A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Tulip1945

From Punda Millias back to Jungle Junction, Nairobi

sunny 32 °C
View Around Lake Victoria on Tulip1945's travel map.

Basically back along the road we came. Trucks and speed bumps galore, matatus and boda bodas in between, and dust, dust, dust! I felt like Queen Beatrix: not a hair out of place. All securely held together by red dust...
First thing I did in Jungle Junction was hop in the shower and wash myself from top to bottom with hot water. The luxury of it!
It was my turn to cook dinner. We had managed to pick up a few things in a supermarket along the way, so we did not have to eat out for a change...
The next morning was set aside for cleaning the inside of the van. It had turned pink over the last few weeks in Uganda. So, we threw out everything and brushed and washed and washed again... very difficult to get into all the nooks and crannies! A vacuum cleaner would have come in very handy, but all I got was a blank stare when I asked could I borrow one... We cleaned from 8 till 12 and then we went out for lunch to a place called Brood, close to the elephant orphanage. Very nice place and very nice lunch! Unfortunately, when we arrived at the elephant orphanage we were too late. Feeding time is between 11 and 12 in the morning... We had seen a sign somewhere for a giraffe sanctuary, so we decided to try and find that. Not easy, as the sign we had seen turned out to be the only one... When we finally found it, and asked about signage we were told the government had removed all the signs for some reason or another...
We were given some pellets to feed the giraffes, one at the time. I had no idea giraffes had such long tongues! And blue as well! One of the guys there gave us lots of information and it was all very interesting. We learned lots! The particular type of giraffe they have here is the endangered Roth child giraffe.

Our last day here started with another bit of cleaning. We got up early, so we wouldn't be late again for the elephants. We got there right on time and were very surprised to see coaches etc in the car park. Lots of schoolchildren, Americans, Swedes, and other nationalities I couldn't quite place...
The elephants knew exactly what was expected of them: they rushed to the keepers for their bottle, and as soon as they finished their feed they made their way over to the waterhole for a mud bath. Not a grey elephant in sight: they were all red!
One of the keepers told us every elephant's name, their age and the history of why and where they were rescued. It is great to see there is an organisation, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, that cares enough to try and rescue these babies and reintroduce them to the wild when they are ready. We
are thinking of adopting one!

Posted by Tulip1945 04:30 Archived in Kenya Comments (1)

From Kissumu to Punda Millias, Nakuru

sunny 32 °C
View Around Lake Victoria on Tulip1945's travel map.

We had hoped that the rain would keep the dust down, but unfortunately that was not the case... Puddles everywhere though, and they were being used to their full extent! Everything that needed a wash, was taken care of at the side of the road. Children were having baths, bicycles and motorbikes were being cleaned, as we're all sorts of vegetables... This was the first time in a month we saw carrots! Bright orange.
We pulled in off the road for some lunch, and almost immediately some people showed up checking to see if we were okay. Nancy, who lived in the house on the corner, wanted to buy the van, but instead she sent one of her chaps to get us a few tree tomatoes for our lunch. Very unusual. A bit like a cross between a tomato and a passion fruit. We took a few pictures and Nancy wrote down her email address.
The campsite we were looking for had excellent reviews, but was hard to find due to lack of signs. But we got there with a bit of creativity... The road, as soon as we left the tar road, disappeared, as per usual. Potholes galore again! But when we got to the site, it was gorgeous. Of course we were the only people there, but that did not matter. We were made very welcome, had a few drinks, a shower and a lovely dinner. We had a look around the site next morning and were very impressed. There was a bush camp with safari tents, some bands, and lovely camping spots, separated by trees.
We braced ourselves for the 3km of "holy" road, and started on our last leg of the journey, back to Jungle Junction, Nairobi.

Posted by Tulip1945 05:13 Archived in Kenya Comments (1)

From The Haven to Dunga Hill Camp, Kissumu

overcast 30 °C
View Around Lake Victoria on Tulip1945's travel map.

