River Nile ranks as one of the world’s longest rivers stretching to 6,853 km (4,258 miles) in length and has its drainage basin covering 11 countries including; Uganda – the Pearl of Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Republic of Sudan and South Sudan. The Nile river is the primary source of water in Egypt and Sudan.  

In Uganda, the Nile River begins at the Rippon Falls in Lake Victoria as the Victoria Nile. The river then flows north for about 130 kilometres to Lake Kyoga and its other part of about 200 kilometres starts from the Western shores of Lake Victoria and initially flows to the west until reaching the south of Masindi port. The river then turns northwards and makes a great half circle to the east and north until reaching the Karuma Falls. For the remaining part, River Nile flows westerly through the Murchison Falls until reaching the northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a river delta. Upon leaving Lake Albert it goes on north through Uganda and is significantly referred to as the Albert Nile.

The source of the Nile

Lake Victoria (Nyanza) in Jinja is considered the source of the Nile as discovered on the 3rd of August 1858 by John Speke, one of the early European explorers to visit Uganda. In spite of being declared the source of the Nile, Lake Victoria has feeder rivers of considerable size including the Kagera River which is the longest feeder. River Kagera flows into Lake Victoria at Bukoba town in Tanzania. The Nile River is one of the eminent attractions that make Uganda the Pearl of Africa and a classic African Safari destination.

Tourist activities at the Nile

Whitewater rafting

Whitewater rafting is one of the highlights of a safari tour to Uganda’s eminent Nile river. Rafting is done at Itanda Falls and adrenalin lovers can enjoy bumpy rides up to grade 6. Jinja – the home of River Nile is recognised as one of the best whitewater rafting destinations in Africa.

Bungee jumping

The Nile river is the ideal Uganda Safari tour destination for adventure and adrenalin lovers. Tourists engaging in bungee jumping stand on a raised platform and plunge about 44 metres into the Nile. The experience is thrilling and its impact creates lasting memories.


Kayaking is the ideal way to explore the great River Nile and enjoy the spectacular view of its surrounding. While gently moving on the river, you have the opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery of the lush vegetation, the various waterbird species flying over the river, the diligent fishermen drawing their nets and masses of crocodiles which are normally spotted on river banks.

Jet Boating

The other adventure to enjoy on Uganda’s Nile is jet boating. Cruising across the raging Nile rapids is one of the breath-taking experiences that should not be missed while out on a safari trip to discover Uganda’s longest river.

Sunset cruises

A boat cruise on the Nile to deliberately behold the gentle beauty of Uganda’s sunset is one of the magical encounters that create a memorable and classic African Safari experience. The sunset cruises are normally complemented by barbecues and bonfires.

 Sport fishing

The Nile River and Lake Victoria are a great fishing spot. Tourists can enjoy fishing excursions and especially look out for the Nile perch which is the most famous catch. There are designated fishing areas and fishing equipment is provided at a measly cost.

Nature walks

Visitors can enjoy nature walks along the Nile and its shores, the surrounding thickets and forests which are a habitat for a number of mammals and bird species. Walks in the countryside are refreshing and a chance to encounter the charming locals.

Quad biking

Quad biking is a probable option of exploring River Nile and the surrounding areas. It’s one-way tourists embark on nature excursions and community tours. Using a quad bike, you can ride along the Nile, through Jinja town, the surrounding rural communities, farmlands and the countryside.

Visiting the Source of the Nile

A Uganda safari tour to River Nile is incomplete without visiting its source. An excursion to the source of the Nile at Lake Victoria in Jinja is one of the trip’s highlights. Besides seeing the beginning of the world’s longest river, there are so many adventures to engage in while at Lake Victoria including; Nature Walks, sightseeing, birding, fishing and boat cruising.

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