Uganda! Great Lakes, Wildlife and Christmas in a Tree House!

We rode along side the Volcano’s National Park which lies on the northern borders of Rwanda in-order to enter Uganda. There are three towering mountains in the park which are inhabited by Gorillas. Unfortunately the price to hike and see the gorillas for an hour has doubled, from an affordable $750 to a more unreasonable $1500 (haha). Thus, we waved from a distance and made our way to the border of Uganda.

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We entered Uganda and made our way to Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda’s deepest lake, and fifth deepest lake in the world, but far from the largest, with a maximum width of 7 km. The lake has a fair amount of history, having a leprosy treatment center on one of the islands during the 1930’s as well as punishment island, where unmarried pregnant woman were left to starve to death or attempt the long swim to shore. However this punishment practice stopped in the second half of the 20th century.

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We met some local guides that organized us a boat to visit his orphanage project, where John intends to take in 22 children. Lake Bunyonyi Eco Village Neo-life Orphanage is a great concept in an incredible corner of the world and only accessible by boat.

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From Lake Bunyonyi we made our way to Lake Edward in the Queen Victoria National Park. Taking us onto beautiful roads past some incredible local art, traditional umbrellas and brick manufacturing plants.

 

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We had an incredible ride through the bush to get to Lake Edward and found a tiny fishing village in the bush, surrounded by buffalo and Elephant. The tiny fishing village of Kabwema is truly an off the beaten track gem, surrounded by wildlife, where giant catfish are caught in the lake and sold on the side of the road.

 

 

We spent the night at a local lodge and then departed toward Fort Portal riding past the Rwenzori Mountain Range which is one of he tallest ranges in Africa reaching glacial worthy heights of 5,109 meters. It was on this road that we crossed the Equator for the first time!

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In Fort Portal we stayed at a lovely little place (Whispering Palm Gardens) where we caught fish for dinner and met some friendly safari guides. We also took a walk through town an made a stop at a small natural history museum.

 

 

We rode from Fort Portal to Kampala, not before Istene could climb a Jack Fruit Tree. Though indigenous to south east India these trees are common in central Africa and they are also the largest tree borne fruit in the world.

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In Kampala (the capital city of Uganda) we treated ourselves to the movies. After about 3 months since our last western luxury was experienced, we battled to behave accordingly.

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After spending a few days resupplying our stocks we departed for the source of the Nile River to a town named Jijna. This is where we decided to kick back for a few days and enjoy our Christmas and New Years.

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We spent Christmas morning with some draughts and distributed wrapped presents in a tree house overlooking the Nile River.

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Our New Years was as festive as Central Africa could offer, we had good company in the form of overland trucks packed with festive Auzzie and Irish travellers.

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As well as the local monkeys.

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After spending an eventful week or two in Jinja we made our way to an island on the Nile named the Hairy Lemon. A beautiful spot that is only accessible by canoe.

 

We camped on the island for three days and brought our Israeli friend Nadav with us. Luckily he could cook pretty well.

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We departed from the hairy lemon and said goodbye to the Nile for a few thousand Kilometers. Thus, we made our way to the massive volcano (Mount Elgon) on the border between Uganda and Kenya. Staying at the town of Sipi where the highest waterfall in East Africa is located, aptly named Sipi Falls.

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When we arrived at Sipi we went for a hike to go and see the waterfall for ourselves.

 

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On the hike we walked through the wonderful valleys surrounding the town and looked at the coffee plantations.

 

Once we got back to the town we tried our hand at coffee bean processing.

 

Once we had seen all there was to see in the tiny town of Sipi we made our way through the mountains toward Kenya.

 

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We went through a tiny border post and started our slightly southward journey to Nairobi where we crossed the Equator for the second time and would get the remainder of our mechanical supplies and apply for Visa’s to get into Ethiopia.

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Until the next adventure!

Cheers

Trent Seiler

& The Nitty Gritty Nomads

Author: The nitty gritty nomads

4 motorcycles, zig zagging through Africa… set out on discovering the continents wondrous archaeology, local cooking secrets as well as educating and engaging with local communities. We will be travelling through 14 countries, including South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Rowanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and then back through Madagascar.

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