Its that time of the year where the entire world flocks into Uganda to attend the highly anticipated Nyege Nyege festival. Well, maybe I exaggerated a little bit, it might not be the entire world but literally everyone that loves electronic music, dancing, and having unlimited fun in the world make their way to Jinja to attend, experience and bear witness to the Nyege Nyege festival which is btw the best International musical festival in Uganda.
In this detailed guide, I will be giving you all the information you need to have an amazing experience at the Nyege Nyege festival 2019 from the planning stage to when you leave the Pearl of Africa.
Tips for attending the Nyege Nyege festival 2019
What is Nyege Nyege Festival
If you’re here, you probably already know what Nyege Nyege festival is all about and I’m sure that you know that it’s the best international music festival in Uganda. But to put it into context, the word Nyege Nyege stands for Peace, Love, Joy, and celebration of Music and artistry of Ugandans, Africans and beyond.
Running for 4 days, the idea of this fun-filled festival made its first debut in October 2015. Even though the turn up wasn’t as much as it is currently, the non-stop rain that hit revelers for 3 straight days helped in making the festival popular when photos later surfaced showing people having fun and dancing in the rain while covered in mud – a thing that made those who hadn’t attended jealous.
Though this helped in advertising the festival, the organizers agreed to move the festival to September where chances of rain are minimal to zero so that everything goes as smoothly as planned.
With more sponsors and great advertisement, the numbers kept growing in the preceding years and as of now, everyone is rushing to buy the early bird tickets of the Nyege Nyege festival 2019 to be able to attend the festival of the year.
What to expect at the Nyege Nyege festival.
If you’re still wondering whether you should attend the festival then the simple answer is yes and you better hurry and the buy the ticket already as the festival will be starting on Thursday 5th September 2019 to Sunday 8th September 2019.
The Nyege nyege festival is all about having fun, dancing, socializing and listening to great music for 4 days non stop. You’ll see about anyone from different walks of life, different kinds of attires and dress codes, lots of beers flowing and just about anything people who like to have fun do. There are lots of foods sold at the festival grounds – you have to try the famous Rolex if you haven’t tasted it yet.
You should also expect a number of musicians, artists, and DJs from all over the continent and the world at large. To top it all, the line up of countless local and international artists was recently released.
How much does the Nyege Nyege festival cost
How much you’ll spend at the festival is entirely up to you depending on what you’ll spend on though there are some fixed costs. But nevertheless, I will give you a brief of prices so that you plan your finances accordingly.
Tickets are categorized into two, the East African (EA) citizen tickets which serve residents from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, DRC Congo, Rwanda and Ethiopia and tickets for Non-East Africa citizens.
Ticket Prices for EA citizens are 150,000Ugx ($41) and 200,000Ugx ($54) if you buy the ticket in advance or if you buy it at the entrance gate respectively. For non-EA citizens, tickets go for $60 for the early birds. All these tickets can be bought from the Nyege nyege official website by either using mobile money or a credit/debit card. Use this link to purchase a ticket if you’re an EA citizen or this link if you’re a non-EA citizen. You can also use the XE currency converter website to value the ticket fee in your local currency.
Food and beverages
Food prices vary from the type of food but you can at least budget to spend around 3000Ugx ($1) for simple snacks to 30,000Ugx ($8) for a more “sophisticated” meal. You can expect to enjoy different cuisines from Ugandan local food, Indian, Chinese, Kenyan – literally any type of cuisine can be found there. Beer prices range from 3500shs to 5000shs. You can also opt for other beverages like whiskey, gin – you will be able to get almost any kind of liquor at the festival.
Since the festival ground, the Nile discovery beach to be exact is enormous, there is a secure campsite with ablution facilities for campers. You can choose to come with your own tent or rent one from the nyege nyege team. If you choose to come with your own camping gear, you only pay 30,000Ugx ($8) for camping space which is just a 5 minutes walk from the exact festival grounds – the fee is for the entire festival.
If you choose to hire from the organizers, a pre-pitched tent with a mattress goes for 120,000Ugx ($33) for one person and 150,000Ugx ($41) for 2 people for the entire festival duration. All this can be prebooked before the festival day from here if you’re an EA citizen and from here if you’re a non-EA citizen. And you can check into your campsite as early as 1 pm on 5th September.
But if camping is not for you, there are a number of hotels in Njeru town (which is the closet town to the festival) or even in Jinja town which is just a few kilometers away from Nile discovery beach.
Hotels you can check out in Jinja.
Camping: Nile park Camping ground provides spacious camping just right in front of the Nile.
