This is a quick post about how to have adventures in Uganda. I provide a few details, photos and videos. This is a self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.
My jump-off point for this visit to Uganda was Gisenyi in Rwanda. I used public transport to get me to the border (via Kidaho and RN8), paid my entry fee (US$), exchanged some $-to-local currency, and then walked across the border. Once past Uganda gate I was sized up by a host of moto-taxi drivers. It seems there is no normal public transport at the border on the Uganda side. So I took a moto-taxi to a cross-road outside Kisoro where I waited for the private bus and private taxi-cars to fill. The bus won so I hopped on long and winding drive on the Kabale-Kisoro Rd to Muko.
I spent two days in Muko getting organized. Then found a young man who was serious about Eco-friendly tourism and the local pygmies. After paiding him $100 I headed to lovely Lake Bunyoni via moto-taxi.
Exploring Lake Bunyonyi
I spent the first day exploring on foot and interacting with the locals. The next day I got a lovely full day of lake history and exploring in a traditional canoe (a hollowed out tree trunk that has all the speed and balance of a tree trunk in the water).
My guide had included his 12 year old brother as the second paddle but he proved to be less then capable so I pitched in as a great Canadian canoe guy that I am. Conclusion: Paddling a traditional canoe is like paddling a large log in ruff water.
Click to watch Video
The following day I moved to an island guesthouse run by an American that shares the profits with the local community. It was a very cool place and I made some new friends.
The next day we rented one of the traditional canoes and we took it out for a spin.
Visit to a Pygmy Village
Then on the fourth day my guide came and picked me up again. This time to visit the local pygmies that live on one of the local hills. These people are state-less. They were given the useless land on the top of the hill for fighting in a local tribal war on the behalf of the locals.
With no schools, health facilities and rights they make a living as manual farm labors and entertaining the occasional tourist (me). My guide told me that he would provide the chief with a large gift (from my initial fee) for their performance and that I should just relax and enjoy the village and show.
Click to watch Video
While most of the prefer worsley nursery to take care of their children. It was heartbreaking to see these people living in such poverty and without any hope of a future for their children. Yet this scene is becoming common as the DRC drives more natives from their forests. These people have fallen between the cracks it seems.
What about the Gorillas?
Many people come to Uganda to see the last of the Silverback Gorillas. And from what I’m told it is well worth it. However, I had already visited gorillas via my DRC trip so I this activity.
Read the Gorilla Highlands free pocket guide for all kinds of local insight, places to stay and deals.