Uganda

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July 06, 2012. The river Nile has crossed my path a couple of times already on this journey. – Or should I say ‘I’ve crossed the Nile a couple of times already?’
I crossed the Victoria Lake which is source to the Nile, the Victoria Nile. I saw it again in Murchison Falls. And a little later as Albert Nile heading back to Kampala.
In Ethiopia I went through Blue Nile Gorge, saw the Blue Nile flow out of Lake Tana, and visited the Blue Nile Falls a few kilometers down in Tis Isat.
The Nile and I lost touch for the past few weeks. But that’s all forgotten now: With my arrival in Khartoum (or even a few hours South of town in Wadi Madani where the road crosses the White Nile) we met again and we won’t part again for at least two or three weeks.
On the journey from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa I will stop in Bagrawiya and Karima to see pyramids that might just outshine their famous siblings in Egypt. And after crossing Lake Nasser into Egypt on a ferry I will see whether that theory holds true when I visit Aswan, Luxor and finally Cairo.
The Nile and I shall only part when it joins the Mediterranean in Alexandria. Inshallah!

I see a river in my future

June 07, 2012. Today this Africa trip is bound to take a turn for the more adventurous again. After getting used to have lots of choice when it came to bus services in Southern and Eastern Africa there is only one company that offers a bus to the Kenya – Ethiopia border town of Moyale. And the lack of competition is reflected in the vehicles used. So I embark on a 24h journey to the border followed by another almost 24h on the bus to Addis Ababa.
I have not only been able to secure the Sudan visa in Kampala, I also received my Ethiopia visa from the embassy here in Nairobi yesterday. The head of the consular section at the Egyptian embassy in Kampala furthermore guaranteed that I would receive a visa for his country at any border crossing. So that makes it official: Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and after that it’s back to Good Ol’ Europe.

The countdown begins

May 28, 2012. Uganda had a lot to offer: the graceful gorillas of Bwindi, the majestic Rwenzori Mountains, mad boda-boda rides through Murchisan Falls and the traffic chaos of Kampala were just some of the highlights I got to enjoy.
Kenya promises to be a lot more touristic again. But rather than more safaris I am looking forward to a last visit to the Indian Ocean and some more Swahili culture before I move on to the last three African countries on this trip.

Leaving Uganda

May 20, 2012. As they say: Some girls have all the luck. Today I had the rare opportunity to see some of the last remaining 800 Mountain Gorillas. Mountain Gorillas can’t be kept in captivity and their natural habitat lies in the mountain ranges of Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda. Out of these Uganda and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest have the most successful gorilla conservation project with numbers actually going up.
But not only was I lucky being in Bwindi I also found a travel companion whose travel karma should be a very, very good one: he offered to lend me the 500 USD required to visit. Some girls have all the luck.
Next I’ll circle via the Rwenzori Mountains and Murchison Falls back to Kampala. If I’m even more lucky a Sudanese visa will be waiting there for me.

Monkey business

May 12, 2012. As a traveler it is always good to see that even the seemingly most impossible places can be done without a tour operator – and at a lower price. It was like that when we decided to visit Mount Kilimanjaro and today when we went to see one of Tanzania’s favorite National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Cradle of Mankind, Olduvai (Oldupai) Gorge, is one of the lesser know but still worthwhile attractions of the park. Most people come here for the incredible wealth of fauna in a very small space. I had visited once before on my first Africa visit but was nevertheless impressed all over again.
This time we made our way on public transport to Karatu just outside the park, found a driver / guide (mandatory) and some more travel companions to share the cost. End ended up spending less that 150 USD per head for the park. Feel free to compare this to any tour operator…
Next up is a big bit of driving: I’ll take another boat. This time the ferry will take me from Mwanza across Lake Victoria almost to the border of Uganda.

Traveler’s delight