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Africa » Uganda » Western Region » Kasese
September 24th 2013
Published: August 9th 2017
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Africa! A different continent, a different culture, a different landscape and a different experience.
After quite a bit of time travelling in Asia, we were looking for a bit of change.
Besides the North, Africa is most probably one of the least visited continents in the world, and it's understandable with some of the issues in some countries. That's what makes it so unfortunate because I believe that Africa has so much to offer.
Those who step out of their comfort zone are rewarded with amazing opportunities that cannot be sought in any other place, once in a life time opportunities.
We embarked on our 3 week trip, a little shorter than we are used to, Uganda and Rwanda.
Anna's best friend is working one year in Rwanda, so there was no better excuse than to go and visit.

Our first day didn't go to well, a true introduction to third world travel. Getting ripped off, constant delays, no water in our accommodation when all we wanted was a shower and sleep after travelling non stop since we left the UK. Even being handed a baby by a local lady while she left the bus, leaving us to be perplexed and paranoid, but she returned, only when the bus started to move to our relief.
I am glad to say everything got better from then on as we made our way south to a place called the Crater Lakes near Kibale National Park. We got the chance to take our first Boda Boda along the famous red dirt roads.
We arrived at one of the main lakes where we had the chance to relax and plan what we wanted to do. Africa gives you the opportunity to camp and we had taken a tent with us and decided to stay along one of the lakes among three different species of monkey. From there we walked about 30 min to a lookout called 'Top of the world' which looks over other crater lakes.

The following day we took a 45 min Boda Boda ride to Kibale National Park for some Chimpanzee Tracking. What an experience to look forward to. Within minutes of walking in to the forest we had seen our first Chimps, high in the trees. It was a challenge to see them sometimes, one had to watch or hear the branches moving. After 20 minutes your neck is feeling the strain of constantly looking up but the allure of seeing one of these amazing animals in its natural environment is enough to push through the pain barrier.
After several high pitched monkey screams echoed through the forest, one of the chimp groups descended to the forest floor, just mere meters away and yet they did not feel phased with our presence or even the fact that we were walking behind them as they moved to a different area.
After almost two hours looking upwards from a distance, to be standing a few meters away and to watch the chain of command that they demonstrate when moving along the ground was incredible.

We pushed on further south after returning back, and managed to get a ride on a single Boda Boda (Imagine; three people, two big backpacks, two small bags, going way too fast on dirt road plagued with pot holes and bumps with a looming thunderstorm ahead), but as horrible and dangerous as it was, the adventure and experience is what you also savour and enjoy in these countries.
We arrived in the foothills of the highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains and Kasese. By now we knew the routine of waiting on average of about an hour for our food to be ready and that restaurants in towns are pretty much non existent, completely different to Asia.
There was no time to visit the mountain range which is constantly covered in cloud, as we had a deadline to meet, with in a few days were were going to be tracking the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park and we wanted to visit Queen Elizabeth National Park and had a lot of kilometres still left ahead.

Queen Elizabeth Park was our next destination and our first safari experience. Within 10 minutes of entering the park we were already snapping pictures of warthogs, deer's and elephants, not to forget about the Hippo that ran across the road and then slipped over only to bounce back up from his pot-belly of a stomach and continued running, most probably embarrassed, into the bushes. It seemed we had already done a game drive just by driving from the entrance to the accommodation on the Mweya Peninsula.
Our main reason for visiting the national park was to do the boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which connects two great lakes within the national park. Astonishingly the price for this two hour trip is only $25 per person.

The accommodation area offers amazing views over the channel where you were able to already see a bounty of animals on the banks of the river. We took the 3pm boat as the weather formed its daily routine of rain at about 4pm. The rain was hardly noticeable as we were fixated by the large quantities of different animals we saw in the space of two hours.
Elephants, hippo's, buffalo, eagles, crocodiles, deer, a lizard, a snake and a huge array of birds including pink pelicans. This is definitely a trip worth recommending for anyone.

We had had an amazing few days already and our next stop was Bwindi National Park to track the mountain Gorilla's, it was to be one of the highlights of the trip.

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