03.26.2017 - 03.26.2017
To return to Kampala from Queen Elizabeth National Park, we traveled first north to Kasese on Mbarara-Kasese Road, and then through Hima, Fort Portal before we turned east on the A109 highway to complete our journey. We set out early on Saturday morning for the 416km trip (approximately 260 miles) which was to take about seven hours. It was interesting to see a different part of the country on this route back, the towns were more well-maintaned than our southern route, though the landscape was still dotted with a lot of agricultural concerns. Our pace was comfortable as we chatted with our driver, Joseph, who obligingly named every tree, flower, and bird we saw while talking about Ugandan history and culture, and his considerable knowledge about the towns through which we passed. After days and days with Joseph as our guide, it was becoming bittersweet to realize our trip was nearing its conclusion.
I had told Joseph throughout the trip that my one wish, so far unrealized, was to photograph a gray crowned crane, the national symbol of Uganda. We had spotted one high above us at Nakivubo, but I wasn't able to get a photo. Joseph promised me that he would find one, and on this final trip he found not one but a pair of them. Beautiful!
We enjoyed one more evening of food, music, and dance in Kampala with our Ndere friends, before a very late night drive to Entebbe, the city of our departure for home. We all looked much the same when we left Kampala as when we arrived, but all of us are changed for the better by this wonderful experience!