Kampala, Uganda 02.01.2009

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Would a fortune-teller have told me a year ago that I’ll be spending new year in Kampala, Uganda, I would’ve probably made her out to be a fraud. That’s one of the things I love most about life, the unpredictability, the unexpected. We entered Uganda, coming from Kenia, on a “less traveled” road. The border post was easy again. I also didn’t have to pay the 50$ visa fee which I was sort of expecting to pay. When I entered Kenia a while ago I was surprised when the customs-officer told me that, being a South-Afican, I am exempted form the 50$ visa fee. So when the customs officer at the Ugandan border told me and Christoph that we have to pay 50$ each I took a chance and told him that as far as my knowledge goes I’m exempted from the charge. It worked. Christoph had to pay his 50$ though. I am willing to bet double this amount that this money didn’t end up anywhere else than in the officer’s pocket. There was no price-list, no receipt or anything the like, just a stamp, and this guy was pretty dodgy to start with. Anyways, what can you do? After the border the road turned into a seriously bad mountain road with lots of rocks and ditches and fairly tricky parts which provided for fun off-roading, and a proper work-out for that matter. (Luckily no thick sand) On this road I’ve managed to disform one of my panniers, run over a chicken, and loose my Ipod. The pannier is fixed and straightened again, the chicken survived, but my Ipod is gone for good. It was a very rural area and I’m sure my Ipod is now being put to many uses other than playing mp3’s. (The film “The God’s must be Crazy” springs to mind here) Up till now I’ve had quite a few losses on this trip but this one hurts the most. I got it as a gift from Christine and a circle of close München-friends for my 30th birthday. This was my lifeline on this trip. It’s gonna be hard getting used to not having Gould playing Bach in my ears in the mornings. I’m really sad about this loss. If anyone ever said that money cannot buy happiness he was wrong. Due to the bad road it became dark long before we were even close to Sipi Falls, the destination we were aiming for, so we had to stop at a village and ask if we could pitch our tents somewhere. The person we asked told us to wait ‘cause he’s got to call the chief of the village who would decide if they will allow us to camp in their village. Long story short, they allowed us to pitch our tents next to the church (the church is a mud- and wooden structure) which was very appropiate since it was Sunday and all. They wanted us to have a traditional dinner with the village people but we declined because that would’ve meant that we would have had to leave our bikes and belongings unattended. Feeling abit stupid that we had declined to what we knew would have surely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience, we came to the great idea that we’ll buy a living goat from them which they can in turn slaughter and prepare and eventually barbeque for us and everyone else. Proposing our idea to Julius, the village chief, he only had to think it over for a moment before he decided that it was a good idea. He told the village people (who were all crowding around us to see the “two-white-men-on-motorbikes-show” which was playing of in their village) of our plan and they were all laughing and very glad for the free food and entertainment that was to follow. Being a meat-eater I also thought it appropiate that I should see first-hand how a poor animal gets slaughtered. The little goat was brought to the designated spot. In the few minutes time that we waited for the knife that was being fetched I couldn’t help but to feel really sorry for the poor little animal who was unknowingly waiting to be be slaughtered. The whole process, from the kill up untill the skinning, is seriusly brutal. Two men holds it down and the 3rd man cuts the throat. The harshest part is that they cut the throat but the goat still lives for a few minutes before it actually dies. It’s on purpose that they don’t kill it instantly because the blood needs to be pumped out by a living heart. After what I thought too long a time it eventually died. Then the slaughtering and skinning starts. Like I said, an extremely brutal process. When they started pulling out the stomach the smell was too much and I left the scene to help getting the fire started. If I were ever close to turning into a vegetarian it was then and there. All in all the evening turned out to be an absolute highlight on our trip so far. We couldn’t have dreamed of a more “African” experience.

