Road trip to the Equator and the source of the Nile
Have you ever been in a catch 22 situation, found yourself racing against time? That was us, deliberating on how we were going to tackle this huge task at hand. We wanted to go to the equator but also wanted to catch the sunset cruise at the source of the Nile River in Jinja. If you could try and look at the map you would find that the two are on opposite ends from Kampala, covering a distance of about 318km.Unlike here at home where the speed limit on national roads is 120km/h in Uganda most roads have a maximum speed limit of 60-80km/h. This meant we needed to calculate our time to the tee or one bad move we would find ourselves sitting with all sorts of problems.
After a long discussion we came to an agreement that we will wake up very early, spend some time at the equator point, sit through the experiments, take loads of pictures then make way to Jinja to arrive early enough to have late lunch then catch the sunset at the source of the Nile. Indeed everyone was on time, we were all looking forward to it. On the way two things stood out for me, one was that the locals only stood on one side of the road when selling to passing vehicles. We later found out that it is a punishable offence to cross the road and sell on the other side.
The second one was how people built houses right next to the road (dirt road) and as a result they now had to have some sort of a curtain like cloth blocking the sand from entering the houses. Clearly they do not share the same rules as South Africa, where you can only build a certain meters from the road. I also worried about their safety, because if anything happened on the road, they would be affected.
Enough about safety, when we got to the equator for some it was an odd experience because they could not believe not understand why we would travel such a distance to see this one line. However, to some it was an experience of a life time and a beginning of new adventures because now we have to finish what we started by getting to all parts of the world where the equator passes (challenge accepted). My Friend Sli, who is a GIS specialist was extremely happy about this whole experience. She was besides herself. After taking pictures we settled down for an experiment, it was the coolest thing to watch, seeing the altitude at play. After all the activities, we then left for Jinja.
Nile River is the longest river in the world. The source of the Nile can be traced to Jinja in Uganda. The river is about 6696km long and it pours it’s waters to more than nine countries though it is centered in Uganda and Egypt. Some of these countries include, Kenya, Tanzania Zair, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Sudan. This giant river offers a variety of activities to choose from, we opted for a Sunset Cruise and it turned out to be the best choice ever. We got to see the beauty of the Nile and some of its habitats.
By the time we got to Jinja the road had taken its toll on us and we were also very hungry as the plan was to have Lunch overlooking the Nile. However, between arriving closer to the time the shuttles leave for the boat and finding one restaurant deserted, we headed straight to the resort where we were going to catch the shuttles from. Fortunately, it was a decent hotel and we managed to order some pizza and Masala Chips and off we went. We got on the boat and slowly disappeared into the sunset.
The guide made it all worth it by making small stops as we go, explaining what snakes, birds and fish pieces are found in the Nile. At some point we had to quickly steer clear of the trees because two snakes were spotted a few meters from the boat. We also made a stop at Paradise Island to take some pictures and get some refreshments. I have never seen such calm waters. We had a great time and it’s an experience of a life time.
We enjoyed our time on the road with the multiple stops we had. The adrenaline pumping race against time made it all exciting, I’d do it again. I hope you find yourselves in Uganda soon.
Activities found in and around the source of the Nile
• White River Rafting
• Cruising the Nile
• River Boarding
• Mountain Biking
• Chasing waterfalls
• Bungee Jumping