We spent an extra day relaxing in The Haven, walked down to the Nile, watched the white water rafters, the fishermen, had a bit of lunch and dinner in the evening. The next day, Sunday, was going to be a long drive, including crossing the border at Busia, back into Kenya. The border only took a little over an hour, maybe because it was Sunday... They got us for vehicle importation tax though...
Our first choice of campsite in Kissumu, the Kissumu Beach Resort, was a bit of a let down. It looked more like a rubbish tip than anything else! So, we waved goodbye to the guard and headed for option nr 2, the Dunga Hill Camp. The place was packed with locals, having Sunday dinner and chilling at the lake. Over drinks we got talking to the only other campers, a Dutch couple from Oisterwijk, we had dinner together and then watched an amazing sunset! The Brabanders left in the morning, so we were the only ones left... I spent most of the day sleeping (was not feeling very well) and Padraig caught up with some work. And then, at night, the rain came down!

Posted by Tulip1945 04:57 Archived in Uganda Comments (0)

Red Chilli to The Haven, near Jinja

sunny 28 °C
View Around Lake Victoria on Tulip1945's travel map.

We were awoken by thunder, lightning and torrential rain. I have never seen anything like it, but according to the Red Cilli staff this was only a little rain at the start of the rainy season... When it finally stopped after an hour or so, we had had our breakfast in the van. Since we had only 100km to travel that day, we were not in any hurry. Just as well. We had left in some washing the day before (sorry madam, we do not wash underpants), and that was still wet. So we decided to go for a walk into the nearby village. Up the hill, past another UN facility (this time research laboratories, dealing with tb and decease control), past a big hospital and then all the usual roadside traders. From the road there were lovely views over Lake Victoria and the surrounding countryside. After returning to Red Chilli we had a bit of lunch, and collected our still damp washing. We can certainly recommend Red Chilli. It has accommodation in dorms, in rooms and a campsite. Definitely the best equipped hostel I have ever seen! They are looking for managers, so I applied for the job!
The 100km to Jinja took us over 3 hours. Yes, traffic again! But through some beautiful, lush countryside. We see on television that there is a drought on, and that people are dying, but we have seen no evidence of that... The last 7km to The Haven was another dirt road, lined with huts and waving children, and banana trees. After some initial confusion, we got allocated a lovely camping spot overlooking g the Nile, hung up our washing, had a cold drink and ordered dinner!

Posted by Tulip1945 00:24 Archived in Uganda Comments (1)

Trip to Entebbe (Feb 23)

sunny 31 °C
View Around Lake Victoria on Tulip1945's travel map.

Everyone remembers Entebbe, don't they? So, since we were so close, we decided to check it out. With the help of our sat nav we negotiated our way once again through the chaotic Kampala traffic. It was a bit quieter on the Entebbe road, which also gave a great view of the red roof tops and the hills of Kampala. There seems to be an enormous difference between the haves and the have nots. .. Beautiful big houses on the hills and the usual very modest dwellings and trading posts on the side of the road. Still, everyone is waving and smiling! Bananas everywhere!
Coming into Entebbe we were pleasantly surprised. Excellent road, nice buildings and very clean. We followed the road along the lake and, oops! That road brought us straight into the airport! Padraig explained to the nice security guard that we made a mistake and were looking for the zoo (???). He was very helpful, showed us where to turn and waited for us on the other side of the road to give us directions... He also brought along his mate, who was looking for a lift into town. So we had our private security sitting on the bed... We dropped him off at the big UN facility and headed for a nice looking shopping centre in search of a supermarket. We found Nakumat, but, as it turned out there was a lot of staff but very little merchandise. We settled for a tub of yoghurt and a packet of Dutch peanut cookies.
The security guard in the car park gave us directions to the lake shore, where we had a lazy hour or so, eating our leftover pizza from the night before. All extremely pleasant. We walked down the road and had a look at all the lakeshore facilities. Lovely bars and eating places!
After a very relaxing day we made our way back to Red Chilli. It was hardly worth cooking, as the food there is so good and cheap! A few drinks before bed saw us to the end of another perfect day!

Posted by Tulip1945 00:16 Archived in Uganda Comments (1)

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