Nyege Nyege Festival in Jinja, Uganda
Nyege Nyege Festival is an international music festival that takes place in Jinja, eastern Uganda every year since 2015. It invites a huge crowd from various parts of the World.
Surrounded by a portion of lush green tropical forest, with its private beach and sculptures, the Nile Discovery beach is the main hosting area for this notable annual event.
The organizers of Nyege Nyege once revealed that they were inspired by the World Festival of Black Arts, an iconic event that took place in Dakar, the capital of Senegal in 1966. It was meant to celebrate Africa’s musical influence on the rest of the world.
Nyege Nyege is a great chance for you to see African electronic musicians who carry on their musical careers outside their home countries.
The event welcomes a team of local and international artists who come from Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Somalia, and Ethiopia, U.S.A, UK, Russia, Japan, Germany, Belgium, and Mexico.
Locals and tourists are welcome to enjoy this festival with its unending charms. If you are traveling through East Africa in the month of September, don’t forget to include this lively event on your to-do list. It is full of fun and perfect for those who would like to kill stress and depression.
How to get there (Transport)
From the Entebbe Airport or Kampala, you can get a taxicab for transport to Jinja. It is not only cheap but also comfortable, private, and quick. A trip to Jinja costs about 90 – 100 USD for one way. This charge includes fuel, car maintenance fees, toll fees, and the driver.
Taxis from EBB carry between 5-7 passengers depending on the type of car used. If you are in a group of six or seven members, a Toyota Noah is enough for you. You go straight to Jinja and have beautiful moments for about 2-3 days or more.
There is an option of renting a car, but the bad side about it is you have to keep an eye on the car in the parking as you enjoy the music. It may be disturbing to some extent except when you hire it with a driver.
To be free from the disturbance, it is good to make arrangements with a taxi agency for a drop off in Jinja on day one and a pick up from Jinja back to Kampala or Entebbe on the last day of your holiday in Jinja.
What’s in Nyege Nyege?
It is just a melting pot of musical genres that mix traditional rhythms and modern electronics. It includes Balani, high-energy party music from Mali, Kwaito, a music subgenre from South Africa, Uganda dancehall, Kuduro (Angolan dance music with a tropical vibe), and more.
Aside from that, Nyege Nyege combines artists from the African diaspora. It also features South American cambia, American hip-hop, Caribbean jazz artists, and European producers. Some of the artists are Mamman Sanai, Gato Preto, West Nile Fusion band, Daniel Haaksman, a German producer, and many local Ugandan artists including DR Jose Chameleon.
If not Music, What else?
Adding to the various genres of African music, the event also features a series of film screenings with a unique selection of documentaries about Africa’s music. For foodies, Nyege Nyege offers a blend of East and West African cuisines, Thai and Indian cuisine, Afro-Asian fusions, along with barbecue. Don’t miss trying Uganda’s local dishes and different brands of beer drinks.
This place is also a hub for locally made attires and other products. Local designers sell jewelry, art, and other goods that make for a great souvenir.
How to Dress for the Festival
Most people in Uganda’s population belong to the catholic, Protestant, and Muslim religions. All these religions emphasize decent dressing. Dresses or skirts and shorts that go down up to the knees are a perfect fit for public appearance.
For the event, it is just enjoyment. You are free to put on the way you like including bikinis for those who would wish to swim. Make sure to come with waterproof jackets and bags to keep your gadgets from water. If you desire to behold different ways of dressing, fashion styles, this event is for you.
Where to Stay in Jinja
When it comes to accommodation, Jinja is not a place to doubt. It features several facilities at its different corners including along the shores of Lake Victoria. Whether you are a budget, mid-range, or luxury visitor, there is room for you at favorable rates starting from 20 USD.
For those who like camping, it is possible in the gardens which host the event, and it’s free of charge. This is a great experience you must not miss once in a lifetime. You can choose to hire a tent with sleeping bags or come with them from your home country.
What about Security?
Like any other event with people from different societies, cases of theft are common here, but what you have to know is that security is very tight. Every corner has a security officer to keep low and order. All detected thieves are driven away from the place to Jinja police station. Make sure to behave well such that you are not one of them.
Moreover, the place is monitored with drones to ensure there are no dangerous attacks like bombs and more. No person is authorized to be with a gun except security personnel. At night, keep all your gadgets away from easy access.
Other Fun Activities
Jinja has no shortage of appealing activities. That’s why it is common on most itineraries for tourists who visit Uganda for relaxing holidays. After Nyege Nyege, you can choose to engage in many mind-blowing activities before you leave this tourist spot in the eastern region of Uganda.
The list includes White water rafting, tubing the Nile, Kayaking, and boat cruise to the source of the Nile, Quad biking, water sliding, and bungee jumping. If you need to treat your girlfriend or colleague with beautiful moments, don’t miss Jinja, the capital city of the East.