I could hear any slight movement from outside, mainly insects hitting the roof and windows. I could hardly sleep and kept changing positions over and over. This was going to be my first ever trip outside Kenya, I haven’t slept on the eve of most of my trips but this was different. I didn’t know what to expect but at least the only thing I knew I wouldn’t stress about was food, I can eat snacks anyway “Clearly am not a foodie.” I had waited for this trip with all my anxiety and planned for it the best way I know how, “why don’t they give a clear manual of what you need to travel to a certain country at the immigration office though?”
JINJA “The Adventure Capital of East Africa” with all its glory was ready for me. The Main thing I wanted to do in Uganda was Bungee jump, I have been looking for a place to in Kenya but haven’t found one. As usual I’d goggled and found “The Jinja Nile Resort.” You won’t guess what happened later on.
(Allow me to fast forward this story).
We get to Adrift on the first day; I am just minutes late from seeing the last jumper. I really wanted to see someone do it first before I do. I Look around and promise to come tomorrow. The next day I arrive late (they close at 4) but just in time to see the last jumper. I look at the structure and really analyze it,(I didn’t do that yesterday).That thing is around 44m high and you land in water (Don’t forget I can’t swim and my height and water phobia), actually the main reason I was doing this was to get rid of my Height phobia and maybe get some adrenaline.
You are tied to a rope hang by your feet like a bat, head down and “literally” thrown down 44m into the water. Do you see that river?
That’s where you land. And you might get swept away.PAUSE.Anyway they have professional staff who are ready with rafts just incase of anything. If you really are into adventure and adrenaline you should really do it. It look amazing to be on that bat vibe plus you have the right to scream your lungs out. Haha!
One look at how the jumper was thrown down, my heart skipped and started racing, “THERE IS NO WAY AM DOING THAT.” END OF STORY. But on 2nd thought you (not me) should do it if you get a chance.
And if you jump, like the structure says ⇒ “YOUR THE CHAMPION IN YOU. YOU’VE EARNED IT.”
Back to the Initial story:
After a busy day at work, I went straight to the Salon, my hair had been shaggy with plans of having it made on the eve of travelling and there I was super busy. No matter what, there’s no way am going on this trip with bad hair. I check in at 10 p.m. and leave at 2 a.m. “YES am super serious 2 a.m.” (You, keep complaining about having to sit with your girlfriend while she makes her hair at the salon, clearly you don’t understand the struggle.) I Call a friend to pick me up, and that means am not going home because its super late. I hadn’t even packed and I was leaving for the trip at 5:30 a.m. The thought of that, leave alone anxiety was enough to take away my sleep. Its 5:30 a.m. and my phone rings, It’s the “where are you? Call “
“Jesuuuuuus” I Overslept, and not in my house. Please Dont Judge me (Am just being honest).
I jump out of bed, and have to go wake up my friend. I have to be dropped home. I get home, shower and dress in 10 mins, Pack up, “at least I’d organized what I need in my head” Am late but am ready by 6:30. Totally a Bad Start for a trip.
We get to Malaba after 3 hours. Start clearing at immigration, we spend another two hours here, clearly not what we planned for. I’d heard you don’t need a passport to Uganda because of the East Africa COMESA Agreement but then, I had a temporary passport anyway. Which they insisted on seeing. Clearing the car took a while, there was issues with registration, and here I am I don’t have passport photos, so I have to get them. Well we managed anyway and when we got out of the border, I felt a sigh of relief.
Then comes the struggle to convert currency. I had to literally memorize and find a way to match up Kenyan currency my own way otherwise I’d be conned when buying stuff, and I had been warned severally by a friend I met at the border. Did I mention for the 1st time in my life I was holding MILLIONS of shillings. Okay, don’t mind.
We then drive off to Jinja, I Finally feel relaxed and at this point I fall asleep for an hour. Waking up I stare outside and start comparing Uganda to Kenya. For one the road is quite perfect, “maybe it’s why I slept.” Their homestead settings are quite different also and are not fenced. From Malaba to Jinja the surrounding seems quite rich with healthy vegetation. So I definitely knew am not going to a desert.
