Finally arriving in Uganda. I waited all year for this, even while diving in Sulawesi – look a blue ringed octopus, and soon I get to see gorillas, or hiking in Iceland – nice waterfall, but soon I get to see the Nile waterfall with hippos… Some last minute preparations such as getting a visa as Uganda changed their visa application procedure one month before our trip or getting a booster for yellow fever the day before our flight as Uganda does not yet recognize WHO’s decision that the first vaccine lasts life long. But all is good and now we are here. Big Sam, our guide for the next two weeks from Matoke Tours picks us up at the airport with our very comfortable safari jeep. It has a rooftop that can be pushed up for better viewing and AC for when we are inside the car. It gets very hot during the day and the roads are dusty.
After spending the night in Kampala, we have a seven hours drive to Murchison Falls. On the road, we stop at some markets and in front of a church where people queue for hours to get holly water. What I like best are the minivans with lots of chicken on the roof, live ones. In the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary we do a walking safari to see white rhinos. During the political unrests the whole rhino population in Uganda has been killed by poachers, now the sanctuary is running a breeding program to reintroduce rhinos to the parks. But only if they committing to keep them safe, else no rhino for you, park people. The first rhino born here has a mom from the US and a dad from Kenya, so they named it Obama. During our walk we get close to a mom and her young one, resting in the shade. It’s a great experience to see them so close on foot, with some helpful explanations from the ranger on climbing a tree or jump into a thorny bush in case they come after us.