Great Africa

The sounds of hippos

Following Charley’s arrival in Entebbe we hired a local Kampala taxi driver named Omar. From the get go he was not a happy camper because the deal he struck was for 100,000 Ugsh (about $40 per day). It required that I pay for fuel and his daily fee, from which he could pay for his food and lodging. Over the course of several days we could see in his eyes that anger was building. The day that we went gorilla tracking in Bwindi, as we climbed down into the gorge at Rahija, Omar waited behind at the drop-off point until we returned two hours later.

It was 10:30am and he was blind drunk. The rest of the day Charley and I held on tight as Omar dodged ditches across the back roads from Bwindi through Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kasese Town and on to The Mountains of the Moon Hotel in Fort Portal. I bit my tongue until the following day when we arrived to Masindi Town. It was then and there at the Masindi Hotel Victory that Omar and I parted ways. Charley and I are now masters of our world with a self-drive RAV4.

We camped under a full moon last night to the sounds of hippos in the near distance. Up early we caught an unscheduled 8am ferry across the River Nile and now we are settling in at the Paraa Safari Lodge until we head off fishing in the morning in search of the mighty Nile Perch.