Hello BellaNaija readers! It is Zainob from ZeeGoes, long time eh? I decided to hop on over to Uganda with Kenya Airways earlier this month, and may God bless we procrastinators. I knew I had to be in Uganda for a friend’s wedding since February, but my head decided to leave the planning of the trip on a long pause until two weeks before the actual trip.
First thing to note, for all Nigerians and international passport holders, most of us need visas to enter. Like joke, like joke I entered my flight without visa and was praying for the Almighty to intervene. On the flip side, I was flying with Kenya Airways and that meant layover in Nairobi, which equated to a backup plan of buying the East African visa at their border and that covers entry into Uganda for $100. But an Ijebu girl like myself did not want to spend $50 extra on the East African visa for only one country instead of the three it covers; Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
At the gate, I asked around, and a lady working the desk informed me that Uganda has a visa on entry kiosk and I could jejeli pay $50 for tourist visa on entry in Entebbe. I really could have gotten the visa online before traveling, but sometimes, I can be my own enemy of progress. With my Nigerian passport in hand, $50 dollars, and my yellow fever card, I entered Uganda looking like a boss, while screaming Hallelujah in my mind.
From my entry point in Entebbe, Uganda, my East of Uganda road trip adventure started. Yes, I was there for a wedding, but an Ijebu like me would never enter plane to another country and not see some bits of the actual country, *ko le werk*. It also helps that I work for myself, so taking a week off work could not get me fired. So! From Entebbe, I got a car hire service with full time driver via TrekBuyFly, then drove off on a 6 hour long road trip to Mbale, a town on the east of Uganda. Mbale is known for its proximity to Mount Elgon, and I heard a lot about the amazing views from hiking through parts of it along with the impressive waterfalls around it. I wanted to trek to see Sipi waterfalls, but mehn when I got into town and met Saleh, the local lodge owner of where I was staying at, Casa del Turista, and had a sip of the coffee served in his adjoining restaurant, I did an about turn and begged for a chance to experience the magic behind the coffee I just drank.
The next morning was a Sunday, and Saleh came through for me big time! Check the video below to see what happened. Chai, God was on my side sha, because the experience was beyond, beyond my expectations.
From Mbale, I decided to flip the coin and skip out fully on Mount Elgon by driving about 2 hours north to check out my first game reserve in Pian Upe. Note to self, do not go to a game reserve when it is sweltering hot! Most of the animals were hiding from the heat, and the few that were brave enough to walk in that sun picked race the moment they heard the vehicle driving through. Lesson learned big time…at least I got to record some of them running very far away from my Samsung.
Ooh, before checking out on this post, if you ever find yourself in Mbale, Uganda, definitely check out a spot called Sukali if you’re in the mood to dance or just for some sips with good company and great music. Oddly enough, the best music/dance experience I had in Eastern Uganda was in Mbale’s Sukali instead of the clubs I checked out in Kampala.
Next stop is Jinja, are you feeling a little gingered? (I know, I know, I like to be a little corny :P) Ciao Bella!