The Eastern part of Uganda is one the destinations in the country that visitors yarn for, due to its many attractions it resides. However, the most popular towns in the eastern part of Uganda are; Jinja, which is just 81 kilometers away from the capital (Kampala), and Mbale, which is also situated approximately 245 kilometers away from Kampala. In this well-summarized article, we unveil some of the most important attractions in the Eastern region of Uganda that many visitors go to, and these include;
Source of the Nile
It would be a pity for you to visit Uganda and you forget to reach/explore the source of world’s longest River, Nile River, though other cites spot the Amazon River as the longest when the Burundi part of Nile River is not included – as many cites imply that the Nile River doesn’t pass through Burundi well as others state the opposite. John Hanning Speke discovered the source of the Nile to be situated in Jinja at Lake Victoria (though the lake has many other feeder rivers of considerable size), and it is surely a great feeling and experience that you will get when you visit this source. There are various amazing activities that take place at the source of the Nile, and these include; white-water rafting, kayaking, bird watching and many others. The white waters of River Nile combine with the lush vegetation along its banks, various bird species, and the cool weather to provide the impressive scenery that feels almost spiritual to be amidst. You will really feel very contented at the various bird species that float on water, watching fishermen spreading their nets (fishing), and looking at the gushing white waters.
Bujjagali Hydro-Electric Power Station
Still in Jinja, across the Victoria Nile, you will meet this great power station where Uganda’s electricity is generated from; through the station harnessing the energy of its name-sake (Bujjagali falls). Here you will enjoy very many fascinating things, such as; a visit to Bujagali Hydroelectric Power Project, nestled at the Bujjagali falls, of which it is the biggest run-of-the-river power station in Uganda and all of sub-Saharan Africa. The five-turbine power plant at the source of the Nile now generates more than 250 MW of electricity to power about five million households. This is a true model of success ‒ also for other African nations that want to generate sustainably clean and affordable electricity. Therefore, your visit to Jinja, in eastern Uganda, don’t ever forget to reach this great power station in the ‘’Pearl of Africa’’, Uganda.
Have you ever heard of Mountain Elgon? Do you know its location? Have you ever wondered where the world’s caldera is?!! All these questions have one answer, which is; a visit to Mbale town, in eastern Uganda. Mbale town is just a 2 hours and 30 minutes’ drive from the ‘’major adventure destination of Eastern Uganda’’, Jinja town. On your way, driving to Mbale, you will soon start getting splendid sightings at a snow-capped ridge rising behind Mbale, which is definitely Mountain Elgon. Mountain Elgon is globally known to be the ‘’world’s largest caldera. Hope you are now sorted if at all you had the above questions. Anyway, an ascent of Mountain Elgon represents an exciting alternative to longer and more strenuous climbs on East Africa’s higher mountains. The mountain offers various amazing activities, such as; mountain hiking (being the major one), mountain biking, spot fishing, and rock climbing, among others. The mountain is situated within the Mountain Elgon National Park and thus visitors can get a chance to spot some big games like; elephants, buffaloes, duikers, blue monkeys, black and white Colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and many other monkeys plus over 144 bird species.
Just outside Mountain Elgon National Park, on its edge – close to the border with Kenya, is a series of three waterfalls literally known as the Sipi falls. Whenever you are looking for some of the best romantic areas in Uganda, bravely find your way to the Sipi area – in the district of Kapchorwa, just northeast of Mbale town. Most of the hikes to Mountain Elgon start from the Sipi area, with the most popular routes being; Budadiri and follows the Sasa trail to the summit and then descends down the Sipi trail back into the Sipi falls. Hikes around the falls always offer stunning views of the Karamoja plains, Lake Kyoga, and the slopes of Mountain Elgon. The Sipi area is improbably scenic as the river plunges over the three sets of basalt cliffs during its descent to the plains beneath. These have therefore given rise to a cluster of tourist lodges and a variety of activities, such as; sport fishing, bird watching, and many others. With a cooler climate than most of the country, the Sipi falls area is thus is a nice place to unwind, relax and literally chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities.
Nyero Rock Paintings
The Nyero rock paintings are nestled in eastern Uganda in, Kumi District, 8 kilometers (5.0 miles) west of Kumi town, approximately 250 kilometers (155.3 miles) from the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. The rock paintings are easily accessible from the gravel road between Kumi and Ngora, approximately 1 kilometer west of Nyero. An affordable entrance fee is collected and a guided tour is provided at the entrance gate (opened daily) – as the guide will recite the history of the place and take visitors around the caves. The Nyero rock paintings are among the most important rock art in Uganda and comprises of six shelters (Nyero; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6).
The rock Art sites are believed to have been sacred places of the gods. The red and white paintings remain valuable to the people of Teso but are also mysterious since the painters are unknown. In the past, the Teso people of Nyero would sacrifice and pay offerings to the gods for problems of rain, misfortune, blessings and child bearing (Nyero 3). Individual and clan prayers were held on a seasonal basis. Oral history has recorded strong attachment to sites though people were stopped from praying in the 1970s by the Government at the time. Traces of smoke from sacrifices are still visible in some of the caves. The association of a sacred prayer place in the buffer zone continues to draw nearby communities to the site. The Nyero Rock Paintings are thus a worthy-visit while in the eastern part of Uganda, the pearl of Africa, as you will be experiencing new interesting things there.