The Switzerland of Uganda

Trip Start Sep 27, 2011
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Trip End Sep 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
by the lake

Flag of Uganda  , Kabale,
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stayed overnight enroute to "The Gorillas in the Mist" at a beautiful lake set in the mountains, although maybe they should just be called” very high hills”, just west of Kabale. Lake called Lake Bunyonyi.

The drive from Kampala to here very scenic although I didn't see much for the first two hours as it was dark – we left at 5am!!!!!!  Rolling farmland for the first stage and then, as we neared Kabale,  it was huge valleys and a road that took us up and over different ranges that gave us the most spectacular views of the Ugandan countryside.  All very green and not what I expected being right on the equator.  I expected jungle but saw only farmland.  And that included cropping all the way up the steep hill slopes.  Little terraced plots, all cultivated by hand with mainly just a hoe.  Crops included potatoes, cabbage, onions, corn, beans, tomatoes,  pineapples, etc.   Also lots of banana trees on the flat areas by the roadside.  And the hills got steeper from Kabale to Lake Bunyonyi, and the valleys narrower. but the cropping continued up the slopes.  You would need to be a mountain  goat to do it but somehow they manage.

Villages everywhere.  The ones on the roadside seem to just stretch along the highway.  A single row, both sides of the road,  of houses, then shops, then more houses.  And then it’s repeated in each valley floor.  The houses seem to be mainly brick with a mud plaster render and an iron roof.  A bit bigger than maybe just a single room but not much.  And the shops similar with the normal stuff being sold on the dirt between the road and the shop entrance.   – veg, fruit, fast food, you name it. All very African.

It’s hard to believe Uganda is poor.  There seems to be no end to cropping, cows and goats.  And the crops and the animals look good.  I guess part of the problem is that the agriculture is very labour intensive ( especially around here with the steep terrain). And maybe the lack of markets to be able to sell their produce.  They can’t really make much money all selling the same stuff on the roadside – you pass stall after stall all selling bananas, pineapples, vegetables etc but not sure who buys it as everyone seems to have a small plot to grow things.  Guess they sell what they are growing and buy what someone else is. But there is certainly no lack of produce.

People are nice.  All friendly;  kids and adults all waving as we pass by ( a bit like west Africa.) And when you buy something there is no hint of being ripped off.
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