Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Kampala’

Along with the gorilla and golden monkey treks, this morning’s walking safari was a special experience.

Godson our armed ranger   P1100641 DY © for jtdytravels

Godson was our armed guide who told us all about the many things we saw, not just the animals, but also about signs left behind by passing animals etc.

Walking with Wild Animals      p1250820 DY © for jtdytravels

It is really very special to be walking in a game reserve where there is a chance of coming across a lion or two, although Godson said that there were only a few in the park and they pretty much kept to themselves.  They had only just returned to the park after having been absent for many years.

Inquisitive Waterbuck   p1250801 DY © DY for jtdytravels

We saw reed and waterbuck, wart hog, zebra, topi, antelope and gazelle.

Prickly African Acacia p1250831 © DY for jtdytravels

Africa, like Australia, has many endemic Acacia species.

Self portrait – holding up a tree p1250839 © DY for jtdytravels

After a bit over two hours of walking through the park it was time to say goodbye to Godson, rejoin the truck and head for Kampala, the capital of Uganda.  We crossed the equator, where we set up our tables and chairs outside some souvenir shops.

It was also where I bought a book on Rwanda for 150,000 Ugandan shillings which is about USD64.  I waited ten minutes to get $5 change, I was owed another one, but rather than wait standing around looking useless, I suggested the girl put the dollar in the tips basket.  The shop was actually a charity place so it possibly went to a good cause.

It rained heavily as we drove into and through Kampala.  We arrived at Jinja at 17h45.

We were met by the very efficient camp manager, Ruth, who told us we were about to experience the hottest showers 24/7 to be found in Uganda and to top that off, the coldest beers in Uganda.  She won all our hearts in one sentence.  She also said that the music in the bar would be turned off at midnight, however there was still plenty of noise emanating from around the camp at 02h30!  Give me a bush camp with long drop toilets, animal noises, the stars and a camp fire any day.  I think I would be happy to give up the hottest shower and coldest beer for the privilege of a bush camp.  But, then… the shower followed by the beer was good!

Read Full Post »

We got away to a fairly early start but got caught up in a traffic jam as were turned out of the camp site’s front gate.  A truck had broken down somewhere in the vicinity and this had caused the problem.  It took us an hour to travel only a few kilometres to a supermarket where the cook had to buy our provisions for the next few days.  This stop also provided most of us with an opportunity to cash in our useful currencies for Kenyan shillings.  There was also a good coffee shop in the complex that provided us with what was to be our last good coffee so far, not that we knew that at the time!

It was interesting to note that there was little roadside rubbish, we even spotted a few street sweepers.  Kampala is generally a clean city.

Image

A busy street-side market  P1090205  DY of jtdytravels

Image

Clean streets and green traffic roundabouts  P1090210  DY of jtdytravels

More when I get the chance   David

Read Full Post »

The day started well until a loud explosive air hiss came from below our feet in our new truck.  Most thought that a tyre had blown out.  We came to a slower stop than I would have expected for such an event. The driver wriggled under the vehicle amidships and attempted to fix a high pressure air supply line.

Image

How can I fix this with a screwdriver?  P1090171  DY of jtdytravels

Being a new truck that had not been properly fitted out for our trip there was only a screwdriver available to fix the problem.  A call was put out to anyone who had any tape.  This, of course, made little impact on the problem due to the high pressure involved.  We deduced that the air line had something to do with the breaks.  Eventually the driver somewhat admitted defeat when he went across the road to a service station and came back with a bicycle inner tube.  This, along with some more tape, actually did the job.  We were off after a one and three quarter hour stop.

Whilst all this was happening most of the younger guys and one of the girls kicked a soccer ball around on a large grassy field beside where we had stopped.

Image

The kids came out to play  P1090174  DY of jtdytravels

Great fun was had by all until it was time to leave.  The biggest boy in the group grabbed the ball and made off with it on his bicycle.  We had naively hoped that the ball could have been shared a little more equally by those involved in the game – how silly of us!

The Ugandan border was not all that far away.  We passed many, many trucks all lined up waiting their turn to be processed.  I counted over 100 on our way back.  The drivers can expect to wait from three to seven days to get through the paperwork and inspections.

Image

Tourist buses get priority – thankfully  P1090165  DY of jtdytravels

Once we arrived at the border, foreigners in buses are given priority, we lined up at the appropriate windows to be processed without trouble.  That was until it was my turn!  I handed my passport through the window to the Immigration officer on the other side.  He looked at it hard and long and then motioned me to come into his office through a nearby door.  He said my visa had expired, as indeed, on my inspection, it had!

I had been given a Transit Visa on arrival at Nairobi airport by the lady Immigration officer.  This was valid for a 72 hour stop.  She asked me how long I was staying, to which I said I was leaving on the 17th and, did she want to see my itinerary?  She said she didn’t and gave me the visa.  I guess I was partly to blame as I should have known that I was to be in Kenya for four days not three, but after X hundreds of hours on the go, through various time zones etc. the error did not compute with me either.

So, now back to leaving Kenya.  The Immigration officer quizzed me on why I had a Transit Visa if I was to be in Kenya for four days.  I explained that his colleague in Nairobi had made the decision to issue me a Transit Visa.  He said I hadn’t paid enough.  I said that I was not trying to avoid paying whatever I should have and could I pay the extra now.  He ignored me while he attended to other people who passed their ‘all-in-order’ passports through his window.  I wondered what was going to happen.  He eventually returned to my passport and asked if I was coming back to Kenya?  Yes, was my answer.  How long will you be staying?  Overnight, I ventured as an answer.  He picked up his visa stamp and slammed it down on my Transit Visa and said, this is an official warning, and handed me back my passport.  Somewhat relieved, I meekly left his presence saying ‘asanti sana’, thank you very much.  We ALL continued on our way to our camping place at the Red Chilli in Kampala, crossing the Nile River at Jinja on the way.  We were to return to Jinja for a two night stop on our way back to Nairobi.

Image

The Nile River  P1090183  DY of jtdytravels

Along the way we passed black and blue cloth traps.  These were about 750mm x 750mm x 750mm and were seen swinging in trees.  Ingwe explained that they were traps for tse-tse fly, in other words, the insect that causes sleeping sickness.

 

More anon    David

Read Full Post »