a slight change in plans and someone else can foot the bill
24.01.2016 - 25.01.2016
When we arrived at the airport in Entebbe on Thursday we really had no idea what we were in store for. How long the commutes could be, how wonderful the lodge would be, how much we would actually love sleeping under bug nets and have sunrise wake up calls with dark rich coffee in clay mugs. When they (Aerolink) asked us Thursday to change our Sunday flight to 10am (from 2pm)- we thought that we were being helpful by obliging. By the time that extremely delayed flight took off and we finally arrived at Bwindi around 7pm; we knew that we had made the wrong choice.
After asking Aerolink and Volcanoes Safaris to keep our original flight plan it was clear that the entire flight schedule had been amended for this change we had agreed to. In return however, Aerolink agreed to forgive the overweight baggage fees (USD$3/kg), pay for a day room at the Boma in Entebbe for us (USD$145) and pick up our lunch tab (USD$40)- so all in not a bad deal for losing half a day exploring Buhoma village with Petrus.
So, post another (too big) breakfast, we set off on our 2 hour drive back to Kihihi airstrip to catch our flight... Legitimately we arrived, put our bags on the plane and then we were off down the runway to Kosoro for a quick pick up and then back to Entebbe.
We were greeted in Entebbe by Moses, who took us to the Boma, our resting place until our 1:45am flight to the Seychelles (via Kigali & Addis Ababa) Monday morning. The Boma (~10 minutes from the airport) is a beautiful restored 1940's home with 2 restaurants and a clean swimming pool with comfortable lounge chairs and friendly staff willing to bring a few cold Nile Specials when asked. The hotel offers day rates (check in at 11am and check out at 9pm) to accommodate travellers with odd schedules needing a place for a nap or a shower (USD$145 for the day). We spent a few hours I the sun before setting out into Entebbe to check out the Wildlife Conservation Centre (i.e. Zoo).
We strolled on the main road until we saw Anna's Cafe and hung a right down Station Road to the Conservation Centre (not without a few other wrong turns and a few squabbles). The Zoo is situated on the enormous Lake Victoria, which dominates the eastern edge of Uganda and the horizon as well. The zoo itself was better than expected (not comparable to the major zoos of the world, however I was pleasantly surprised at the size of both the facility and the pens (and as for the monkeys- the lack of pen) in which the animals were housed. Spent the better part of an hour at the zoo until a giant storm cloud appeared to the west- one of those "this isn't good" kind of clouds. I hurried the caveman out of the zoo and we did a hybrid slow yog/speed walk back to the Boma until locals started running by us- a bold indication that it was time for us to get a move on. We got back to the hotel gate just as the pea sized rain drops started pelting down- followed soon by thunder and lightning and even more rain.
After dinner, a mini nap and packing up again we made our way to the airport for our flight. It's been a long day- we are just now (12 hours later) on the last quarter of our flight fro Addis to Victoria (Seychelles). Upon arrival we have 1 last flight from Victoria (Mahė) to Praslin Island, where we will call home for the next 4 days.
So long, Africa. It was magical.