Had an early morning start, since I had to get to the backpackers hostel before 8:30 for a safari to Murchison Falls. Got there and found there was no trip today. Bummer. I didn't confirm yesterday, because of the all day rafting. Now I have to wait at least another day, but most likely two.
But hey! They have wifi. Slow, but it kind of works, though uploading photos is slow. So, it's a good time to update the travel blog.
Went back to the booking office and to make a long story short ... there was a cancellation for Gorilla Tracking tomorrow. So, I took the opportunity and paid up. It's Expensive! The governments of Uganda and Rwanda charge $500 park fees per person, and the safari companies add enormous accomodation and transportation charges on top of that.
Used some of the remaining time in the day to visit the Kasubi Tombs, a Unesco World Heritage site. The Kingdom of Buganda is over 800 years old. The Kasubi Tombs of the Historic Kingdom of Buganda is the site where several Bugandan Kabaka or kings are buried. Actually, their tradition says the Kabaka - well since their dead,
Ssekabaka - disappear. That's right. The kings aren't buried. They disapear.
The first king to be buried here, Kabaka Muteesa, had 86 wives. He worked well with the British. His 3rd son, known as Kabaka Mwanga had only 72 wives. The tradition was the first sons had to look after the family, and thus could not become Kabaka. The British exiled Kabaka Mwanga to the Seychelles because he objected to the Christian missionaries. The Anglican missionaries told him not to trust the Catholic missionaries and their false faith. Well, the Catholic missionaries told him not to trust the Anglican missionaries and their version of God. So he agreed with both, and rejected both groups. Well, the British didn't take kindly to that.
When he died in exile, the British were forced to allow his body to disapear at Kasubi, because the Bugandans refused to work in the coffee and cotton plantations until their Ssekabaka came home. Traditionally, Kabaka are buried where they lived, but exile was not in their tradition.
Kabaka Mwanga's last son was made Kabaka by the British, because he was just over a year old at the time. Is this where the expression taking
candy from a baby comes from? In this case, taking Buganda using a baby. The baby grew up under British tutelage and after graduating from Sandhurst, joined the British in battle in the first European war of the 20th century against the Turks and the Germans. He only took one wife.
The Bugandan Kabaka built their palaces on high ground near large bodies of water. It's easier to defend high ground, and if you lose, you can escape onto islands which are even easier to defend. Kingdoms are different than chieftains, in that the community can reject a chief who gets out of line or becomes unpopular. Can't do the same with a Kabaka.
Yes, it's a Unesco World Heritage Site. But, in 2010, somebody burned the main burial structure down. Most likely due to local politics. It's in the process of being rebuilt using only original local building materials and traditional techniques. Two small test buildings were erected on the grounds, but did not meet Unesco standards, because they used bricks and cement and put windows in the buildings.
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