Big Brother’s African Brother #15: Jinja to Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

Jinja to Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

Day 13: 10 August 2002 2:00 pm

The group are in a comatosed mood, due to a 5:00 am start and having to endure a long drive to Lake Bunyonyi.

Packing up the tent from hell is never easy in the dark. However diligently
we roll the damn thing, it never fits in the tent bag. There was a praying
mantis in one of the loos (we found the much smaller male crawling across
the ceiling of our truck – he’d had a lucky escape) and moths kept
bombarding my head torch.

The whole day was spent driving down to Lake Bunyonyi in our now filthy
truck. Truck cleaning is non-existent at the moment. We stopped at the
side of the road to purchase fish from a local (6 for Ush 16000). Pretty
good going, but heaven knows how you fillet fish and I’m on cook duty this

We also stopped on the equator for the tacky tourist photo of standing
either side of the hemispheres and was given the demonstration of water
running down the plug hole.

5:00pm – Lake Bunyonyi is a beauty spot in the hills of South Western Uganda
but I preferred Bujagali Falls. The Bunyonyi Overland camp site is cramped
and the truck is inconveniently parked up two flights of rickety steps. On
arrival here, I barely had time to erect my tent before I had to cook.
There was no one to help us – we have lost one of our chore group to the
other truck and our tour leader was no where to be seen (probably in the
bar). Out of desperation, we pleaded with Barbara to have a go at filleting
the fish and I’m extremely grateful to her for doing such a good job. The
dinner still descended into chaos as we had very few food supplies. By the
end of it all I was irritated and stressed for the first time on this trip.

The gorilla permit scandal had reached new heights at this point. We
discovered that only 10 people out of 34 have been trekking for gorillas in
Rwanda. The reason for this is that the other truck went to the border at
Kisoro only to discover that an Exodus truck had crossed earlier and taken
all of our gorilla permits for that day. We have already paid our money for
the permits (US $250). Things went downhill from there with the Rwandan
border guards refusing them entry and the local people of Kisoro shouting
abuse at the truck (“f**kin’ whites”). The opinion of our tour leader is
that Exodus bribed certain officials and drivers, but we’ll never know the
full story, so I’m keeping an open mind.

The other truck’s morale is at a low point and none of them want to return
to Kisoro. So the itinerary is now shot to pieces and I have no idea
whether we are staying here one night or more. The uncertainty plays havoc
with getting laundry done and planning what you should do at each

The food conspiracy is back – in Kampala we bought our own breakfast this
morning – where are our three meals a day?

Positives: Uganda is a truly beautiful and friendly country and I know I’m
lucky to be here.

Negatives: Why am I not on the three week trip? I don’t know if I can last 11
weeks. I keep reminding myself that this is not a test of my endurance.

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