So, to the Rwanda/Uganda border to sort the visa i had to see 3 people and there was a queue for each one. The last guy was questioning me about everything in my passport. ‘’So, Mr Howe, I see you have been traveling for a long time without a working visa, this must cost lots of money. You must be a rich man’’. This basically means,’I want a bribe for your visa’. My answer was ‘’Yes it is expensive to do all this traveling, but i have to go home in two weeks as my money has run out’’. Eventually after a long silence, I got the next stamp in my passport. I entered Uganda.
First stop was Kabale. I got there at 9:30pm in the pi$$ing rain. A local guy showed me where to go but i had to go to the bank first as i had no cash. I couldn't even afford a boda-boda bike taxi (this would be about 25p) the 2k i had to go. Went to the bank and as i was soaked through already and it was only 1 k to go from the bank i walked. Bad idea. I tripped over a tree root and was on the floor. Uganda is famous for its red soil. I was now the same colour red and very wet all down one side. Got to the hostel and showered in the coldest shower i have had in Africa, but what do i expect for £1.25 a night. Next, I deserved a beer. Went to the hostel bar and met a group of volunteers who were all very drunk already. We finally went to bed at about 4am.
After this i moved on to Bunyonyi lake. Defiantly the most beautiful lake i have seen in Africa. The lake is filled with many small islands. The only way to get around is by canoe. I took a walk up to a hotel on the top of the hill to get the best view if the lake. It was stunning. I was lucky that i got there when i did. 2min after i arrived, the heaviest rain storm i have ever experienced hit. It was a solid wall of water for about an hour. I had lunch and then once the rain had stopped tried to walk back down the hill. The rain had turned the dusty mud to slush. I slid on my arse for half the way down. I felt like a naughty 5 year old getting covered in mud again.
Next i met a Italian couple Noemi and Michele and we moved to Lake Mburo National park. I had decided to go here as i had read that they did morning Hyena walks and i am a big fan of Hyenas. So we get the bus to the local town and then a cab to the park. We managed to get a room for 3 for 30,000ugx (about £2.50 each). That is an amazing price for accommodation inside national park. The next morning we were up at 6:30am for the Hyena walk..... The first thing the guide said to us was ’’We only really see Hyenas at night, very rare to see them at this time’’. I was quite annoyed at this as i had paid $30 park entry fee and $10 for the ‘Hyena walk’. The one thing i came to see. The annoying thing was that i had checked if i was likely to see Hyenas at the front gate and i was told, ‘’yes, it is very likely’’. I understand, it is nature but they lied to me so i paid the entry fee.
So we left for Kampala, the capital of Uganda. I stayed in a different site to my new Italian buddies as they were heading north and i wanted to hang in Kampala for a few days. The camp site was nice. All except one thing, there was a huge private party just behind that had music blaring till 6:30am. It wouldn't have been a problem if we could have joined in but we got thrown out twice for gate-crashing. That is very unlike Africans. They are normally the first to involve you.
The next day i went in to the city to do some shopping and just for a look round. It was dusty, littered, smelly, busy, hot, you got hassle on every street by taxi drivers and guys and girls trying to sell you things and just generally DIRTY!!! I LOVED IT! After Rwanda’s Clean efficient Kigali, Kampala felt like i was back in Africa again. It must be a very religious place because everywhere i walked they were shouting Jesus! Jesus! How are you?!!! towards me..... Or maybe it was because of the long hair and my big bushy beard. That may have had something to do with it. Well its better than the Italian chap i met, Alex, being called Osama bin Laden in Dar es Salaam isn't it? This name seemed to stick with me for the rest of my time in Africa. I got all the bits i needed and went back to the campsite and decided to go to Jinja (the source of the river Nile) the next day.
After falling asleep in about 5sec flat i woke nice and early. I got to Jinja on the bus at about lunchtime. Put the tent up and went to town to grab lunch. Then back to watch the lady's Wimbledon final. Had a few too many beers with some English people from Windsor who are just buying a house about a 3 min walk from my flat in Wokingham, and went to bed. The next day i decided to have a hangover day. I didn't really have a hangover but felt like a lazy day. I spent the day online, watching TV and having a lovely chat online with a very good friend of mine from home.
Next day spent the day wondering round the town and then i went to another campsite about 10k up the river Nile. This place was much better than the last one and a couple of dollars cheaper. I stayed here for a few days. The view over the Nile and the waterfalls. Next i moved back to Kampala. I met a few people who were going out to a Irish bar playing live music. We all ended up in a Reggae club after. I think every person in the club was stoned off there box. We finally got back at about 3am. The Next morning two of us went to see a few of the sights around Kampala, the palace, the tombs of the previous kings, and a few other bits that i didn't want to do with a hangover.
My next destination was to be my last in Uganda before, if you don't know, I flew home to the UK. But just for a month. In fact, by the time i upload this blog i will be home so i hope to see some of you soon. I moved down to Entebbe. Entebbe sits on the equator at the north of lake Victoria. So it is hot, and there are beaches. I slept in a wildlife education centre (a zoo). At night you can hear the lions roaring, Hyena’s laughing and the monkeys screaming. During the day, there were hundred of animals just wondering around or in a pen if they had sharp teeth. I got bitten by a Camel on my back and chased by a Ostrich here. Obviously used the wrong perfume that day. The rest of my time i decided to chill and do pretty much nothing. I sat on one of the many beaches and I found a good bar with sky sports so i could watch the British GP. The next thing i know, it is 3am and im just walking out of a club with a group of Germans and one Spanish guy. The next day i just chilled in the town as i had to get my flight at 4 am so i just stayed up and waited. And then, i left Africa. It was a sad feeling to be coming home but also a happy one as i was soon going to see my family and friends. And im only back for a few weeks before my journey continues back in Africa.
Ben and Sok. xx