Monthly Archive for April, 2008

Guest blog: Cos & Kirsty On Tour

Webale nyo Ssebo and Nnyabo!

Although Dan and Grania were not too keen for us to write a blog post, we’d like to share a few extracts from our diaries.

Lucky for Dania, Phil and Sara that we arrived when we did – otherwise they may never have returned to tell the tale of our adventures in the African outback!

Having waited for ages at the airport for Grania to pick us up (as expected she had totally forgotten the time of our flight), we eventually arrived in Kampala to find Dan (bless him) in a complete panic after realising he had not organised anything for our planned trip the following day.

coskirsty0308-003.JPG

Fortunately, having anticipated this we’d planned a full itinerary and had already booked the necessary vehicle and accommodation.

We arrived at Lake Albert Safari lodge after a rough and ready drive. Although it was a last-minute booking made from a laptop in south-east London, the lodge turned out to be a total find, situated on cliffs overlooking the beautiful Lake Albert.

2008_03-phil-and-josh-visit-052.jpg 

Sipping beers by the lake, while watching a tropical thunder storm take its course over the Blue Mountains of the Congo, was one of the most memorable moments on our trip. What a shame that Dan found the Nile Special beer a bit too strong!

Next stop Budongo forest (after stopping off for a night in Masindi, where Dania’s friends provided us with a wonderful meal!) where we planned to camp. Thankfully for poor Phil and Sara, we could sense their anxiety and spent a long time helping them set up their tent properly away from any ant holes or other potential hazards! If that wasn’t enough it was their turn to cook that night  – to give them credit they did a grand job but were very grateful for our wood-chopping and fire-lighting skills! It was such a great experience camping so near the monkeys and baboons. Although Dan’s snoring did keep us up!

The Nile Safari Lodge was extremely tranquil and luxurious. It had wonderful bandas and a massive swimming pool overlooking the river Nile and the wildlife that lives in it.

p1000774.JPG

The food was absolutely amazing! But, again Sara and Phil were not completely at ease – they seemed to struggle at lot with the poor weather that night and complained about a tiny leak in their lodge! We thought to ourselves that these guys better toughen up soon – after all this was Africa and we still had a long way to go!

Murchison Falls National Park and the game drive north of the river: This was one of the most memorable experiences of the whole trip.

coskirsty0308-083.JPG

Cruising through the African bush spotting wildlife was breathtaking. This gave Kirsty an opportunity to share her great knowledge of the different species of East African birds and antelope with the group. Even the Ranger was impressed! Poor Grania could not spot a thing – she even confused a tree with an elephant. Though she cheered up when Kirsty pointed out the lions!

p1000705.JPG

What amazing and graceful beasts they were!

The most tricky experience of the trip was when we stumbled upon a rampaging elephant. After being freaked out by Dan and Phil’s screams the elephant decided to charge us. Luckily for the rest of the group Cos was not phased. He calmly stepped out of the vehicle and strolled towards the beast. He looked him in the eye and told him: Baska kapiya kocum!

Crisis averted, he then humbly took his place back in the jeep. That night we stayed at the Red Chilli camp, where Dan (feeling now some what inadequate) met a hippo while having a pee.

After an action-packed day we eventually made our way to the top of Murchison Falls to camp for the night. The camp site was remote, perched above the falls with commanding views.

p1000798.JPG

After Coskun (aka ‘Da Meterologist’) smelt rain in the air he took it upon himself to construct a dam with his bare hands to protect the camp site. Some say it was the 9th wonder of the world. As the sun went down and the storm was brewing, Dan served us his signature dish – “di pasta ripiena di zanzara” served with the local brew which went down a treat! We retreated to our tents confident in Coskun’s inspired construction. On waking we realised that the other campers on the site had not survived the storm and had fled leaving their tent hanging from a tree!

2008_03-phil-and-josh-visit-150_original_edit.jpg

Hope you have enjoyed some of our experiences from our amazing trip to Uganda – we had such a wonderful time with such great hosts! Grania and Dan certainly appreciated us being there – so much so that we pretended to miss our flight back home just to spend another 24 hours or so with the happy couple !! xx

coskirsty0308-146.JPG

More postings may follow (Dania permitting!)