This trip idea started when I was chatting to Sravya (Kiva fellow based in Uganda as well as ex EY) and we thought it would be fun to spend Easter together… Fast forward four weeks and I found myself on a bus with Harry (another ex EY…) on our way to the Ugandan border.
After some good old fashioned border control fun (waiting, sweating, paperwork filling, stamping) and currency exchange in the middle of the road, we got to Ugandan soil – it was actually surprisingly painless.
I was then introduced to the concept of rolleggs – basically a man in an alley with a frying pan making quick omelettes wrapped in chappati, popped in a plastic bag! Neither street food nor plastic bags are allowed in Rwanda, so already I was very excited!
With my rolleggs bag in hand, we drove for another 30 min on the bus, avoided many questionable toilet options, got into a random man’s car to take us to the lake and boarded our hotel’s motor boat – we are alive and we made it… amazing!
Our home for the next three days was the Bushara Island camp – safari tents with lake views, open top showers and eco-toilets. The island had no electricity (other than a few battery powered bulbs), which meant fun candle lit dinners and plenty of flash light action. There was also limited running water – I ended up using the lake as my bath, others braved the cold shower.
So what do a bunch of mazungus do on a secluded Ugandan island in the middle of a lake, besides eat their body weight in crayfish?
1.Attempt to ride a canoe and fail… An experience dubbed as the mazungu cork screw… as all you do is spin, whilst the locals laugh at you. A five minute journey to a neighbouring island took us 30 minutes, a lot of embarrassment and heavy sunburn. Did I mention that we were beaten by a swimmer…
2.Coordinate your pontoon jumps… And generally wind down the clock and enjoy spending time reading, swimming and figuring out how effective DEET can be when you spray it on a flying bug….
3.Empty the wine shelves… When we arrived on the island they had an ok-ish selection of wine (ok-ish is used very sparingly in this context!). By the time we left, the shelves were pretty much empty. To make up for the wine shortage, the island did have a four deck UNO game, which had us occupied for hours…
4.Search for the most amazing views… At one point we all fancied a chance to actually flush a toilet, so we headed to the mainland. I took my first ever boda boda ride (two man moto with no helmets!) to the top of the hills, where we settled in Hotel Arcadia for the evening – more wine, more amazing views and a midnight pitch black boat ride back to the island!
5.Miss the sunrise… A 6.30am wake up call, a hike to the lake and nothing… We all needed a caffeine fix after this fail!
Time has the tendency to stop for me in these parts of the world… There is nowhere to be and nothing particularly important to do… Absolute bliss!