Eldoret to Uganda

Trip Start Oct 01, 2002
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Trip End Aug 08, 2005


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Friday, June 27, 2003

Hi all,

Time for another update to let you all know what we've been up to.

Eldoret town was pretty much your standard Kenyan town, a bit run down but with enough shops and bars to keep you interested for a while. Our camp site was a little bit out of town, a subterrainian complex set by a river and near a forrest that we confidently explored by GPS one day (thanks Marc). Whilst lost in the forest Sian disturbed a troup of Colobus monkeys resting in a tree, about 15 of them sprang from the tree canopy, jumping from branch to branch like an acrobatic display and disappeared into the forest. We also managed to disturb many strange sounding birds and some 'forest cows' that initially looked quite menacing as they appeared from within the trees but then innocently wandered off on their own. Unfortunately, due to a bit of truck trouble we spent longer in Eldoret than had been planned. The days were spent sitting in the sun watching the rain-clouds go past, reading a book, going for a nap and at night drinking at the bar but it just isnt what we are currently geared up for.

We finally headed for Kakamega rain forest near the Ugandan border. After another big park entry fee, the muddy road led us to a camp site in the middle of the forest where early the next morning we were all up at 5am on a trek to to see the sunrise over the landscape. It was excellent, the early morning mist drifting between the trees, the sounds of the birds and monkeys aweakening from their sleep and the sun slowly appearing over the horizon to colour the landscape. We walked on for a while, with our GPS reassuring us that we wouldn't get lost forever and discovered many forest trails, streams, a few more species of monkey and loads of amazingly beautiful butterflies that we had to take care not to step on. Thankfully we left before the days rain started and stayed a night at Kisumu on the shore of Lake Victoria. The camp site was excellent and a lightening storm raged for most of the evening but thankfully very little rain fell. A dusk till dawn disco started up and had it not been for our early morning we may have joined in but as it was we got zero sleep that night.

We crossed the Ugandan border the next day and reached Jinja by late afternoon. It seemed a nice town and exceptionally cheap but it was not our final destination that day. The river Nile runs past Jinja and we were staying at an excellent camp site at Bujagali falls on the Nile. Early the next morning we piled into a truck and set off to sign up for a days white water rafting. After a few practise maneouveres and couple of grade two rapids we were ready for our first of six grade five rapids (the largest rapids that you can pay to be guided down)and many grade three and four in between. There were three rafts on the river that day, a few canoes and a few body-borders, but we were last down, so had to watch the others crash into churning walls of white water, then flip over with bodies flying in all directions leaving the raft floating down the rapids on its own. Then it was our turn!!!!

Generally we had a few successful runs, lost a few people now and again but didnt flip too much and thoroughly enjoyed the day. It was a great mix of wild rapids and sun drenched, long gentle sections where you could jump in the river and float down on your own watching the scenery go by.
Our guide, Rob, was excellent and the other four on the raft were from another overland truck and were good fun. The day ended with a final grade 5 rapid, a massive channel of water ending in a 4 meter wall of crashing waves. We were allowed to back out of this one if we wanted but we had had too good a day to let it end. The other rafts had spectacular crashes, John's raft was caught in the rapid and was continuously dragged under and tossed about before finally releasing it to the river. We faired a little better, but still flipped and were thrown out into the river and made to stagger ashore to a massive feast and free beer session.

There was the opportunity to do it again the next day which we would have been up for had we not had to leave for Mount Elgon, the most spectacular range of mountains with loads of massive waterfalls set amongst wild banana plantations. The scenery was spectacular as we carefully picked our way down muddy cliff paths which the friendly locals practically ran up and down. Upon reaching the largest waterfall, the spray soaked us in seconds.
Now we are in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, a nice enough city with a good camp site. Unfortunately we are saying goodbye to Scott, who has bought a land rover with Will and plan to drive it to Cape Town together. Matt is also off to explore Kenya a bit more but Pauls Mum has come back for the rest of the journey to Cape Town. Our next stop is the Mountain Gorillas in the volcanic regions in the South West of Uganda, something we have looked forward to since planning our trip to Africa.

Anyway, that's about it for now, will try to put some photos on for the last few entries but internet access isnt too great.

Hope all is well with you lot out there, take care of yourselves.
Kev and Sian
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