This post is the first of a set of publications which will describe the last trip I did in East Africa, back in August, leading me to Zanzibar and back again.
My stay in Uganda was, as expected, going to end and leaving East Africa without visiting Kenya and Tanzania was surely not an option.
The initial plan was to go to Nairobi (the capital of Kenya) first, head South to Dar Es Salaam (the capital of Tanzania) then cross the Dar Es Salaam Bay by ferry to reach Zanzibar and then return to Kampala in a similar fashion. But, as you will read, the trip, mainly the return, did not go as planned.
Once having discussed with my boss the precise dates of my trip, planned the locations and contacted my hosts, it was time for my camera, my backpack and me to start the long trip by leaving Kampala to get to the first destination: Nairobi.
The route from Kampala to Nairobi by bus is quite frequented making it rather comfortable and safe; the only exception being, as usual, the border where it is required to cross it by foot and stand in a long queue at both the emigration and immigration office, even in the middle of the night.
Left Kampala at 8pm and arrived at 8am on a rather comfortable bus helped dealing with the new busy and chaotic city. Nairobi has the look of a very East African city, with areas being extremely different from each other: from muddy slums to extremely modern malls.
Village Market in Nairobi
And as you can understand from the pattern I use in the titles, the game drive ended without us being able to see any lion.
Our guides also went to get a ranger for tracking the felines, but luck wasn’t on our side this time. Once we got to the place where they were supposed to be staying, we just found lonely bushes and grass, without any sort of cat.
After an hour, we just gave up as it was time to catch the ferry which would bring us to the other side of the river Nile for lunch.
Today I will publish 2 posts as tomorrow I will leave for my Rwanda-Burundi trip and I will not be able to publish anything for few days.
I can say we have been both lucky and unlucky; lucky because we managed to see some elephants, unlucky because they were quite far from us. I know it is not much of a big deal, but other tourists had the chance to see them really close to them.
Due to them being far, I couldn’t grasp much of their behaviour; but I am pretty sure I will see them again some time soon!
I must say I was quite surprised when I first saw a giraffe in real life. Of course, I knew they were very tall, I read it gazillion of times and saw loads of pictures, but being just few meters away made a huge difference. Even the smallest one, a baby giraffe, was tall compared to us (or our van).
We saw them in 2 occasions and got to take pictures both from afar and very close-by. Although they tended to not get too close to us, they seemed to be very interested in us; especially the baby giraffe, which literally stood on the road in front of us, just facing us.
After a well-deserved rest at the lodge, our group woke up at 6am for the game drive. Our group was split in 2 safari vans (with a very large sunroof) and we moved around the park.
The drive, more or less 3 hours long, had very exciting moments, such as seeing giraffes and buffalos from very close, and other much more quiet ones, where we would just drive on the dusty road in search of some new animal.
We got extremely close to a herd of buffalos, they didn’t seem to much bothered by us taking pictures or the vans themselves. They mainly stood there looking at us with our cameras.
After the Rhino Sanctuary, we headed for a short stop at the Karuma Falls.
From this point on, we will be more or less following the river Nile to get to the Murchison Falls.
On the way to the falls, just after the bridge which brought on the other side of the Nile, we met a congress of baboons just next to the road. They were not scared at all, we were literally 1 mt away from them; and, among the group, there were also a mother with 2 young baboons.
It was just amazing, I was so close to them and, thanks to the zoom of my lens, I could get even closer. We had just few minutes before the group moved on and so did we.
The waterfall was very large and loud. They are planning to buy an electric dam just on it, so we might be among the last people to see the falls in its natural beauty, before being spoiled by man-made constructions.
Here we go!
Last week has been quite of a pain in terms of connectivity. I had little connection and I could not post/upload anything; so I need to catch up!
Two weekends ago, some friends and I went to a tour at Murchison Falls; it was a 3-day tour departing from Kampala, passing by the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and then heading to the Murchison Falls national park for a game drive and, on the last day, for chimpanzee tracking.
I probably don’t even need to tell that this was by far the most amazing trip I have ever done! It was incredibly well-planned and our group was great (our whole group was composed by several groups merging together); we had so much fun together!
Our trip started in Kampala at 8am and our first stop was the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, on the way to Murchison Falls. It is the only place where it is possible to see white rhinos in Uganda.
It is a very quiet and well-kept place. It is even possible to ‘adopt’ a rhino and name it as you wish (for a donation); so there were rhinos with quite interesting and funny names (one was named Obama, as its mom was Kenyan and the father from US).