Uganda, Netherlands · 10 Days · 37 Moments · May 2018

Ali's Adventures in Uganda

21 May 2018

Visit to Ugandan (or Gaddafi) National Mosque

20 May 2018

Dirt lines at end of KGB bike ride.
Bike ride with KGB.
Out biking with the KGB (Kampala Group of Bikers)

19 May 2018

View from our lodge where we spent the night before and after the tri. Communal dinners and vey chill. It was great!
This is the view from the kyanga lodge where the tri was held. It is one of the fanciest hotels in Uganda. We did not stay there, but thought I would share he view.
We survived the triathlon. Actually, Andrea more than survived, she placed third. I almost didn’t make it on the swim. Not sure if it was the altitude or what, but I could not catch my breath. I had to resort to side and back stroke:). The run went better than expected. We ran around this beautiful crater lake. You can see picture of the running route. We ran along the ridge and through part of the tea plantation. The bike was pretty hard core. Off-road and some very steep hills. All said and done, it was a super cool experience.
More triathlon photos. Picture of the torture club members (I am honorary member since I participated once:).

18 May 2018

The chimps!
Ali and Andrea chimp tracking!
These trees (I forget what they are called) are not only huge, but the chimps will bang on them to get each other’s attention. We got to hear that today.

17 May 2018

Travels to Fort Portal for triathlon and chimp viewing. Andrea and I headed up on Thursday to stay at her friend Chris’s lodge to-be, Turaco Treetops. They are in the demolition phase, but he and his buddy Nico cooked us a wonderful dinner of steak, roasted nuts, and Nico’s famous Belgian fries. It was delicious. We saw many baboons along the way, they are all over the place. Andrea and I - early morning breakfast at Turaco Treetops before the chimp tracking.

16 May 2018

Torture club at Andrea’s house.
Here is a picture of pineapple plants and tea. Uganda’s major exports are coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton, vanilla, and cocoa. They grow pineapple, potatoes, mangoes, 5 different types of bananas, jack fruit, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables. However, there are no farm cooperatives here and the government does not help Ugandans to develop channels to export these products which can quickly spoil in transit.
Ugandans all over make many of their own building materials by hand. For bricks, they fill wooden boxes with red clay. Then they layer the bricks in a large rectangular mound. At the base are 2 voids that are filled with wood. The wood is lit and the entire structure is covered in mud. The bricks are cooked in the “oven” almost 7 days and when the bricks have cooled and are ready to be used as building materials. Here also is a picture of sand that Ugandans mix with a bit of cement to make plaster.

15 May 2018

5 volcanoes. The first three volcanoes are in Uganda(Mgahinga, means heap of stones; Mount Muhabura, means old mans gum; Mount Sabyinyo, means “guide” because used the light from lava as a guide at night when volcano was still active). On the opposite side of those volcanoes is Rwanda and the other two volcanoes to the right are in the Congo.
Hanging out on the dock at Lake Matunda Resort
Dug-out canoes on Lake Matunda
Lake Matunda Resort
Baby nursing off mom. Will send video.
Goofy baby. He was a riot. I will send video:)
Silverbacks. Mountain gorillas famously have a crest on the top of their heads.
I had the most incredible day with the gorillas! I wish you guys had been here with me. I took a lot of photos and will send video.
First view of mom and baby. Baby was 4 months old, the youngest in the troop.
Wasp next near where gorilla family was found. Our guide said that it was not hot outside so they were not likely to attack, but if they do, we just have to run, there is no other way:)
Mountain View and gorilla poop!
Wild elephant prints and trail. They are nocturnal, thank goodness. Although I was told they are smaller than Serengeti elephants, the prints were quite large. We had folks at the front and back with Ak-47s just in case we ran into an animal that was aggressive. They would fire a shot off into the air to scare the animal away.
Mountain gorilla facts
Early morning at Rushaga Gorilla Camp

14 May 2018

These are some pics of animals I have seen along the way. The ankole cattle’s long horns are likely a result of selective breeding subsequent to their ancestor’s arrival in southern Uganda about 500 years ago. I saw several grey-crowned cranes which is the national bird and I found a picture of the African fish eagle that I saw on the river in Jinja which looks a lot like the bald eagle. I took a picture of a crane that is like the vulture in South Dakota. They are big birds, rather ugly and scavengers. Finally, a large termite mound. You see these a lot outside of Kampala.
Heading out with Morris to make the 10-hr drive to Bwindi National Forest to see the gorillas.

13 May 2018

This is my friend Andrea. She is my friend from high school and she has been living and working in Kampala, Uganda for 3 years. This is a picture of her and her sweet dog, Sipi (named after Sipi waterfall in Uganda). Here are a few pictures of her house in Kampala.

12 May 2018

The Nile is commonly regarded as the longest river in the world and flows south to north. It has 2 major sources, often referred to as the White and Blue Nile, which flow respectively from Lake Victoria near Jinja and from Lake Tana in Ethiopia. The stretch of the White Nile that flows through southern Uganda is known as the Victoria Nile. From Jinja, it runs north through Lake Kyoga before veering west to descend into the Rift Valley over Murchinson Falls and empty into Lake Albert. The Albert Nile flows from the northern tip of Lake Albert to enter the Sudan at Nimule, passing through the Sudd before it merges with the Blue Nile at the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, more than 3,000 km from Lake Victoria.
My day on the Nile was an amazing! We drove 30 minutes along a dirt path to put our boats in. Local boys chased our car. There is a tradition where the 2 boys who answered a trivia question correctly, got to carry our kayaks down to the water and get a little money. Andrea and her buddies spent the day kayaking the Super Hole and we met up in the evening for dinner and camped at the Nile River Camp next door to the Nile River Explorers. The birds I saw were amazing, a fish eagle and a brilliant blue bird with a red beak, called a woodland kingfisher. There were large cormorant-size birds and crane-like birds that glided right over the water. People bathed, filled their water in the river and transported themselves in dug-out, wooden canoes. And monkeys! I saw the vervet monkey. I also saw some beautiful butterflies.
Ugandans seem to be good at carrying very heavy things. People carry babies and other things in their hands or upon their backs and sacks (some very big) balance upon their heads. We have also seen up to 5 people riding on motos here which is pretty impressive. The trucks are sometimes so full of goods, they look like they are going to topple over and sometimes do or break an axle because of all the weight. Water is filled in a local pump. This is often a job for the children. They then have to carry it home in these yellow canisters called jerry cans. I saw a little girl carrying a very heavy can and she had her friend or brother pulling on her other arm to keep her balanced so she would not topple over. On Sunday, the families often dress up for church. The women wear long dresses and colorful head wraps.
So, Andrea signed me up for a whitewater kayaking lesson on the Nile River with Nile River Explorers in Bugagali, a town 7km from Jinga. l took a lesson with a woman named Katherine from Canada and our guide, Yusuf, is on the Ugandan national kayaking team. He was fantastic and patient and we also had a rescue kayaker join us named Paul. I actually did not bite it down the rapids, but I was white knuckling it the whole time.
A couple of photos of Uganda and surroundings. The roads are a thick red clay/dirt and when it rains, they become slick, wet mud. Cars often get stuck. The traffic is crazy. I will send you some videos. There are people, animals, motorcycles, and cars going every which way. There are ruts and potholes everywhere. It is a bouncy and exciting ride!!