Jinja restaurants – and accom at Ginger

This subject has attracted quite a bit of feedback recently, not least because of the opening of the (by all accounts excellent)) Ginger on the Nile:

Here are some comments:

Hotel Zamo; This one hardly needs mentioning. The hotel is situated about 100 yards from the guest house on Lubogo Lane. It has DSTV (South African satellite) and shows more sport than you get at home, with pretty much every premiership game shown. The food is relatively cheap and they do one of the best tilapia (local fish) and chips in Jinja. Beware of the service though, it is not uncommon to spend an hour or more waiting for food to arrive. However, the convenience of this place usually makes it worth the wait. There is a pool table (broken at the time this was written) here and if you explore you will find a dart board in the back.

2 Friends Restaurant; Does the best pizzas in Jinja, cooked in a wood fire oven. You can sit outside in one of the bandas scattered around the gardens, or even under the stars if the weather is up to it. There is an excellent dart board and one of the better pool tables in the area. The food is superb although it is one of the more expensive places to eat. You can order pizzas to be delivered to the guest house.  (0772984821)


The New Turn Indian restaurant; Good quality Indian food at relatively cheap prices. The staff is friendly and there is a good pool table. Service is pretty good, although the main attraction of this place is its location. Right in the centre of town, the outdoor seating on wicker chairs is the best place in Jinja to sit and people-watch.


Ozzie’s Restaurant; A nice variety and homely food are the main attractions of Ozzie’s, with good burgers and lasagne. Owned by an Australian lady. A bit pricy though not outrageous and the portions are decent. The only place in Jinja that serves a Full English.


The Source Café; Similar food to ozzies, and across the road. This place is THE tourist restaurant. The owners have obviously spent a lot of money making the place look nice.  The food, however, is sub standard and the portions are measly. It is over priced and the service is poor. It is a nice place to sit, have a drink and watch the world go by but don’t try and order food.


Le Petit Source;   Very cheap African food ie. 3000 sh.


The Leoz; A great place to come on special occasions. The food is excellent, although for the price it should be. It is clean but unspectacular.


The Crested Crane Hotel; Good local and western food at reasonable prices. The restaurant is a nice place to sit, and it has a decent bar. It’s a training institute so it does mean you’ll get slow but good service. There are sometimes music festivals and the Miss Uganda competition is held here so keep your ears open.


The Sunset Hotel; A great place to come for a drink and watch the sunset. There is also pretty good barbeque here on occasion.


Rendezvous Bar/Restaurant; The best place to come for cheap local food. An excellent tilapia and chips. The service is very fast and the beer is cheap!


All reviews above from Mike Godfrey and the students of Hampton School


If you want to visit the source of the Nile, and you want good food & service in Jinja, there is only one place:  Ginger in Jinja.  The boat trip to the source is fantastic and the atmosphere at the restaurant and bar is amazing.  The cocktail I had at sunset right on the banks of the Nile is the greatest memory of my stay.  Ginger also has the best breakfast and lunch place on Main street! I now drive from Kampala at week-end just for the breakfasts, pizzas, fish dishes, smoothies and sandwiches at Ginger.  When their campsite and lodging opens next month I may even start staying for week-ends.  I previously would drive straight through to Bujagali to stay at the Nile Porch (which is still a great place). Chris McKay



And finally a report from Isabelle Alenus, owner of Ginger on the Nile –  

Jina has completely transformed since last year.  Gately on the Nile is absolutely wonderful now, and their Thai menu is incredible. Leoz has the best Indian food in town and seems to be going from strength to strength. A really nice “deli” has opened near main street called “Indulge”, and a Dutch couple is opening a pastry shop/tea room on Main street, practically next door to Ginger Main street.  The lady makes legendary cakes!  Because of Kenya we are not getting the same amount of tourists that where around last year, but it is picking up slowly.  Jinja is a really nice place to be, and with Bujagali not far away, we never get bored.  The NRE campsite, the Nile Porch, and the Black lantern are great places to escape to.  And the “De Nile” café is great for lunch (with one of the most astonishing views in the world). My absolute favourite “escape” is the Hairy Lemon!!!


Ginger on the Nile is being transformed to accommodate lots of young backpackers without them getting in the way of our older guests.  We have lots of very nice, out-of-the-way lounging areas, a TV room hidden in the jungle, and a beach bar that stays open until the last person leaves.  A friend who is a chef in London is here at the moment training the kitchen and the waiting staff.  Our menu is simple but very good and the service is fast (and very friendly). Ginger will also open a beauty salon (hairdresser, manicures, pedicures, massages, facials) very close to Ginger Main Street on August 1st.  Next on our list is a swimming pool, but that might have to wait a while… I am delighted to say that our campsite and lodging (with view on the source) will open August 1st! Bookings are made by calling 0774 765 365. Camping is UGX 5000 per person per night. We have two bandas. Room rate per night:
Single occupancy UGX 60 000      with breakfast   UGX 75 000
Double occupancy  UGX 100 000   with breakfast UGX 130 000
Triple occupancy UGX 130 000     with breakfast  UGX 175 000
Quadruple occupancy 150 000     with breakfast  UGX 210 000


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