After leaving Kenya, the next stop was Uganda. This was a new country for me and I was excited to be here as I’ve heard so many great things about this country, in particular the people.
The border crossing was painless and before we knew it, it was a new country with lush surroundings. The roads were good, the vegetation was clear and we found out that Uganda has some of the most fertile land in Africa.
We arrived in Jinja town in the late afternoon to pick up some supplies before heading to our camp site. This was my first ‘real’ taste of being outside of a compound. As much as my pre conceived ideas of the dangers of Africa were in my mind, I soon realised that it is actually relatively safe. People were friendly, welcoming, accommodating and helpful.
We got to Nile River Explorers and set up camp right by the River Nile and the view was spectacular. This camp site was perched on top of a hill overlooking the Nile and was the perfect place to watch the sun go down.
There were eagles, monkeys and a huge selection of birds surrounding the camp site and the bar was the best place to spot all of the wild life.
The weather on day two wasn’t great, it was pouring with rain all morning, something I wasn’t expecting whilst in Africa but of course after a chat to people we soon realised it was rainy season. Something I should’ve googled before arriving?
Nile River Explorers offers lots of activities, lots of white water rafting and kayaking down the rapids but we opted to hire our own kayaks and go out on the Nile ourselves.
For $20USD we got a kayak for two hours and we all went once the rain passed and kayaked around the small islands on the Nile. The current was quite strong at times but the variety of birds made for some good viewing along the shore. It was a lovely afternoon spent on an iconic river.
One of the highlights of Jinja was doing a village walk as this gave me an opportunity to see the ‘real’ Jinga. Augustus picked us up from the camp site and took us for a walk around the village and to his land nearby. Firstly, he showed us around his garden which was filled with all sorts of vegetation.
There was lots of coffee trees which is Uganda’s biggest export. Unfortunately for them they sell 1kg of coffee for just $1.50USD which is so bad considering a coffee in London cost £2.50! But he said that is the price in which the buyers buy it for and there’s not much they can do about it.
There were peanut plants, banana trees, lemongrass, pineapple plants and lots and lots of other vegetation.
During the walk several of the local children joined us, they just wanted to follow along, say hello, play with us, sing for us and just generally have a laugh. These kids don’t have a lot but they were so happy and content with their lot in life.
Augustus took us back to his house where all of the ladies had made a delicious meal for us of cabbage, beans, bananas that tasted like potatoes and it was all fresh from the garden. It was such a brilliant morning and it was so good to see the village and the people.
The last activity in Jinja was sunset yoga at the campsite. It was the perfect setting, as the sun set over the River Nile a yoga teacher from the village took myself and Kristina for an hour. After spending a week in the tent it was good to give my body a good stretch. It was perfect.
Jinja was a fantastic stop off in Uganda but it was one step closer to the gorillas which was next.
Next stop: Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
Here is a video of my time in Kenya and Uganda