Source of the Nile

In the Jinja section there is a paragraph about The Source of the Nile. It says admission is 2,000 and there is a cafe and bar there which has a great band playing there on a Sunday between 4 and 6pm.

I went there today with my parents who are visiting from UK. The price is now 10,000 shillings to get past the barrier. The whole place is very run down and dilapidated – all the money they have raised has been spent on improving the 50m road from the barrier to the car park! There is a group of orphans playing music with a large sign saying “5,000 for a photo and 10,000 for video”. There are a whole host of handicraft stalls selling some of the most overpriced goods in the country and there is a bar which looks like it has done no business for months. We were there at 5pm today and there was no sign of a band and the people working there said they don’t come any more. On the way out we asked for a refund (as we only wanted to go to see the band play and he assured me they were playing today!) – we were there for 10 minutes and I told the man that I was embarrassed to have brought my parents to see such a place! They are even charging for the toilets down there – after charging 10,000 to go inside. The man at the gate told me that the orphans are paid 200,000 shillings a week from the council to play music there and they shouldn’t be asking for more money. The toilets are supposed to be free so it is someone with a homemade sign making money he shouldn’t be.

I suggested that he should go down and make some changes rather than standing on the gate and charging 10,000 for virtually nothing. He told me that many many many other people had complained about the price as it was 2,000 two years ago and then increased to 5,000 and now 10,000. He says virtually no one comes anymore. In typical Ugandan fashion they’d prefer 10 people to pay 10,000 every day than 100 people to pay 2,000 each.

Anyway, it doesn’t look like anything is going to change down there and your attractive comments about the place really should be removed from the next edition.

They are also now charging 3,000 to see Bugigali Falls and 5,000 to go into the Source of the Nile Gardens. All really high prices and no evidence of any of it being spent maintaining or improving the sites.

Adam Williams

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