Entering Uganda from Kenya.
A Ugandan office with staff exercising before starting work.
A pygmy prepares for the next show.
Visiting Ugandan pygmies
Hours of terrible roads brought us to a ranger station where we were encouraged
to pass over thick wads of shillings, not only to support the pygmy villagers,
but also in return for the ranger guide's revelations regarding pygmy
After a short walk we arrived at the thatched pygmy camp to find the little chaps smashed out of their heads on cane wine and weed, ready to stuff some greenery down their tatty shorts, pound on a plastic water can, wobble around in a feeble circle and pose for pictures - provided the price was right.
Hippos in Queen Elizabeth National Park's Kazinga Channel.
The main tourist wildlife reserve in Uganda is Queen Elizabeth National Park and claims to have one of the highest bio-diversity ratings in the world. It's home to large numbers of hippopotami, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees. A total of 95 species of mammal and over 500 species of birds. The area around Ishasha is famous for its tree-climbing lions, whose males sport black manes, a feature unique to the lions in this area.
The reserve, sometimes called 'the Pearl of Africa' is very picturesque, with volcanic craters, grassy plains, tropical forest and the Kazinga Channel.
The Kazinga Channel is a 20 mile (32 km) long natural channel connecting two large QENP lakes, Edward and George. The channel and its shores are teeming with wildlife such as cape buffalo, hippos, elephants and many and varied birds. Boat trips along the channel are one of the most popular activities in Queen Elizabeth Park.
Pumped male elephants face down our Land Rover in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Uganda Map | Africa Map
• Game drives on Kasenyi Plains.
• Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge
• Hike the Maramagambo forest to see monkeys, antelope and lots of bird life.
• Meet local people at the Kikorongo Cultural Center.
• visit Katwe Salt Lake and village to learn about traditional salt mining here since the 16th century.
• Cruise the Kazinga Channel to see hippos, crocodiles, cape buffalo and birds.
• Take a sunset drive up to Crater Lake for a drink.
• Walk around Lake Kikorongo with a bird-specialist guide.
• Take a trip around Edward Flats in search of the famous tree climbing lions.
• Do a wildlife safari of the Ishasha plains.
Ah, a cool bath and hair washing in the River Nile.
This branch is also known as the Victoria Nile as waters flow from Lake Victoria through a couple of smaller lakes to become the White Nile.
Do NOT bathe/swim/paddle in Lake Malawi!
Bilharzia, or schistosomiasis, is a parasitic infection caused by a worm that bores through moist skin deep into human flesh. The worm, endemic in Africa, lives part of its life cycle in freshwater snails, which excrete it in their faeces into water where unsuspecting humans wash or bathe.
Symptoms of bilharzia are similar to a bad case of influenza: a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath, night sweats and very painful joints.
Dr Nick Beeching, senior lecturer in infectious diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, says about half of the cases he has seen are traceable to Lake Malawi. In one group of 18 students on a scuba-diving holiday, 15 were infected.
An enterprising Ugandan arrives at the Nile with a mobile bar for the benefit of thirsty travelers.
Information on visas is confusing.
Crimes such as pick pocketing, bag snatching and thefts from hotels and vehicles are common, even when the stolen items are secured out of sight and the vehicle is parked in an area patrolled by uniformed security personnel.
Tourists in bars, nightclubs and other entertainment areas should never leave their drink or food unattended, especially solo travelers. Victims have included female patrons who reported they were drugged, and taken to another location and sexually assaulted. Robberies have occurred on public transport under similar circumstances.
Malaria is a common problem in Uganda so make sure to take anti-malarials if you're going there in season. Travelers who become ill with a flu-like illness while traveling in a malaria-risk area and up to one year after returning home should seek prompt medical attention.