Overland Day 5: Uganda
Has it really only been five days? Every single day has been jam packed with new experiences and it feels like I’ve been on the truck for weeks rather than mere days.
I’m currently in Uganda, suffering after a mad night out, two hours sleep and then a morning trip to Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria. We crossed the border from Kenya to Uganda yesterday afternoon and it was a pretty long driving day to get to our campsite (Red Chilli Hideaway). There are differences between Kenya and Uganda which were immediately apparent: Uganda is so much more green, the style of the houses is different … even the people look/dress differently. Kampala is a hectic city and driving through it is madness but the campsite here is lovely. There are even some resident Vervet monkeys!
Here’s what I’ve been up to over the past week:
Day 2 – Horribly early start at 4.30am but for a good reason: Lake Nakuru National Park safari! Incredible. It really was everything I thought it would be, and more. Highlight of the day: came across eight white rhino stood by the road side and one of them crossed the road right in front of us. AHHH! I can’t even begin to explain how it felt to see this. Other animals we spotted: water buffalo, impala, gazelle, giraffe, black rhino, hyena, waterback, tons of different birds, baboons, other monkeys, zebra… No lions yet!
Day 3 – Driving day from Nakuru to Eldoret, which is over 7000ft above sea level. We had a birthday on board so lots of celebrationy type things!
Day 4 – Crossed the Kenya-Uganda border. Had to change money at the border and now I understand what it is to be bombarded by a crowd of touts – intimidating! Also starting to get super confused by all the different currencies. By Ugandan standards I am a millionaire by the way 🙂 Super long drive to Kampala but managed to pull my socks up and get ready for a night out on the time with some of the guys on the truck. Went out with the best intentions of having a quick drink, dance and home by 1.30am but of course that didn’t happen. Drank a lot, danced a lot, managed to fit in a car with nine other people … good times!
Day 5 – Managed to pull myself out of bed after two hours sleep to get a ride to Entebbe, where we hopped on a boat out to Chimpanzee Island. I hate boats but coped surprisingly well. There was even a storm and I didn’t freak out! Probably too tired. Got back around 2pm and we’re in for a relaxed evening.
I wish I could write about all this in more detail but I just don’t have the time. I’m writing in my travel journal every day though, so I’ll be able to revisit all this. Internet access is not easy to come by so as much as I wanted to be on the ball and blogging about everything, I’m afraid it will just have to be small updates like this whenever I can. Photos are difficult to upload so I will probably have to leave them until I get to Cape Town.
Anyway, I am absolutely loving this trip so far. Everyone on the truck is fantastic, and our guide and driver are absolute stars. Africa is so so different to anything I have ever known. Sometimes it is difficult to digest everything that I see. The people are incredible and I’ve never waved or smiled at so many strangers in my life before.