The Bujagali Falls

Also referred as Budhagali, Bujagali Falls is found close to Jinja at the point where River Nile flows out of Lake Victoria, the source of this River and is currently one of the most renowned waterfalls in Uganda.

Besides its attractiveness, Bujagali Falls is an important cultural site because it was said to be a home to the local spirit known as “Bujabald”, embodied in the body of an old local spiritualist (Jajja Bujabald) who lives near the falls and he is so far the 9th person to be possessed by the same spirit and interestingly, he is often seen conducting rituals on the edge of the waterfalls. It is also a spiritually and culturally important site for the people of Busoga Kingdom.

However, the magnificence of Bujagali falls was affected after they were submerged by the power Dam built by the Government in 2011 and led to the formation of the Bujagali Lake, hence affecting tourism within the area. Also, the raging power along the first 8 kilometers of the Victoria Nile has been diverted through the Hydro-electric turbines of the new dam which undeniably reduced on the original magnificence of the falls but the beautiful small Lake became the heart of East Africa’s adventures.

Even when different conservationists and tourism protested against the construction of the dam, it never yielded positive results and nonetheless, it remains the most popular waterfalls in the Eastern region. Due to its location near Jinja, Bujagali Falls is known as one of the country’s remarkable natural beauty spots and undeniably the best destination for weekend getaways and a place for relaxation after a hectic whitewater rafting trip. The first cascades on the Nile River flowing downstream from the Ripon Falls came to be known as the Bujagali Falls while the western banks forms the boundary for the Buganda Kingdom and the eastern bank is the boundary of Busoga Kingdom.

Activities such as whitewater rafting are conducted within the Bujagali Falls due to the existence with several sets of cascades as well as Grade 5 rapids within Kyabirwa. Rafting here offers tourists with some of the best wild-water experience in the whole World coupled with wonderful sections of verdant African scenery at the start of Africa’s longest River-the Nile with the first set of whitewater rapids being at Bujagali falls.

Rafters always set out on a 28-kilometer trip with a paddle, life jacket and helmet with basic training session at the start with re-inforced inflatable raft with eight to ten participants. Other activities within the area include sport fishing and swimming among others.  

Therefore, much as the beauty of the Bujagali Falls was slightly affected by the construction of the Bujagali dam, it still remains one of the most beautiful sites in eastern Uganda with activities such as whitewater rafting sport fishing and swimming enjoyed by tourists.