2 October 2016
Although the morning threatened rain, we were all up bright and early for our trek to Jinja where the source of the Nile River is located. From it’s beginning in Jinja, the Nile flows North to meet up with the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt, a trip of 90 days. Our tour guide was Arthur of Econesttim Tours and Safaris Uganda. He is absolutely wonderful!!! This was probably about the 4th trip to Jinja with Arthur and last April he took the group to Queen Elizabeth National Park. At the end of our time in Kampala, he will take the group to Murchison Falls National Park. He is very friendly and has a wealth of knowledge about the area and cultural customs. He drives very comfortable and reliable Safari Trucks and I always feel safe with him. The first stop of the day was Ssezibwa Falls. This is cultural site for the Buganda people and is often used, usually at least once daily, by villagers coming to ask for gifts or something they want. They also come to ask for pregnancy and especially for twins. Having a twin birth is a status symbol and since the story of the Ssezibwa Falls is that it comes from a Twin River, they think it can increase their chances of having twins. Our guide their, Christopher, took us on a long nature walk where we saw a lot of beautiful plants and trees. He told us about the many uses of these plants to treat a variety of common ailments. We then hiked to the top of the falls where the view was beautiful.
We then proceeded to a place where we were taken on a wooden boat to the source of the Nile. When I first started coming to Uganda, the area had tiny island you could get out and walk on and the sign where it says that this is the Source of the Nile was not under water. There were craft shops in huts as well, but now the area is flooded due to the building of a dam upstream. The main source of electrical power in Uganda is their Water Power Plants. They started with one dam on the River Nile but now they have several. It does help a lot with creating more power but it has decreased the number of falls and rapids that were natural sites of beauty and fun for all living in and visiting Uganda. From time to time there are also rumors that another dam will be built that will destroy Murchison Falls (you’ll see pictures of that when the students so on safari) but I can’t believe that will ever happen- at least I sure hope not! That certainly is a national treasure.
We also went to a small reptile zoo where we saw lots of snakes, cute monkeys that ate spiders right from the guides hands. Most of us were pretty horrified when the female guide started collecting spiders in her hands to feed to the monkeys. But then both Dr. Foote and Mike did it too- they are braver than I…
The day ended with a delicious meal at a restaurant called The Gately on the Nile. I will definitely go there again! After we were all filled to the gills, we headed back to Kampala. Definitely a wonderful outing to finish off our weekend. Tomorrow we get back to work! (by the way, we somehow avoided the rain- a few droplets- but nothing to keep us from having a great time!)