The is the last post of my Uganda Travel Series. Previous ones are Volunteer experiences in Uganda, My Misadventure in Lake Bunyonyi, How I Did The African Safari For Free. Continuing from the last post: Before heading to Masindi, I took a bus from Kasese town for Fort Portal. After 2 hrs ride, I reached the beautiful city of Fort Portal. It is recognised as the “Tourism city of Uganda”. Do not miss visiting Fort Portal, if you plan to visit Uganda. Read on!
From the bus stop, I went straight to the hostel and left my bags and set out to explore the city. First stop was Tooro Botanical Garden. It is a beautiful and spacious garden with many indigenous plants and trees. It has some amazing views of beautiful houses with Rwenzori mountains in the background. There is no entrance fee but there are some paid tours within the garden. After the garden visit, I took a mototaxi to reach Tooro Palace. It is the palace of the current king of Toro even though he doesn’t live here. In the pre-colonial times, Fort portal was the capital of Toro Kingdom. Palace is situated at an elevation. Views of Rwenzori mountains and the Fort Portal city from the palace are truly breathtaking. I met three guys there who suggested me to visit the nearby crater lake. Again, I took a mototaxi to reach the crater lake. Mototaxi dropped me on the road. I walked for like 15-20 minutes to reach the lake. I was the only person who was there at that time. It was quite serene. I enjoyed my time there. While returning, I decided to walk all the way back to the city centre. Best decision of the day! During my walk, I witnessed kids returning from their schools, workers returning from their hard day’s work, Friendly locals waving at me. I strike a conversation with a boy on the way. The whole ambience was so relaxing. It felt like I was part of their lives. Before heading back to my hostel, I ate Rolex! In case you are wondering, No, my digestive system is not so strong that it can digest a watch. Well, Rolex is a street food comprises of Omelete rolled inside a Parantha(They call it Chapati though, well that’s another matter). It was supposed to be called “Roll Eggs” but gradually it changed into a slang i.e. “Rolex”! Cheapest food named after one of the most expensive watches. The Irony! I wish I stayed more in Fort portal. Fort portal is one of the best places in Uganda for tourism. The city is clean, green and full of positive vibes.
THE SOURCE OF THE RIVER NILE, JINJA
From Gulu, I took a bus to Kampala and from Kampala, I took another bus to Jinja. It was approx. 8-9 hours ride in total. I traveled to Jinja to volunteer with an environmental organization. On the following weekend, I visit the source of the river Nile. Before that, I went to A-One Beach and it has some amazing views. It is a nice place to relax or party! The pier to get a boat to reach the source of the river Nile is located inside the park. The entrance fee to the park for foreigners is $10. The cost for a small boat (It includes a visit to the source of the Nile and a waterfall) is 100000 Ugandan shillings but since I was alone, the cost was too much for me. I decided to let it go and explore the park instead. While wandering, I met a local fisherman who was going to the source of the river Nile and I tag along with him on his Canoe. It turns out the source of the river Nile is just 10 mins from the Pier and even less with a motorboat! It is a historical landmark and full of tourists. It is where the River Nile originates from Lake Victoria. The only outflow from Lake Victoria is the River Nile which exits here. In terms of contributed water, Lake Victoria is the principal source of the longest branch of the Nile. It is one of those places where there’s nothing much to do but you still visit because of its significance. You can also go for longer rides on River Nile/Lake Victoria from the same pier.
Just like Fort portal, I wish I could have stayed longer in Entebbe. You know sometimes you travel to a place and you get some really positive vibes from that place even though there’s not many attractions to visit or things to do. Entebbe is that place but the good part is there’s an Entebbe Zoo. It is now known as Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre and it is a must-visit. I was very reluctant to visit the zoo since I was not interested in seeing animals in cages but I still went because of my host’s recommendation and I was positively surprised. This zoo is nothing like the zoos I have seen in my life. Don’t get me wrong, the animals were in cages but they have their own space. If you know what I mean. I let pictures do all the explaining. A must visit place nonetheless. There are a beautiful beach and a mini Jungle walk inside the zoo. Do not miss them!
EQUATOR LINE NEAR KAMPALA
Like Source of the River Nile, visiting Equator Line is essential because of its significance. Equator line is located around 80 km from Kampala city. The capital city of Uganda. I took a matatu(Shared taxi) to reach the Equator line situated in Kayabwe. There’s a cafe located in the middle of the equator line. There you can do the water experiment for like 10000-15000 Ugandan shillings. The water at the equator runs down counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere due to the effect caused by the earth’s rotation on moving objects. Also, there are many souvenir shops nearby. Kampala city is like any other big city. The best things about my visit to Kampala are meeting my amazing Couchsurfing host. What a guy! And eating lip-smacking delicious Indian food at Govinda’s restaurant. The hospitality of Ugandan People was truly amazing. I am so grateful to them. Plan a visit to Uganda and you will be surprised!