December 6-7, 2008
After we returned from Murchison, our next plan was to go see the Gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (more on that in the next post). But we had a couple of days to kill before our appointment with the gorillas, so we decided to spend this time in one of the towns on the way to Bwindi: Kabale.
Kabale & Lake Bunyonyi
As with Fort Portal and Masindi, the town of Kabale itself is just a jump-off point. The real attraction is the nearby lake – Lake Bunyonyi. After doing some laundry in the morning (where we competed for space on the clothes-lines with the hotel maids), we hired a Bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) to take us the 30 minute drive to the nearby lake.
The bodaboda dropped us off at a place called Overland Camp. The word “overland” refers to a style of trip that many people do in Africa (especially Europeans); the tour company rigs up a huge truck like an RV, with seats on top and room for camping gear below; they take a group of tourists on this truck on long’ish trips around Africa (e.g. 40 days). Some of these trucks are really impressive:
We spoke to a couple of the people from this truck and they said that overlanding is the only way to go.
Anyhow, we grabbed a bite and then we hired a dug-out canoe to go out on the lake:
We were kind of worried about tipping over, especially with our cameras and other valuables, so we opted for the one that looked most stable. In the end it wasn’t tippy at all, but it was freggin’ heavy. Definitely more sluggish than the fiberglass kayaks Pnina and I are used to taking around Lake Union. Our Lonely Planet recommended for us to spend a little time close to shore practicing our canoeing skills because many tourists end up doing the “mzungu cork-screw”. We managed not to go in circles, though the boat definitely had a tendency to go left.
Anyhow, the lake is really beautiful and we only managed to see a tiny corner of it. It’s full of islands and bays. Some of the islands have their own lodges. If we came to Uganda again, we would probably spend more time here, perhaps at the lodge on Bushara Island.
Around the World
For a few days there have been riots in Athens. They started when a policeman shot and killed a 15-year old student. Many people demonstrated against this shooting, and the demonstrations eventually turned violent.
On TV we saw footage from the climax of the annual Haj. About three million people were in the town of Arafat. We’re pretty sure that we would not see this footage if we were back at home, but since we’re abroad and watching Al Jazira (which continually impresses us), we saw it. We didn’t know there was much to the Haj besides going to Mecca.