Uganda: Green, lush, tropical Africa!



Wed, 20 Sep 2017 - 08:51 GMT


Wed, 20 Sep 2017 - 08:51 GMT

Break from canoeing for a swim on the shores of this secluded island! Courtesy:

Break from canoeing for a swim on the shores of this secluded island! Courtesy:

CAIRO- 20 September 2017: My first stop in Uganda made me fall in love with this country at first sight. Well, if you visit the mountain Lake Bunyonyi, you will see why! I was on 1,962 m (6,437 ft) altitude and the weather was cool. Bunyonyi means “place of many little birds” and those small creatures were only adding to the enchantment. The lake is full of tiny forested islands and wherever you look, you see mountains surrounding it. I love mountain lakes and my favorite activity is getting a canoe and exploring the little islands on my own pace. It was hard work paddling against the wind and the waves, so when I got to a secluded island, it was the perfect time for a swim in the cool water! On the way back, I laid down on the canoe and I just let the wind and the waves to take me. I was not in a hurry, anyway .

It was not easy to leave behind such a beautiful place but when there is a good reason, then it is not that hard… The good reason was an amazing off-road route through the incredibly lush Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The first one is famous for its primates. I love the white-and-black colobus monkeys when they jump from tree to tree and their hair waves with the wind!

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famous for its primates. Courtesy:

I had the chance to cross the Queen Elizabeth National Park through the transit dirt road, which is the only one where motorbikes are allowed. I had another one great safari on my own two wheels! I saw plenty of buffaloes, many Uganda kobs, beautiful topis and the usual baboons. I met also a few elephants. I saw some locals running on the dirt road and waving at me trying to say something. Well, a few meters later, I got their point… An elephant was just next to the road! Happily, it was not trying to cross it, so I passed peacefully next to that huge mammal being astonished by the little distance between me and it!

Riding my motorcycle just a few meters away from an elephant! Courtesy:

It was around there where I crossed the equator for a second time. The first time was in Congo, one year and three months ago. If you would ask me at that time, I would have no clue about what was waiting for me in the southern hemisphere. But it is those unexpected things that make our life beautiful. I love surprises and I had plenty of nice ones in the south.

Crossing the equator for a second time, after one year and three months in the southern hemisphere! Courtesy:

On my way to Fort Portal, I enjoyed a nice off-road route between some tiny crater lakes. The landscape was really mountainous and green, a scenery that made me stopping often to admire it! Another great off-road route near Fort Portal took me to the foothills of the grand Rwenzori Mountains. The Mountains of the Moon, as the Alexandrian Greek geographer Ptolemy named them, make the tallest mountain range in Africa. It is highest snow-capped peak rises at 5,109 m (16,762 ft).

The road took me through Kampala, the crowded and chaotic capital. I had to be really careful there to avoid all those cars and motorbikes that seemed like they were trying to run into me! Neighboring Jinja is much more peaceful. That’s where one of Nile River’s sources is located. I visited the exact spot where the water comes out, at the edge of Lake Victoria.

From the foothills of Rwenzori Mountains, the tallest mountain range in Africa, you can see the endless Congo Basin. Courtesy:

This stretch of Victoria Nile River is one of the most amazing spots for white-water rafting! So, I did not miss the chance… After some briefing, we hit the water on our rafts. We are talking about some serious rafting here… The rapids are grade IV and V! We were going down some steep rapids only to see huge waves ready to swallow us! Our raft was overturned twice. I fell in the water and in that mess I had no idea where I am. I did not know where the surface was! Where should I go to take a breath? Well, I just had to trust nature’s laws and let the water uplift me. Then I had to look around me to see if I was still floating on a dangerous rapid or if I was on safe waters. Nevertheless, the beauty of the scenery and the excitement of white-water rafting are always worth the effort!

The exact spot where the Victoria Nile River starts its far way to the Mediterranean Sea. Courtesy:

Back on solid land, I took some small dirt roads to get to Nyero. That’s where I visited some interesting ancient rock art made by the Twa tribe, who are hunter-gatherers of Pygmy origin. The locals consider this place sacred and smoke from sacrifices in the caves is still visible.

This stretch of Victoria Nile River is one of the most amazing spots for white-water rafting. Courtesy:

My last stop in Uganda was at Sipi Falls. That’s a series of three large waterfalls in a mountainous location in Eastern Uganda. After some short hiking, I visited all of them and they were all gorgeous! On top of that, I found a wonderful campsite and I pitched my tent opposite of the largest waterfall. That was quite a view!

The ancient rock art in Nyero was made by the Twa tribe, who are hunter-gatherers of Pygmy origin. Courtesy:

It was time to enter Kenya and of course, I would not go there through paved roads… I chose some beautiful dirt backroads around Mt Elgon National Park. After passing through nice forests and tiny mountainous villages, I got to the border. Uganda, for sure, is not big but it packs a lot! Especially the western part of it is one of the areas I will always remember.

Sipi Falls is a series of three large waterfalls and they are all gorgeous! Courtesy:

This article was originally published in Mad Nomad blog



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