We hit Jinja at around 3 p.m., first stop food joint. “For someone who said snacks can do!” Eh! I was super hungry. Fries is the first food you order whenever you are in a new place, One because it’s easy to consume, two it’s the safest food and you are sure of what you are getting; “No one wants food poisoning on a trip trust me.” Plus I’d seen a butchery on the way to Jinja and this is how meat is sold. Okay its the Only butchery that i atleast saw in my stay.
So typically anything beef was out of my list.
We relax and have lunch, our day has already been disorganized anyway and we can’t visit our first site. We decide to explore Jinja town.
We drive around, shop for awkward stuff and visit the market place which has some very fresh agricultural produce. Food here is quite cheap and in abundance , i doubt they have hunger strikes.
The outstanding thing here is the Bananas. From Raw, roasted, cooked and crisped to ripe. There is a place they sell all types of chicken and bananas on your way from Kampala, at some Coke painted centre (can’t remember the name) and if you are a roadside food lover you need to stop over at that place, but please remember your stomach problems.
They also eat Locusts by the way and woah! This one I just have to show you and have you figure it out.
They trap them remove wings and legs, and eat it green and raw or if lucky fry it. They look good fried, but I can’t!!!
It’s time to now hunt for a place to sleep… I didn’t mention there is this decent looking guy we met at lunch whose been showing us around. We decide to ask him for ideas of a place we can camp. He offers to take us to a place he knows. I’d left my phone charge at the hotel and I go back to get it. Something tells me to ask the lady at the hotel if she knows a place, she gives me some ideas, and then I mention a place the guy told us. She first asks us if we know the guy, “Don’t trust that guy, and don’t even let him follow you or show you a sleeping place, he is not good. Be careful about some people you meet here. People here are friendly and good but some are great Conmen.” Woah that wraps up our trust for Ugandan strangers. She gives us another person who guides us. And like I’ve said before I usually never have accommodation in advance, Its Quite risky though but I can’t help it…
So we find a place then head over to the Nile Bridge to check out the fish market and view the sunset.
The next days we visit a number of places and have quite some fun. (Read about Itanda falls HERE and Source of the Nile HERE). My most amazing moments were the several and all kinds of boat rides and watching the sunsets.
On our last day we wake up To Kampala Early, just to have a comparison of it to Nairobi and our other cities.
Being a cold and foggy morning, we get lost in the streets for a while, and end up stuck in traffic for hours, “Traffic is quite same as Nairobi”. We then go sampling their food in the local places. We go shopping, “and clothes here are quite cheap as famously known.” Their Matatus are quite simple and decent looking though.
“Okada” is also the main thing here.
The Ugandan people are quite friendly, and really willing to help though some only want to show you a place if you pay them. “Same tradition applied to all tourists.”
Well the Sad moment is here, trip is over and it’s time to go back to Kenya. This is when you realize a 6 hours’ drive can really suck. We get stopped by Ugandan traffic officers for over speeding (we were at 60Km/hr. by the way); they harass and threaten us a bit then let us go. At the border we get some conman at the parking lot who wants our vehicle clearance. The guy lies he’s a clearing officer and stuff and insists to have our form. We argue for a while and i end up telling him we go to the office first, and then he disappears in his car. Had to share this, if you are driving back from Uganda be Careful about Conmen wanting your clearance forms before you are done clearing out, otherwise you’ll pay revenue for the extra days or months or years whenever you go back to the border. Now you understand why I don’t trust decent strangers.
Anyway Uganda was awesome and worth going back to.Still thinking about that Bungee jump though, I’ll try it someday for sure. The experiences at the Source of Nile and Itanda unforgettable and the views just perfect. Oh! and Pepsi is a main drink here by the way (i don’t know why i took this picture though), maybe if ever Pepsi was your favorite drink when you were young it will make you feel younger now.(Does it still exist in Kenya)
Thanks for stopping by. Till next time.
Love and Love.