Time check reads 7 am in Kampala, it is slightly chilly but the sun will be smiling upon us in the next two to three hours. Today we are taking a long and adventurous trip to western and south-west of Uganda.
The journey begins from the bustle and hustle of Kampala city, the busy, exciting and majestic heart of Uganda, and of course like the saying goes the early bird catches the worm so you want to see it all, wake up early and catch it all, plus you also don’t want the Kampala sun downing on you before you see anything at all!
Our journey is going to take us through various towns; the best way to enjoy this trip will be on wheels, bus wheels and what other than the Uganda Wildlife Authority Tulambule bus? Spacious and complacent interior, charging ports, as much luggage space as you need, all you have to do is snug as a bug in a rug and enjoy the artistry and elegance.
Not so far away from Kampala, in Kayabwe along Masaka road you meet the poster marking of the Uganda Equator, here you can stop for refreshments and souvenirs from the craft shops around the equator and please don’t forget a photo shoot, who wouldn’t want to keep memories of having reached the spot where the equator crosses through Uganda? Oh, and something you need to know is that at the equator you are actually 3% lighter in weight, isn’t that amazing. How that happens is a discussion for another day, we got to keep going.
From the equator we proceed to Masaka, the cool breeze and freshness will usher you into the Katonga Swamp, located on the outskirts of River Katonga; here lies the mouth of the great water body as it pours into Lake Victoria, the lush green vegetation of papyrus reeds will give you a fresh feeling. Along the mighty river lies the Katonga game reserve, home to various bird species and a number of animals.
Our next stopover from Masaka is Mbarara, the town of milk; here, you can drink as much milk as you want, why drink plain water when the Ankole cow has gifted you with a better option? While in Mbarara you can visit the great Lake Mburo national park, home of the wild, in the middle of a spectacular view of planes lies this masterpiece of savannah grasslands, home to over 350 bird species and the region’s herbivores; the horse’s first cousin zebra is a popular site here; the gracious Uganda kob, buffalos among others. However, don’t be fooled that this is a home of only the grass eaters, the king of spots lives here too, and the pretty looking monkeys, you will not run out of activities to do here, bird watching, a walk through the beauty of nature, fishing, boat riding across Lake Mburo are some the things you can do here.
Before you leave this beautiful town, endeavour to visit the Igongo Cultural Centre, here you can see and learn about the rich and exquisite culture of inhabitants of this part of the country.
In the south lies more beautiful gems but here we take a turn to the west and go to Bushenyi district, it is from here that you will first meet the half of the enormous Queen Elizabeth National Park the home of the big cats, but before the big cats I should tell you about the Kyambura gorge along with the annexed forest reserve, south of the Kazinga channel this beautiful place is a must visit if you want to see chimpanzees and other wild game.
South of this town lies the Kitagata hot springs which are believed to have healing power by the locals. Other sites such as the heavenly blue crater lakes of Bunyaruguru are a must not miss if you are a visitor to this town.
And back to the home of the big cats, the tree climbing lions of Ishasha are a great sight if chanced on.
We continue to the highly sought-after town of Kasese, home the cement industry, cobalt and Kilembe mines. This part of the country boasts of sheer beauty and nature, too much for one town? Hey. The Queen Elizabeth National park continues its occupation canvassing the town in its alluring savannah grasslands. As I told you earlier on, this is the home of the wild, the jungle of the felis leo and other big cats, hippos and crocodiles along the Kazinga channel, elephants, birds name it.
More in this phenomenal town is the Rwenzori National park, draped in bamboo and colourful mosses and blooms; this is the surrounding of the mountains of the moon. The name Rwenzori means “rainmaker” and the mountain can be notoriously muddy and tiring to climb. Here, you get a chance to explore both fauna and flora and also get lucky to see the magnanimous sight of the ranges of the mountains of the moon, host to Africa’s third highest-summit, Maragherita, mind blowing waterfalls and unbelievably but true snow along the equator. Birds and colourful blooms are inseparable creating a dreamlike enthralling whimsical and captivating sight.
If you are a good climber, hiking to the peak of Maragherita is a bonus for you! S’amuser et bon voyage a’ la maison!
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Credit: KaCyber Team