Header photo by Sonia Beeckmans

Uganda, a wonderful experience

After a 10 days trip we are now back at Kampala. We are sad having left the wildnerness behind, it has been a wonderful experience. Uganda has so much variety and is so green, more than we have seen in Kenya & Tanzania sofar, but of course its due to its location on the equator. We were very lucky with the weather: always nice and warm around 20 degrees Celsius with only once a few drops of rain.

Our guide, Henry was very good, he has studied tourism at the university at Kampala and works as a tourguide since many years. Henry has so much knowledge, he knows each and every plant and animal and was able to give a lot of additional information. The vehicle (a large 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser) was very comfortable, for Eddy too.

The lodges were great and the food very tasty. The Ugandans are all very friendly and helpful, life here is more relaxed than in Europe.

We saw a lot of wildlife; elephants, hippos, Ugandan kobs ( only to be found in Uganda) , hartebeest, waterbucks, several lions in the trees, hyenas, buffalo, crocodile and giraffes. A hugh variety of birdlife too.

We traveled by car to Murchinson Falls, enroute we saw a a lot of of the countryside, lots of agricultural activities and huge quantities of bananas but also tea, coffee, corn, cassava, rice and potatoes being cultivated. The national dish is matoke, eating bananas, they cook and mash them after which they are being served in banana leaves.

The Murchinson Falls are impressive, we were able to view from the top end. We also did a boat tour on the Nile and came very clsoe to the scource of the waterfall. We stayed at the Paraa Lodge and were told that after we left an elephant marched straight into the lobby of the hotel all the way to the pool. No fences around the camps and lodges which gives wildlife free space to move around. Never a dull moment in the bush!

We continued to Queen Elizabeth National Park with a stopover at Fort Portal. Lots of road works going on, even here the Chinese are busy making tarmac roads. Many children on their way to school, all by foot and with a big jug of water in their hands. Henry explained that the government tries to make sure all children have access to a school within 3km of their homes. Fort Portal was not so interesting, a few old colonial houses. From far we saw a huge house belonging to a local king , in Uganda there 30 Kings apart from the president who runs the country. The Kings dont have much power but keep themselves occupied with local people and their traditions.

Next stop Ishasha, located in the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The camp we stayed – Ishasha Wilderness Camp – was very special. Very small camp with only 8 tents build along the Ntungwe river. Game-drives at Ishasha were great, we spotted lions in the trees several times. At night we heard the lions roaring, very close to the camp an amazing experience.

Finally to the Mweya Lodge also at Queen Elizabeth National Park and located on the Kazinga Channel, the Channel connects Lake Edward and Lake George. The lodge is quite big but our tent has an amazing view onto the Kazinga channel where elephants, buffalo and other animals come and drink. We did a boat ride on the channel which was a worthwhile trip, the boat gets very close to the elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Lots of birdlife too.

In and around Queen Elizabeth national park there are many volcanic craters, some turned into lakes others filled with lush vegetation. A very special landscape.

This is how our holidays went to quick. Yesterday we were picked up from Mweya airstrip and flew back to Kampala.

Voilà, now we have to sort out the hundreds of photos so that we can remember everything ..

Sonia & Eldibert