Sunday, 25 January 2015

To The Second Deepest Lake In Africa.



The boat cruise on lake bunyonyi


And yes this place is too cold, the reason its called the the switzerland of Uganda . Lake bunyonyi in a direct translation means “the lake for small birds”. And if you are a bird watcher who actually needs to see these small birds, then this is the right place for you.
After a cold night at the shores of this lake and having breakfast we decided to come up with ideas on what we should do before be headed out of this place. We discussed this and I had so many options to give simone and Gadi to choose from the many. This is the advantages that come with car rental or self drive adventures with Auto Rental Uganda. we did narrow to have a boat cruise on the lake. This was a motor boat as compared to the canoe boat that would require us get involved in the movement of the boat. 

Gadi and simone decided to take on the motor boat, and actually this motor boat belongs to a local guide who takes you around. At about 9:pm, we boarded the motor boat and started our tour on this second deepest lake in Africa after lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. Believed to be about 900m deep, with over 29 islands, this lake has some of the traditional islands like the Punishment island and upside down island. We did go to byoona amagara island that habours a local tourist lodge first before we headed to the traditional islands. The punishment island is a small island with a tree in between reeds and grass standing upright. It is believed this island was a place in early centuries that, when a girl got pregnant at an early age, she would be taken to this island when about to give birth, given one stick and left her there with no food and water. So that she starves and when she would try to swim off to the shores of the lake she would die while swimming, reason for its name. the tree in between is a good spot for the African fish eagles and the great commorants. They rest on this tree and you will almost think it is a chrismass tree. 
 
we joined to the local traditional dance
We proceeded as our main target was to get hiking the bunyonyi hills at the extreme end boardering Rwanda to visit the minority tribe short people with great acient culture. We got to the extreme end of the lake about 23kms and left the boat at the bottom and before it actually threatened to rain but the “silver back” GADI made a joke of taking away the rain and bring the sun using spiritual powers, the rain actually disappeared but that wasn’t because of him, it was a concidence.

We started hiking to the top.. It actually took us 40mins before we got to the top of the mountain and reach the minority tribe. These batwa minority tribe are people still living in the great acient life, they represent our ancestorial behaviours. They still live in shark huts, cook and sleep in same place, smoke acient pipes, use herbs as medicine. Nothing like modern life reflects on them. They will dance to the acient local traditional dance and will invite you join them. Ofcourse myself the guide and Simone had to get involved in the traditional dance. After this experience we decide to slope back to the shores for our boat to head back. The views and scenery at this place are tempting to keep your camera snapping. It is breath taking. We proceeded to head back to the hotel but we used another route full of birds, the pied king fishers diving for crayfish will catch your attention.  We used another water route through another island called the UPSIDE DOWN island. The story about these island is that A witch who was denied access to the island to share a lopcal brew drink with the community on that island on chrissmass day got so much annoyed and decided to drown and kill everybody at that island by using his charms to turn the island Up-Side down. The community here still believe this is true and happened in real life. 

Yes and the feeling that your on top of the second deepest lake in Africa, a mixture of fear and excitement. We did arrive back to the lodge for lunch and got ready to transfer to the home of the mountain Gorilas.

After lunch we proceeded to Bwindi impenetrable national park. It had rained the previous day and so the road was muddy. At some point I would have to stop and make calculations where to put the car wheels. Yes simone was always scared at every seeing a muddy ditch hole and I personallyasked her to close her eyes everytime we approached one. Which was a good trick. So everytime I detected a muddy place, I would announce, “Simone time to close your eyes” and she would close immediatly. Yeah the road was ofal after ther previous down pour, it almost looked like a potatoe field, but this all made the trip interesting. I actually like taking such driving challenges, makes my whole job interesting. 
Gadi on his jokes of bringing back the sun


Here we finally get to Buhoma side where we were supposed to track the gorillas the next day.
Now, The lodge we were supposed to go had almost similar name like the old one. It was an extension of the buhoma community rest camp, a lodge owned by the community around the buhoma. The new Havens lodge was a new extention of the old one and I myself never knew about this. So on reaching the old lodge, we met the new manager very excited as he jumped into our rav4 to direct us to the right place. The reason for the excitement is that, the whole team was waiting for us the whole day since 9am in the morning and we were no where to be seen. Almost giving up and maybe thinking we got lost or stuck in the jungles. A team of about 40 persons was waiting at the reception. Even the cooks and cleaners were also waiting anxiously for the first clients to sleep in the new lodge. On hearing this, simone also jumped to excitement because of her being the  first person to sleep at this lodge. Yes, all that comes with something new, the rooms were very perfect with a clear view to the bwindi forest, the dinning neatly arranged and when we got to the food, everything sealed up to perfect. You can guess simone’s “ezi yoffi’s were too many. Uaii uaii uaii, hahahaha. Even Gadi, the silverback said Ezii yofi, uaii uaii. Only two uaii’s.  Ok now the food thing I don’t know the names, but what I know is the food was perfect. We ate and drunk as we tossed to the successfullness of the trip quarter way.. we actually invited another staff member volunteer to join us for dinner. That’s how friendly were were.

Simone and gadi had to go sleep earlier because the next day was for the ultimate mountain gorilla experience. Join me next time as i narrate the ultimate gorilla experience.

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