By Eddie Ssemakula
I have grown up in Kampala most of my life, but living in Masindi during my childhood gave me a little taste of how unique my country is.
My dad, a traveling businessman, sometimes let me come alongside him as he caught an early morning bus with him to Kampala from Masindi. And of course, more the running trees, what my young eyes often saw, left me awed. The vegetation-clad roadsides on the Gulu-Masindi highway, River Kafu, I couldn’t have enough of it all.
I still haven’t had enough of the Uganda travel experience.
Generally speaking, despite my mediocre travel experience, I am still way more traveled than most Ugandans I know (okay at least in my circles, including my wife who’s literally never left Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja – since day 1, okay hope she’s not reading).
But there is a lot for Ugandans to explore about their country. Here are a few places and experiences I have got from my homeland and I wish every Ugandan could explore. (Yet I hope you also still see how limited I am in my own way)
The early morning lion sights in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
A friend once expressed surprise at my lack of travel experience as we were coming from a meeting in Kasese and gave me a ride to Queen Elizabeth National Park. That was something, the sight of majestic lion cubs blocking our way early in the morning I will never forget. I wish I could go on to see the famous tree climbing lions too.
Whereas this is a fun place, I love the professionalism there, it’s the next best thing a Kampala born kid ever explores. at least most of us Ugandans start here in our travel. Though I still have aspirations of seeing things beyond Entebbe Zoo.
Mabira forest along the Jinja highway has always stirred my curiosity. Although a constant sight on my travels to Jinja, I wonder what it would look like to explore it by foot for example!
Jinja and source of the Nile (of course)
Jinja City is in its own tourism league, thanks to the source of the River Nile. My primary school trips exposed me to a lot of it, I just hope I can see more of it, but checking out Jinja sailing club as an adult was quite breathtaking, so was Bujagali Falls (now dam) and the source of the Nile.
West Nile white Nile sightings.
Best thing I’ve seen in Uganda, River Nile runs up north through West Nile, and part of it there is (for some reason) referred to as White Nile. I recall seeing the White Nile from a distance and leaving marveled at what a beautiful country we live in.
Well, for now, as you can see, that’s just about how far I have gone in Uganda. And like many, I would like to know my country better. I hope I get the opportunity to do so, someday. I hope many Ugandans do.
What about you, where in Uganda have you been?