After having crossed the border to Rwanda in Busia, I took the next Matatu (mini bus) to Jinja where the Nile starts. There, I stayed with a lovely family at the Nile Vocational Institute (a little bit like a university campus), played a lot with the coolest little dude on campus – little Rephi, talked to the students, and visited the nursery school. 😃 Oh, and you should check out the Children’s Art Museum by my host Daniel Atwenda when nearby.
Other than that, I met up with my friend Sascha from Germany and also with the project group of Ring of Hope Uganda. We had a seminar on drug & alcohol addiction and visited the street kids (lunch & play time) as well as some of the sponsored children. Very interesting, but also thoughtful days… Make sure to check out their website in order to get more information on their good cause.
After a week, we left Jinja and went on to Kampala – the capital city of Uganda. It’s a huge, very noisy and crowded African city but it has some interesting historical places. And the best of it all was the house of Gaddafi by whom we were hosted in Kasasi – a bunch of very friendly, welcoming people whom it was fun to hang out with.
Crossing Fort Portal on my way to Kasese, I was able to drive through some stunning scenery – the beginnings of the Rwenzori mountain range. Having arrived in Kasese, I stayed with a lovely family, went with them to the river and the hot springs, and visited the mountains for a hike near Kilembe, an old mining town.
On our way down South, we passed some spectacular scenery with green hills, lakes, and even animals from the Queen Elizabeth National Park. And the best thing: the Kazinga Wilderness Safari Camp – a lodge in the wild – let us stay for a night in order to experience their amazing cottages with huge beds and outdoor shower, the delicious dinner in their restaurant, and the wild animals around. You should definitely check this one out if you’re in the region for a vacation!
Passing through Mbarara with its typical longhorn cattle, I went on to Kabale where I stayed one night. From here, I went with a lovely Mexican couple to Lake Bunyonyi where we rented a boat, did an island tour, completed a hike to the top view, and spent a night at the island of Itambira.
The next day, we went to the mainland on the other side of the lake in order to visit the Orphanage Smiling Hearts deep up in the hills. The kids welcomed us with singing and dancing before we had English class and lunch together. And of course, they also got some presents and donations from us before we left again to go back to Kabale in order to finally cross the border to Rwanda in the morning.