Uganda final week
I’m in the World Heritage Area Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, on the Equator, in the tropics, in the WET Season, so I guess I should have expected some rain !
Despite three days of rain, I really enjoyed the forest. I walked for hours up and down valleys and along slippery trails through a rainforest that was at its best, dripping with rain and full of life. I’ve visited plenty of rainforests in the dry season before and walked for miles through dry and distressed forest. This was how a rainforest should look.
After three days we descended through the tea and coffee plantations to Lake Bunyonyi, a large crater lake a few hundred meters lower in altitude but still fairly high.
After a day at the lake we drove further down in altitude to Lake Mburu National Park. My target here was to see African Finfoot which I saw on a three hour cruise on our second day.
I stayed in a safari tent at The Eagles Nest at Lake Mburu. Spectacular views from my accommodation and my favourite accommodation of the trip so far. I could have stayed there for a week and just sat on the front veranda enjoying the view.
After Lake Mburu it was time head back to Entebbe for my early Rwandair flight to Rwanda and then onto Tanzania.
We drove all day and stopped for lunch on the Equator and then caught the car ferry across Lake Victoria to Entebbe. The above photo is exiting the ferry.
Prior to visiting Uganda my only real concern was visiting in the wet season but after three weeks I’m glad I did. The entire country was lush and green and at times I appreciated the cloud cover.
Despite being on the equator, virtually the entire country is above 1000m asl which made for pleasant temperatures and no humidity. The highest I went was 2400m in Ruhija, which was cool during the night. We even had dinner in front of an open fire one night but it was never really cold.
Paul’s planning and logistics were spot on for three weeks and the crew at Terrain Safaris are amongst East Africa’s best for those that want to see the area’s wildlife.
The people in Uganda were incredibly friendly, whether in the city or remote villages. On my daily drives children in villages constantly waved and said hello. Despite waving to thousands of kids as we cruised through villages and along farm roads, it was only in the highlands near Ruhija that they asked for money. The “Hello Muzungo”, was replaced with “Hello, give me money”. All up, it occurred a lot less than I thought it would. The most disappointing thing was when their parents stood next to them and asked as well.
At the end of three weeks the location that really stood out was Murchison Falls National Park. The wet season game drives were excellent and the animals were abundant and easy to see. The Nile River, which flows through the park is beautiful and lined with rainforest and grazing animals. The park has a bird list of over 300 species and many are easily seen. You can drive to the top of the falls in the morning and do a 17km Nile River cruise in the afternoon to the base of the falls, which are spectacular in the wet season.
There were a few things I purposely left off my itinerary this time as I’m planning to return next year. A ten day Ruwenzori (Mountains of the Moon) Trek is top of the list, followed by a Mountain Gorilla trek in Bwindi.
My itinerary over the next few weeks is still a bit unknown with current events in Kasai Provence in the DR Congo. I was planning to head to Lusaka, Zambia and then north into the DRC (Lubumbashi) and spend a month driving across the entire county to Kinshasa and jump on the ferry to Brazzaville but there have been 400 local people killed and two UN observers also killed in recent weeks in the area where I was going to spend three weeks. Looking at plan B options…..
In the mean time I’m flying to Rwanda for a quick stop and then Tanzania.