Yes, yes my dears we are alive…!!! We are in deepest darkest Africa now and Uganda is…well…not quite the perfect 10 I hoped for. On the outset the place was about as mysterious as Africa can get. Uganda. Land of the Head Hunters, Gorillas, Lake Victoria, Idi Amin, The LRA and its current news worthiness due to the border with the D.R. Congo.

Kampala, (named after the ubiquitus Impala) has its airport 40km away in Entebbe. Well done fellas! Makes my life really easy. Its dusty, smelly, overcrowded with people, positively dire traffic congestion – the worst I’ve ever seen and the best Indian food outside of India. We caught up with Carragh and Ivan, friends of Jeanne’s. Ivan being a Ugandan chappie and a pleasure to go out for a “few” beers with. (It was he who gave us the Ugandan names of the post. Mine being Buffalo and Jeanne’s being the bird that sits on the Buffalo’s back.) We like them. I positively enjoyed their company in the first few days in Kampala. They were a great help to get oriented and a huge source of advise. Boda Boda’s are far more enjoyable after a few beers!

Off to Fort Portal (Port Fortal) to volunteer with Camara and see some Chimps. Camara Uganda was interesting. Lots to do out there but little time. We did however roll out 2 new Ubuntu servers in 3 days – not bad! The guys out there were most welcoming. On to Kibale National Park to see the Chimps. ehhh NO!!! The camp site was (sorry kids) SHITE. We decided not to stay as ammenities were awful at best I was gutted as we left knowing the Chimps and Forest Elephants were in the park I was walking out of. Upsetting as the harder we try to see wildlife the harder it gets. In dismay we hitched to the crater lakes 30km north west of us and stayed over night in a basic Banda. We were thrilled to see Black & White Colobus, Red Colobus and Vervet Monyeys and loads of birds we’d not seen before.

It was Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria for Xmas. It was very nice. Brand new Banda, white sands, average food, COLD BEER, and good company – Rick & Bonnie. We stayed there after getting the ferry out for 5 days then headed out to an even more remote place – Banda Island. I cant really describe Banda except to say that IT’S FULL OF HIPPIE NUTTERS including the OWNER. Various things being passed to the left including the Kenyan Mzungu owner’s Banana Juice – Banana Moonshine. 2 days was enough in a tent there before my sanity started to wane.

xmas-day-ssese-islands1malacite-kingfisherbanda-island-kitchen

Uganda has been strange for me. The people are the happiest and most contented I’ve ever seen. But, try and get them to do something… It’s like trying to get a drunk Hippo to paint. We return to Uganda in March or so and then I can surmise further. It would be unfair to give it full judgment now so watch this space.

Tomorrow,we head back to Mali for 5 weeks,  Peter & Sabina and the Festivals. I can’t wait…

muni – Chagulani

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