Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

We’re not out of Africa yet, we’re in Egypt, which has a distinctive Northern African/Middle Eastern feel. And so it feels as though we’ve left Africa behind us now, although the continent will surely stay with us for years to come.

We’ve covered roughly 20,000 km overland, across 12 different countries (excluding Egypt), not really knowing what to expect as we moved from one to the next. We enjoyed every country we visited, but a few definitely stand out in our minds, namely Namibia for its spectacular desert scenery, Malawi for it’s warm and friendly people, and Ethiopia for it’s unique culture and breathtaking mountains.

Here are some of the small things that will remind us of our time in Africa:

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The source of the White Nile is near the town of Jinja, Uganda. A series of waterfalls and dams marks the start of the mightly river which runs from Lake Victoria all the way up to the Mediterranean. It is here, near Jinja, where some of the world’s best whitewater rafting exists. Since we missed out on the opportunity to raft on the Zambezi river near Vic Falls (because the water level was too high), we decided that rafting here would be a more than adequate consolation.

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So many village children happy to see us!

As we crossed back into Uganda after our gorilla adventure, we had an opportunity to take a boat across Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa. On the way, we would make a stop at a small village to visit a community of Batwa pygmies. The pygmies are traditionally a forest-dwelling people, but in the past few decades they have been displaced by deforestation and by the creation of national parks. Unfortunately, they shared much of their habitat with the mountain gorillas, and although this wasn’t detrimental to either the gorillas or the pygmies, the government decreed that no people were to dwell in the gorilla’s protected lands, and the pygmies were relocated to small parcels of land throughout Uganda. This has had a very negative impact on them, since they’ve been forced to adopt a settled, agricultural lifestyle, after hundreds of years living as nomadic hunter-gatherers. The tour that we were taking was meant to raise awareness for their situation, as well as provide some monetary support to help with land purchases and other necessities.

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News from Uganda

Watching the BBC in the lobby of our hotel in Addis this morning, we heard some shocking news of bombs going off last night in Kampala, Uganda. One of them went off in an Ethiopian restaurant, where people were watching the final World Cup game. Suspicions are on a Somali rebel group, but nothing is confirmed yet. It’s devastating news and our sympathies go out to the people of Kampala, where we so recently visited. We just wanted to post quickly to let everyone know that we were not affected: moms and dads: try not to worry, we’re ok.