Lessons from the wild
By Reedbuck, In Uncategorized, 25 Nov 2015
Lessons from the wild
“They believe humans are stronger than them. In Budongo, there are three communities. There are about 700 chimpanzees. An average family is about 200,” Birungi explained. They have a lifespan of between 40 and 45 years but can go up to 60 years when in captivity. While the hairy folks took it slow on the chilly morning, this gave chance to photographers to snap away as the guides interjected with quick facts
Besides the chimpanzees, Budongo is also home to some of the oldest trees, some as old as 600 years. Their character and outlook is something of interest. Some interlock, some with open stems, extra-large buttress or either big or very small leaves. A few are multi-colourful
According to the itinerary, it was a drive to the top of the falls of Murchison and there were prized sights, of gushing water through a nestled gorge and a rainbow that runs across the water. It can be well viewed from the top most viewpoints, and makes for photo moments though this comes at a cost of being drowned in water that splashes off the rocks. Another good photograph to capture is the calm bed into which the falls pour, forming some off-white droplets.
The stomachs were begging for a refill and we head to Pakuba Safari Lodge, a fenceless beautiful place where after a few hours, waiters and support staff became friends. They served us cold beer comes and the meals were sumptuous. In the night, as we dined, wild animals ‘kept guard’ in the compound. We compare notes on our next destination, Pakuba Lodge in Kidepo which is a superior facility but with fair customer care. The lodge is high-end but with employees who are more mechanical than professional, to the standards.
Some do not know what is on the menu, others promised to wake us up and left us to snore beyond the call time. After one of the meals, we asked for tooth picks and the waiter came and served us with a toothpick each.
For a few of these things, you will let pass just to enjoy your time out and away from boda bodas hooting, loud church-goers and booming music boxes in the name of bars, pubs and nightclubs.
Kidepo is a beautiful park, home to the buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, name it. But if not for animals then landscapes will leave your heart hungering for a longer stay. The prized lions kept at the high altitude, high up on the rocks.
Breakfast in the wild, in the middle of the park, was awesome. And as we partook of ours, the vultures were busy pocking and munching on a dead buffalo. In the jungle, you do not live and let live. The strongest survive but nature also favours the weak.
Well, Kidepo lasted longer. On one of the evenings, we visited the Karamojong communities where we got to appreciate their way of life. They live in three tribes and at the helm is an 82-year-old king, Etiang Inyasio. Women play a pivotal role of looking after the family. They make sure granaries are filled and prepare local brew called kwete, for their men. This as the sun sinks into the cloud. Kwete is a fermented mixture of maize, sorghum and water. Our guide, Rafael Ojok, tells us that children, as early as four years, look after animals as a perquisite for them to be tested if they are ready and ‘sharp’ enough to start studying.
The next morning, we were flown back to Kampala, which provided an opportunity to take some aerial shots. Jinja came, inviting the next day. I had never though quad-biking would make me wish I did it all over again and again. It is a great sport that you should try. Within a few minutes we could ignite the bikes, automatically peddle them in motion and direct them. Trust me, this is something that should give you reason to go to Jinja. We are let on a trail through the rural circuits of Jinja- gardens, muddy tracks as the children and adults alike, wave at us with sunny smile.
There was a choice between quad-biking and water rafting and having rafted a few times before, I had no regrets missing out on the equally enthralling experience at the wild waters of the mighty River Nile. Later on, the faint-hearted settled to take photos of the bungee-jumpers, another adventure. Your writer was one of the cowards who thought sipping on a Nile beer was a better reason that suspending oneself on a rope and into the waters of the Nile. Either way, we tasted the Nile. The frothy levels only differed.