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Uganda! Part 2, Safari!

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My third week in Uganda was my favorite!  We spent the beginning of the week on safari and then spent a couple days in Rwanda.

I had the best time on the safari!  It was a long couple of days, but I loved it!  We left monday morning at 5:30am.  It was about a 5 hr ride to Murchison Falls where we were able to get out for about 15 minutes and look at the Falls before hurrying to catch a ferry to cross the Nile.


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My friend Jessica and me!

Right at the ferry was a really nice resort where we had lunch.  It was right along the Nile and we could see elephants drinking from the river while we ate.  We had about 45 minutes after lunch to hang out at the pool at the resort.  It was so beautiful!  Right outside the entrance we saw and elephant and some baboons!



After lunch we went on a boat ride on the Nile.  We saw a lot of hippos and warthogs and a few crocodiles.  The tour lasted about 3 hours and we went to the bottom of the falls that we visited earlier that day.  It was so beautiful!  Pictures do not do it justice.





Me Nile


After the boat ride we went on a game drive.   We rode in big vans with pop up roofs so we could stand and look out the top or climb out and sit on the roof!   There were also railings around the top so we could climb out and sit.  By the end of the day, I had a layer of orange dust on everything! We didn’t see a whole lot of animals that night.  We saw a couple elephants and a lot of antelope and warthogs.  We were expecting to see a lot of giraffe, but we didn’t see one until the second day.



The resort was a lot further away than we expected. Our driver, Jeffrey, was in a hurry to get to the hotel, especially after the sun went down. Jeffrey was a crazy driver and we hit a python, porcupine and bunnies while we were driving.  The resort we were going to was supposed to be a 5 star resort, but the road we were on looked like we were probably the second car to ever use it. It turns out they took the back way to the resort so we could have a longer game drive.  All of a sudden we made a turn and the hotel was right in front of us! Our hotel was AWESOME! We had a really great dinner and sat on the balcony to eat. The hotel was right along the Nile and we could see a few huge hippos along the side.  Later that night we were leaving our room and there was a hippo literally right outside our door.  It was massive and kind of scary.  We were on the second floor so we watched for a little while and waited for him to move a little away to take a picture. The guard said he’s seen them charge people and was chased himself, so we definitely kept our distance.



Apparently this resort was Kony’s hideout.  He and his men would come and take over the resort to hide out. That made it kind of creepy to me, but it was still beautiful.  It shut down for a while, but was recently reopened and renovated by a Japanese businessman.  I guess the beds in Asia are super hard, so he put those kind of mattresses in the rooms.  It was like sleeping on the hard floor, but I was so tired I feel right asleep and I don’t think I even moved all night.


The next morning we left the hotel at about 7:15.  We went on another game drive on the way out of the park which was a bit more successful.  I finally saw a giraffe, so I was really happy!  It took about 3 more hours to get out of the park and we saw a few more animals.  We stopped for lunch at a little restaurant and made it back to Kampala that evening.  We were leaving for Rwanda early the next morning, so I spent that night packing and getting some rest.



Uganda! Part 1


I thought I’d spend a few days and recap my summer in Uganda.  I went with the political science department at BYU for about 2 months to work on research.  My whole experience was so crazy! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I even went.

I traveled to and from Uganda with my friend Jessica.  We had a long layover in London and got to leave the airport for a few hours! We visited Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square before eating lunch in a little underground restaurant.






We arrived in Uganda at about 8:00am. Our friend Alfred picked us up and drove us to our apartment in Kampala.  We lived in an area of Kampala called Ntinda. We lived in a little walled in complex with a guard. He had a loaded gun, but only one bullet.  If he shot that bullet, he had to pay for the next one, so it was incentive not to shoot unless he had to.

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We spent the first couple of weeks exploring Kampala and working on my professor’s research. One of my first nights there, we visited the Muslim Mosque.  This Mosque is the second largest in Africa and was built by Gaddafi as a gift to Uganda.  We also climbed the three hundred and four stairs to the top of the minaret to see the city and the beautiful sunset.






We also visited Idi Amin’s torture chambers at the Mengo Palace of the Bugandan Kingdom.  It was kind of a creepy place, especially when you think of all of the horrible things that happened there.  Hundreds were crammed in to each room and the bottom was filled with electrocuted water.  Many died of asphyxiation, while others chose the electrocuted water or were killed by Idi Amin’s soldiers.







One of my favorite nights was when we went to the culture center right down the road to watch dances.  The show lasted about 3 hours, but I loved every minute of it! They went through the different regions and cultures in Uganda and performed dances from each.  The dances were amazing!  I was so impressed by the performers and their stamina!




We also got to spend some time at a local deaf school.  My professor’s son was planting a garden there for his Eagle Project.  I went one evening to help pass out cookies and glow sticks to the students.  It was a great experience!  The kids loved the glow sticks and were so friendly!


I can’t believe I got back from Uganda 5 months ago! It still doesn’t feel like I really went! Part two and three will recap the safari and Rwanda trip and will be up in the next couple of weeks!