Jinja, Where Nile River Starts to Flow
Once upon time, one of my Ugandan colleagues told me,
“People always connect Nile River to civilization histories in Egypt. But did you know that apparently the source of Nile starts from my country?”
That’s one of knowledge that I got by interaction with many people coming from different nationalities. So, in one of RnR time, I managed myself to come to Uganda for special purpose, to see where the Nile starts to flow.
Jinja is located in the eastern part of Uganda, around 80 km to the east of Kampala, the capital. Normally, visitors could go there by public transports from Kampala. But that time, I used Henry, the most incredible driver that I’ve ever met in Uganda to take me there with his car. Since I was in holiday, I didn’t want to get rush, so I could stop anywhere I wanted to get some snaps for my photos. In addition, on our way back to Entebbe, small city closed to airport where I normally stayed during my stay in Uganda, I wanted to do some shopping in Kampala to buy many things that I couldn’t get easily in Kinshasa, the city where I lived.
Henry is amazing person. I kew him from Aziza, my Bangladeshi friend, that used to use Henry’s service to take her around in Uganda. Well, actually Henry is quite famous among my co workers in Uganda and his schedule was always tight. Therefore, a week before coming I gave him a short call to ensure that he would clear his schedule that day, and he responded immediately. He picked me up at the hotel at 8 am. It was still early morning, even the sun still had not risen properly.
We drove slowly leaving Entebbe. I was still half-awake, but I tried my best for not falling asleep to see the rural side of Uganda. As other part of Uganda, our journey to Jinja was also accompanied with the green hills on the right and the left side. At many corner of the streets, many body-boda (motor taxis) drivers tried their luck, waiting for passenger to use their service. During busy hour, the service of boda-boda could help a lot, especially when we’re in hurry. Nonetheless, for your safety, please ensure that they also provide helmet for their passengers.
Leaving Entebbe that far, we were welcomed by other rural sights of Uganda. Some children carrying jerry cans to carry water from one place to another. It made me grateful and felt ashamed in the same time when I remember that I sometimes took those water for granted. Mothers carrying their babies on their back, and some banana sellers trying to stop some vehicles in order to attract people to buy banana from them.
Finally, we arrived in Jinja. My first destination, of course to see the source of Nile river. Getting there, I rent a boat, since the source is located in the middle of river. Henry also came with me, and he tried his best to explain some variety of birds we met along the way. It took us around 2 hours, since I was not in rush to enjoy the beauty of nature.
When we returned to the bank river, we were welcomed by group of children playing some songs and dancing altogether. These children were the orphans and they were there in order to get some donations from tourist visiting Jinja. The money that they received would be used for their school fees and other educational purposes. So, the tourists that want to get the their pictures are expected to give some shilling for their study. So, if you’re there, please share some shillings for these beautiful children.
Since I was really interested to see how the rural people live in Uganda, and in other hand, there was a water fall in the middle of Nile river that was also worth it to see, Henry took me to Itanda waterfall. Getting there was not so easy, apparently. We left the asphalted road only 10 minutes after leaving Jinja, and came into soil road. We were lucky knowing that we came not during the rainy season. Otherwise, I could imagine how we were going to get stuck in the muddy road. Here, my obsession to see the rural live of Uganda becoming true that you can find through the photos below.
The fall itself is not so big. But the scenery surrounding was so quite and peaceful. I was sitting on the rock while listening the sound of the river. A kid came towards me, asked me whether I wanted to see his water skiing actions in the river. I must say No since I don’t want that kid took big risk just because of some shillings that he would get from me. I could sit there forever if Henry did not remind me that it was the time to leave if we want to avoid to drive in the darkness on our way back to Entebbe.