Budget: Brisk Hotel triangle is one of fairly priced hotels in Jinja and also overlooking lake victoria.
You can also check out more hotels in Jinja on booking.com
Tips to staying safe at the Nyege Nyege festival
Although the organizers do a great job in making sure that there is enough security at the festival, just like any other festival in the world, there are always some minor security threats that you have to look out for as an individual. Here are some safety tips to know.
- Always have your items with you all the time. Although it’s a fun event, they’re always some few people that attend just to take advantage of others – petty theft is common at such festivals.
- Pay for safe storage. The organizers provide a service of safeguarding people’s valuable items for 24 hours and it costs 5000Ugx ($2) per day.
- Socialize but be able to trust your instincts. If someone or something doesn’t feel right, move away to a place where you might feel more secure.
- Don’t move away from the festival grounds late in the night alone.
You can also read more tips on how to stay safe while traveling from here.
General travel tips to attending the Nyege nyege festival
How to get to Uganda
The first step to coming to Uganda is to get a visa if you’re traveling from outside the country. A Ugandan visa is pretty easy to get, you can apply for an E-visa or get it on arrival at the Entebbe International airport. You can use this website to check the requirements of the visa depending on the passport you hold.
To get the best flight deals to Uganda, I recommend comparing flights with Skyscanner to choose the best option for your buck.
How to get from Entebbe to Nile discovery beach, Jinja
The easiest and most expensive option would be to take an airport taxi directly to Jinja. The price will defer from one taxi to another. There is also an option of using prearranged transportation by the Nyege Nyege team. Their private taxi goes for 200,000shs per person sitting 4 people. You can get more information about this by visiting the MTN Nyege nyege welcome booth outside “Arrival” at the airport.
If you’re want to stay on the lower end of the budget, you can take a private taxi from the airport to Entebbe
town. From there, take a public taxi to Kampala old taxi park, and later take another public taxi (matatu) to
Jinja and the taxi should leave you at the Jinja road stage before the dam. (Let the taxi conductor know in
advance so that the taxi leaves you at the right stage). From the stage, just get a boda boda (motorcycle) to take you to Nile discovery beach which should take less than 30 minutes.
What to do after the Nyege nyege festival
Well, ofcourse the answer is to leave! But what if I told you that there is so much to Uganda than just attending the Nyege nyege festival. As you already know, Uganda is the pearl of Africa with tonnes of amazing landscapes, wildlife, and incredible people.
So now that you’re already in the country, take advantage of that opportunity to see more of what Uganda has to offer. Here are some of the places to visit plus things to do while in the pearl of Africa.
1. Visit the Source of River Nile
Since the source of the Nile is just 2 km from the festival grounds, this should naturally be the first place to visit. Find out where the longest river in the world starts from by making your way to this picturesque place.
2. Go for Gorilla trekking
There is absolutely nothing that compares to the experience of tracking gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest which is located in Kisoro, western Uganda. Bwindi is home to almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas and spending a day or more with them is out of this world. To be honest the activity is pretty expensive but worth every penny. You can do it on your by purchasing a gorilla trekking permit at the Uganda wildlife office before you go, or have everything arranged for you by booking this gorilla trekking tour.
3. Visit Queen Elizabeth National park
Visting Queen Elizabeth national park is one of the things that you should do before exiting Uganda. The park has a number of wild animals including one of the big fives, the lion making it one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. Aside from the countless animals, you’ll also be able to see a number of crater lakes within the park.
4. Visit Murchison falls National park
This might actually be the last opportunity you have to see the incredible and thunderous waterfall – the reason being that its fate is being discussed by the authorities on whether to keep it or to use it for producing electricity. My hope is that it’s spared but that’s out of my hands, so get to visit Murchison falls now as its future is currently not known.
5. Visit Lake Bunyonyi
If this is not the most beautiful place in Uganda, then I don’t know what is! Hidden in the hills of Kabala, Lake Bunyoyi is the second deepest lake in Africa after Lake Tanganyika. Take in all the views and the beauty of this place by visiting what is known as the best viewpoint in Uganda to capture the beautiful shape of the lake in its entirety.
For more places to visit in Uganda, check out my previous post that goes into details about each attraction and other places you should visit.
I hope you found this post useful while planning for your trip to Uganda to experience the festival of the year, Nyege Nyege festival. Now its time to go “Nyege” – dance!! Nyege Nyege is translated as “the urge to dance” in Luganda – so if you’re having that urge, no need to wait anymore, head to Discovery Beach Jinja and ‘DANCE”!
Here are some other Ugandan posts that you might find helpful as you plan your trip.
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