Kisoro - Kampala via Lake Bunyoni - 23rd - 26th April 2011
Crossing the border took longer than we'd hoped and we rethought our original plan to drive to Lake Bunyoni as it involved 3 hours on a fairly tough road. As it happened, due to an intermittent phone signal and an inability to get directions, we spent about that long driving round Kisoro trying to find somewhere to stay.
The next day we set off through winding roads, over lush green hills whose sides were covered with a patchwork of fields clinging precariously the slopes.
Lake Bunyoni was a bit of a disappointment. Not the lake itself which was beautiful, but the ear-splitting music blasting out of the Bunyoni Overland Resort. We weren't actually staying there but it was audible from miles away. We had been hoping to see some otters here but apparently they have relocated ...
There is a bit of a rattle coming from the car so we have headed to Kampala to get it looked at.
Kampala to Murchison Falls and back to Kampala - 27th April - 1st May 2011
All the vehicle workshops in Kampala we had details for had apparently closed or were no longer recommended. We had the universal joints on the front propshaft changed by what looked like a half decent workshop but after only about 120 kms later on our way north to Murchison Falls National Park, the front prop shaft came off with a loud bang. Jerry was able to patch things up and we decided to carry on to Murchison in two wheeel drive.
The park was good, not spectacular, but we saw a few things we'd never seen before; kob antelope (in big numbers) and patas monkeys. We also went on a launch trip up the Nile to Murchison falls. This is apparently the most powerful waterfall in the world with the Nile squeezing through a small gap and the boat was not able to get too close.
On the way out of the park early the next morning we stopped off at Budongo Forest to track the resident chimps. We found them high up in a fig tree. It was fascinating to watch them watch us and interact with each other. It was also lovely to walk in the forest which was cool and dappled in sunlight.
Our final destination in the area was Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where they are breeding white rhino with the ultimate aim of repatriating rhino into Ugandan parks. As there are no other dangerous animails in the reserve you are able to track the rhinos on foot and we spent an hour with Nandi (who hailed from Disneyland in the USA) and her son Obama (his father is Kenyan and his mother, American ...). It was amazing to be up close to these huge beasts.
Kampala to Fort Portal and back to Kampala - 2nd - 10th May 2011
We found a decent mechanic in Kampala, had the car repaired and serviced and we were back on the road, this time to the Fort Portal area, which is famous for it's crater lakes, and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
We spent a couple of days relaxing at Lake Nkuruba, a beautiful place with a dark green lake nestled at the bottom of steep forested slopes. We decided not to go to Queen Elizabeth NP and headed back to Kampala - where the political situation was a bit tense ahead of the swearing in of the "new" president (Museveni has been in power since 1986 and opposition is growing)- to iron out some remaining clunks in the Landy's suspension ("A" frame ball joint) before heading off to Kenya.
Although we did not feel in any danger, the heavy police/army presence with armoured cars and water cannons at major road junctions, fly pasts by helicopter gunships and the roughing up of opposition politicians did not make for a relaxing atmosphere. After some shopping in one of the best bookstores we have found in Africa we left Kampala and headed to Jinja (the source of the Nile and a kayaking and white-water rafting Mecca) en route to the Kenyan border.