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Next day we made it to a campsite overlooking Sipi-falls. What a view! Camille and Isabela, a Polish couple traveling on a “Africa Twin”, that we made friends with back at “Jungle Junction” in Nairobi joined us there. There we also met another German-Swiss couple, Gabi and Mike who’s also biking it through Africa. Had a relaxing 2 days there and then left for Kampala to visit Olaf. We arrived on old years afternoon. Olaf and his girlfriend and friends took us out into the city to celebrate the new year. We ended up in some club which I guess would be an up-market club, relative to African standards anyways. This was an experience and a half, clubbing in middle-Africa. Being a “Whity” or a Mzungo (Whity in Zwahili), you cannot walk 10m in the club without being harassed by 20 woman. I would’ve liked to believe that this was due to my unmatched beauty, but am afraid that all the attention was due to my white skin which represents money in their eyes. Anyways, we had a great new years. It makes the world of difference that we’re hanging out with Olaf and all his and his girlfriend’s local friends. Always better to hang with the locals, right? Olaf took us on a little sight-seeing tour today which mainly contained of the city. I was stupid enough to not take my camera. Ughh! It’s an extremely vibrant city with a friendly vibe to it. The Ugandan people are extremely friendly and has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh. Uganda could very well be on the top of my list of favorite countries that we’ve been through till now. (Thanks for having us Olaf!) As you all probably know already, we are way behind on our schedule. We will be leaving Kampala tomorrow, which leaves us with little less than a month to reach Capetown. Due to this we’re probably going to have to cut Namibia from our trip. A real pity, but even with not going to Namibia it is still way too little time. Christoph has a booking which he cannot get out of, and Nadine is arriving in Capetown on the 2nd of Feb. This leaves us no choice other than to seriously rush it for the last leg of our journey. We have 4 weeks to cover the rest of Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, (Namibia) and South-Africa. Crazy really. This brings me to the next point: Welcome-back-party. Wynand has been kind enough to offer to host our welcome-back party at their beautiful plot in the Jonkershoek-valley, Stellenbosch. The date still has to be fixed though. We aim to be back on the 1st or the 2nd when Nadine arrives but that is a Monday or Tuesday and will probably be difficult for most of you Lemmings to make it for then. Just watch this space and stay in contact with Wynand concerning the date and details for the intended party. I apologize for the pathetic amount of pics on this post but it’s late and my eyes are falling closed and I still have to upload with a super slow internet connection and we have to cover quite some km’s tomorrow. So that’s it from my side for now. Liebe grüsse aus Kampala, Gideon.

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What an adventure, it makes me want to go back on the road. I had an amazing time in Uganda, defenitely one of my favourite countries whilst guiding. Cant wait to hear all the stories.. Good luck for the rest ahead… See you soon. Laurina

Happy New Year again,
und immer schoen den Wasserabscheider benutzen

…jammer om te lees van jou ipod… en die bok…. :-( bly die hoender het oorleef… :-) Julle avontuur klink ongelooflik! Sterkte vir elke km van die pad wat oor is!! N


Francisca’s avatar

Is bly julle geniet dit so baie! Wens ons was nog in SA en in die Bos, want dan was ons definitief daar vir julle verwelkoming. Hoop julle maak dit betyds, maar liewer laat as nooit, ne!

Mooi ry en geniet dit!

En voorspoed vir die nuwe jaar!

Ach gid, tut mir echt leid um Deinen I-Pod! So ein mist!
Bach war Dir wahrscheinlich noch wichtiger als die Aluboxen.
Blöder Tankrucksack!
Aber Kopf hoch, Bach steckt Dir doch schon im Blut.
Genieß es weiterhin….ganz liebe Grüße, denk an Euch, Nadine

Ach Hase,…
heute ist wieder typisches Hamburg Wetter…
der Schnee ist wieder weg, es ist grau und wird gar nicht richtig hell und es nieselt so vor sich hin…ein perfekter Sonntag, um schön lange mit nem Kaffee im Bett zu liegen. Aber ohne Dich macht das nicht halb so viel Spaß.
Also nutze ich den Tag und beschäftige mich mit der heißgeliebten Steuer;)
Ich bin mir sicher, daß Ihr etwas aufregenderes vor habt…
Aber zum Glück kann man ja immer ab und zu auf Eure Seite schielen und sich ein bischen in Euer Abenteuer träumen!
Bin so froh, daß Ihr so nette Menschen trefft und alles so gut läuft.
Und Olaf: Herzlichen Dank für Deine Einladung! Da ich durch Südafrika auch schwer mit dem Afrika Virus befallen bin, wir das bestimmt nicht lange dauern.
Der Namibia-Trip ist schon lange geplant, und für einen kleinen Umweg bin ich immer zu haben:)
Liebe Grüße,
VD!!! Dh

Dis jammer julle moet so jaag! As julle moet oorslaap iewers in die North West, vergiss nicht deine vreundin Retha. Ons bly in Broederstroom naby die dam en Magaliesberge. Voorspoed.

Gideon, ich bin echt sauer wegen der Ziege:-) Meine Tiere und ich überleben gerade mal so den Winter im Eisloch. Hier pfeifft ein eiskalter Polarwind durch meine Wohnung. Wahnsinn. Du hast es wirklich gut. Du hast dein i-pod verloren? Schon wieder? Es ist wirklich unglaublich. Mach dir noch eine schöne Zeit und bleib gesund.
Liebe Grüße Consul