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Our travel to the source of the NILE!

Kampala, Uganda

So we said farewell to Tanzania and boarded our plane to Kampala, Uganda.
Thinking we had escaped the madness of Dar, we landed in Kampala and it turned out to be just crazy…
our hotel was smack bang in the middle of the city and there are people, cars and just chaos everywhere… admittedly we freaked out and headed to Jinja the next day….Old peaceful bagamoyo seemed a distant paradise away…!

So we boarded a shared taxi, which is basically a beaten up old mini bus that we found can hold at least thirty people inside and even more out! (Jen ren we think you get claustrophobic just thinking about it)

PLUS there are no toilet stops for a 4 hr trip, so Gret demanded to stop a few times while the local men had a laugh and ogle out the window… !
Arrived at Jinja and immediately booked into a full day white water rafting on the White Nile for the following day…basically so Gret wouldn’t have anytime to freak out!So we took on the 30kms of Grade 4 and 5 rapids and a lot of paddling in between…Basically its hard to explain what its like to be flipped out of a raft into the raging waters and being sucked under for what felt like eternity (well to Gret anyway!) and then popping up miles down stream….Our guide was fantastic and lived on the adrenaline of being sucked under for up to 20 seconds…fun??!!

And because of this, Gret adamantly refused to stay in the raft for our last rapid, ‘The Bad Place!’ and went down in the safety raft instead!!
(Fliss & Hame you would know what we mean…sadly we couldn’t find the G - spot!! AND Jem missed out on his action DVD because none of the other cheap travelers wanted one !!)

After beers on the truck ride home and massive BBQ with our new rafting friends, we actually hit the sack, exhausted at 7pm…embarrassing!!

The next day we were onto our new adventure….Quad Biking!! (This was definitely Jem’s weekend!)
It was just the two of us and our guide “Herbert”, who soon realised on the training laps with Jem doing mono’s that we needed some speed…
So we flew around tiny villages for the 2 hour safari waving and just generally trying to impress the local kids! They loved it! They would see us coming and run to the track to try and give us high fives and even jump on if we let them. If we slowed down near the kids they would run along after us and hold on to the bikes until their little arms just couldn’t take it any longer. We knew we were really out in rural Uganda when the poor little kids with their bloated bellies would hold their hands out for food as we went past! That’s when we started to feel a little bad, until we were reassured that part of our payment for the Quads goes towards the local communities through education and health programs… but its always hard to see little kids like that…

After having all that excitement, we realised there was not much else for us in Jinja, so after another 4 hours crammed into a mini bus, we arrived at Sipi Falls at the base of Mt Elgon.

We thought it was about time for a bit of R & R, so we stayed in luxury bandas right on the top of the falls, overlooking a huge gorge…it was what we imagine the Grand Canyon to be like! Pretty damn spectacular… and all this for the cheap price of 180 000 shillings (or $US 110) a night, it would want to be!!
Plus we had the whole place to ourselves!
But instead of R & R, Jem made us trek down to the falls and through the canyon… We had 5 little local boys following us and picking up Gret when she fell! Of course, hoping for some reimbursement at the end… (you always just give in!) The falls and the area is just beautiful and of course no photo will do it justice…As we were leaving, we flicked through the visitor book and saw that Sarah Richards had stayed there on 15th feb 06… (Hamilton girl) …crazy hey?!Now after another 8 hr cramped mini bus ride, we are back in Kampala & waiting for our gorilla trek to begin…

Love Jem & Gret

permalink written by  jem_gret on February 7, 2007 from Kampala, Uganda
from the travel blog: East Africa and beyond....
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Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!
Can't wait to discuss in detail on your return.
Love, Dad & Mum.

permalink written by  ian ellis on February 7, 2007

sounds like my kind of fun....way to go!Gret you amaze us more and more with what you are doing. keep pushing her Jem. Enjoy the gorillas...that should be an experinece to remember. Blog is fantastic. Loking ofrward to your return. Love R & J

permalink written by  Rod Holmberg on February 8, 2007

Wow! I am really enjoying 'travelling' with you. And I am 'green with envy'. What a wonderful trip you are having.
Keep enjoying every moment.
Life in Melbourne is: watering our gardens twice a week, going to work Monday to Friday, watching the one day cricket finals, walking the dog, shopping at the local market and spending time with friend - a bit mundane in comparison with the African experiences!
Safe travels and look forward to seeing you back in melbourne
Lots of love

permalink written by  Wendy McComas on February 9, 2007

Fabulous exeriences-life changing perspectives...can't wait to hear more!
Having a great weekend with Ian and Bindi. We have been golfing and partying since they flew in on Fri.
All Forsyths are happy ..wedding invite awaits your return.
love etc
R & G xxxx

permalink written by  R Forsyth on February 9, 2007

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