Monday, July 22, 2013

Uganda - The Pearl of Africa

A friend from Stanford visited last week and I spontaneously decided to join a group of interns from all over Africa to go rafting in Uganda. After an important deadline Thursday evening my colleague and I took the freedom to take Friday off and decided to opted to Kampala by bus. Flying was much more expensive and a 9hr bus ride during the day might actually be nice (... or so I thought before the trip).

Our JAGUAR bus
Border Crossing
On the way to Kampala
Leaving the house at 4:45am meant too little sleep, a seat pitch of about 10cm meant cramps all over my body, only stopping twice meant depriving oneself of much needed water in order not feel like going to the bathroom. Well, and the 9hrs turned our to be 11,5hrs. I was ready to fly the way back (but ended up taking the bus again - One can do so many cooler things with the 150 EUR a ticket would have cost!)

After meeting up with the group in Kampala we went out for some West African food (Mama Ashanti - highly recommended) and a couple of drinks in a nice, but very expaty place.  The next day we were picked up early again to drive to Jinja, a place that calls itself the adventure capital of Africa, and that has some awesome grade 5 rafting on the White Nile.

Beginning of Rafting
Jumping off the raft
IT WAS GREAT!!!! Even though I'm not a water person it was amazing to raft the wild waters and to do backflips from the raft in the calmer areas. Going rafting in Uganda doesn't sound too natural, but I can assure you all it was great.

Luckily the crocodilesusually frequenting the nile have been scared away by dynamite fishing (one of the few times when I actually approved of that practice ;-)). So no immediate threats by dangerous animals. One guy in our boat had a waterproof camera with amazing quality. See for yourself how it was and feel free to become jealous!

The evening was spent talking, eating and drinking on the banks of the Nile and on Sunday we all headed our ways. I must have been too eager to get home and forgot my phone in Jinja. Luckily I realized it in Kampala, arranged a transfer and changed my bus ticket from noon to 4pm. Alright, no big deal, until I was told that they forgot to give my phone to the driver, ok, changed the bus to 8pm and visited some Kampala sights. At 7:45pm I was beginning to worry: where is the delivery guy? Do I really have to take the 1am bus? At 8:03pm they closed the bus doors (without me). I would have never expected that in Africa... I mean I was surprised that there actually are schedules. At 8:04pm the guy shows up with my phone, I run and catch the bus at the first traffic light and still get on. All sweaty, but oh well!

Nile River
So here I am now, the only muzungu (white person) on the bus, sitting in the very back (note to myself: never never never sit in the back... It's SO bumpy) and await another 11hr journey including a 3am crossing of the Uganda-Rwanda border.

At least 30minutes are already over due to the blog entry. I'll try to sleep now.

Cheers + bis bald,


  1. sounds like fun- and yes: made me jealous! xx

  2. Nice trip. - Keep on like this, but take care of your mobile phone.