Whereas most residents still talk about the good old days when Jinja was the most industrialized town in Uganda, something else has thrived – tourism. Jinja town was built in a strategic location close to Lake Victoria and the source of the Nile but the closure of the industries left the town quieter. International and local travelers from a long safari in Uganda’s national parks or the more noisy capital Kampala find the town very attractive for relaxation while taking part in one of the adventurous activities along the Nile. The river Nile is arguably Uganda’s most scenic river. The section of the river flowing through Jinja has got several beautiful rapids and forested islands that remain pristine while acting as sanctuaries to primates and over 150 species of birds. The river offers countless opportunities to have fun right from its source to the point where it leaves for other districts of Uganda and eventually to South Sudan. There are various activities one can do along the Nile in Jinja including sport fishing, whitewater rafting, golfing, Quad biking and canoeing. Bungee jumping is just one of the recently introduced adrenaline raising activities in Jinja. This activity is rare and only done in a few African countries like South Africa (Bloukrans Bridge), Kenya (Rapids Camp) and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls). However the experience jumping in the world’s longest river cannot be compared to any other place on earth. In Uganda, Bungee Jumping can only be done in Jinja.
Bungee jumping in the Nile River involves jumping from a platform with a bungee cord connected to two tied legs. Although experience is not required before taking part in the activity, one still needs psychologically before taking part in the activity. Participants are tied in two different ways – There is the ankle tie with your face looking down and the whole body tie allowing you to float like a butterfly. Before the Jump, the instructor counts 1 to 3 before shouting “Bungee” and off you go. The activity can be done during the day or night. Night Bungee jumping has its own thrill but may reduce the quality of views and photos taken. What make Bungee jumping special? Diving down a tower and touching the river Nile provides one the most spectacular views imaginable. The main thrill comes from falling freely then rebounding softly over and over before finally touching the waters. It is one of the scariest things but also most adventurous activity one can do in their lifetime.
How is Bungee Jumping in Jinja organized?
Bungee jumping in Jinja starts with registration of participants (including making payments) and signing the waiver form. While registering, participants can choose to go for the long or short jump. The long jump goes all the way down enabling one to touch the river Nile itself while the short jump stops midway. After registration participants are called out one at time for briefing while the others wait for their turn or cheer on from a balcony. Before jumping, the individual is dressed up in the right jumping gear. Both legs are tied with a single rope to allow the participant fall freely letting the bungee hold him/her smoothly as they touch the Nile. First-time jumpers are strongly warned against looking down at the 44 cliff before jumping. Those afraid of heights may find the experience overwhelming but the knowledge that thousands of people have made a similar dive safely in the past should be enough consolation. Even so, closing the eyes or looking straight ahead is highly recommended for it will help one remain composed and not chicken out. Once you are about to take the plunge, the feeling is difficult to describe. Your heart beats and your mind tells you not to take the leap but eventually you do and its over in minutes. The initial fall/descent takes a few second as the rope bounces back and forth before finally settling down at the bottom of the river. By this time the fear is gone and you begin to realize how amazing the whole thing is. Most people want to do it again and again (if not for the cost) after this first experience. After reaching the bottom and touching the Nile, Guides at the bottom will be waiting with a boat to untie them and take them to a safe waiting place to recover and relax.
How safe is Bungee Jumping in Jinja?
Before taking part in the activity one must sign a form removing all liability from the company if anything goes wrong. Nothing will go wrong!! Bungee jumping is a very safe sport and no accident has ever occurred since the activity was introduced more than 10 years ago. The crew has also put in place safety procedures to ensure that the activity is as fun and as safe as possible. The company follows the New Zealand/Australian standards for bungee jumping. The equipments used are comparable to best elsewhere in the world. The jumping cords are made with high quality latex rubber made by the best underwear makers in the world. All equipments are tested thoroughly before use and records kept to ensure that they are within their working life time.
In order to ensure safety, management hires highly trained and experienced professional crews. The company also hires international consultants annually to review safety procedures and make any safety recommendations.
Requirements and Important Information about Bungee Jumping over the River Nile
- You must be at least 13 years old to take part in Bungee jumping.
- The minimum weight for participating is 35 kilograms. The tower supports weights of up to 260 kilograms.
- Because the maximum weight is 260kg, those who are afraid to jump alone can go with a friend and jump at the same time.
- You cannot take part in the activity while pregnant.
- One must be free of any heart diseases, high blood pressure or any serious medical condition in order to participate.
- To have the best possible Bungee jumping experience, you need good hiking shoes, comfortable clothes, insect repellents and Sunscreen to protect against the sun.
- All valuables including jewelry need to be left behind to avoid any loss while jumping.
- The code used to tie the ankles can lead to bruising or swelling. Have some oil to apply on the ankle area should the need arise.
- Avoid jumping on a rainy day because the ropes can get slippery.
- Do not look down before jumping if it is your first time. If you do so, you may lose your confidence and open room for fear. Many have opted out after looking down at the 44 meter cliff. It’s that intimidating.
- It is important to ensure that you take some photos so that you don’t forget such beautiful memories.
- Before jumping, it is important to check with the team that the equipment is functioning and fitting you well. Check that the equipment is worn out in any way and if so, have it replaced.