. When wet it us used to form the walls of the homes. When dry it is a powder that coats absolutely everything.
I felt that the “safari” part of our quad tour was misleading. The brochure said “see wild animals,” but the only live animals we saw were cows, goats, dogs, and cats – all domesticated animals. We did pass some statues of wild animals, including a horrible statue of a lion that had a dead antelope hanging from its mouth. But the wild animals were all fake.
We all enjoyed the quad tour, though. It is not adventure quadding, and so people seeking an adrenaline rush might be disappointed, but it was a scenic drive.
When I got back, it was still early in the day, so I thought I would go horseback riding, but unfortunately that was already booked. I signed up for the sunset Nile cruise instead, and enjoyed a lazy afternoon until then.
I wandered across the street from our campsite to the chapati stand across the road. Chapati is a bread, similar to Indian naan bread. The stand offered chapati rolled up with various ingredients. Over the course of the afternoon I had one with peanut butter, nutella, and banana, and a second one with eggs, potato, tomatoes, peppers, and onions. They’re so good. The stand offered chapati cooking lessons, but I didn’t have enough time before the sunset cruise.
The Nile river cruise was basic but enjoyable. We floated down the river, and as we floated we were served snacks and free drinks. It was a relaxing 2 hours.
It would have been easy to stay in Jinja another couple of days and not get bored, but we had to load back onto Lando and head back to Kenya. One long day of driving, one day for our game drive by Lake Nakuru, and then we are back in Nairobi.