The second country on the East African leg of our trip was Uganda and we first arrived in the town of Entebbe on the banks of Lake Victoria before moving to the capital, Kampala.
Uganda has been in the world news in recent weeks with some small elements of unrest caused by rising food and fuel costs causing financial difficulties to the lower classes. After first becoming president in 1986 and now holding the leading post for 25 years, the president Museveni was re-elected in the Feb 2011 elections for another five years. There is a strong sense of corruption, vote fixing and bribary which helped keep Museveni the presidency but the feeling amongst the people is not dissimilar to what is happening in some of the North African and Middle Eastern countries - the people want change, true & fair democracy and rid of the corrupt dictatorships which have ruled for so long.
Our ten days in Uganda exceeded all expectations and we fell in love with it immediately. We divided our time between four core areas, 1) Kampala, the capital, 2) Murchison Falls National Park in the North West of the country bordering The D.R. Congo and
South Sudan, 3) Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the South East of the country bordering The D.R. Congo and Rwanda and finally, 4) Jinja, in East Uganda, the town famous for being the source of the River Nile.
One of the highlights of our trip was camping on the banks of the river nile in the Murchison Falls national park. The sunrises and sunsets were amazing and there were all kinds of animals on the riverbank and around our camp. We spent a day fishing so that Benn could try and catch a 'Nile Perch', the fish that this area of Uganda is famous for. What an amazing day, not only did Benn manage to catch a Nile Perch but we had Elephants, Crocs, Hippos, Eagles and many other amazing animals around us all day. Fishing with twenty hippos next to your boat is quite a surreal experience!
Another one of the highlights of Uganda and our trip so far was our experience trekking with the Mountain Gorillas in the Bwindi National Park. Bwindi was a 530km and 12 hour drive from the capital, Kampala. We seen some amazing sights along the way including a stop at the
equator which was cool. Our drive to Bwindi took us right through the Queen Elizabeth National Park so not only were we travelling to our destination but we got a free safari along the way seeing more Elephants and all kinds of animals including a Black Mamba snake which slid across the road right in front of our truck!
We realised how unfit we are as we climbed up and down the hills of the Bwindi forests but this was worth every second when we caught our fist glimpse of the Gorilla's. There are only 600 wild Mountain Gorilla's left on the planet and these are divided between the forests of Rwanda, Congo and the Bwindi National Park in Uganda. The forest that we were in accounts for half of the remaining population, being home to around 30 families of 300 Gorilla's. The Gorilla family that we visited was called the 'Habinyanja Group' which was made up of 20 gorilla's led by one huge male silverback and two other large males. There was one baby of 5 months which was extremely cute but the most playful were the juveniles around 4-5 years old who are constantly play-fighting with each
other, climbing trees, swinging from vines etc. We spent an hour just a few metres from the group and it was a totally amazing experience that we will never forgot.
Uganda has so much to see and offer, we highly recommend that you take some time to visit this awesome country in future.
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