The overnight bus between Nairobi and Jinja, Uganda, was an experience. Leaving late, we careered across windy dirt roads, overtaking trucks on blind corners regularly. Stops were made that we were told would be short, only to not move for over an hour. We had the front seats on the bus, which meant more leg room, but also more terrifying moments as we could see the bus driver, on his phone, one handedly speeding along pot holes roads. This was also through notorious shifta (bandit) country. Thirteen hours after we left Nairobi we arrived in Jinja, only five and a half hours later than expected.
Dropped in the middle of nowhere on the side of the highway, we jumped a boda boda (motorcycle) each and headed to Nile River Explorer backpackers on the outskirts of Jinja. A worrying few hours walking around town trying to find an ATM that accepted MasterCard (of course the last bank in town was the only one!) ended in an indulgent (chicken sandwich) late lunch at the Source cafe - even including a real coke zero!
Bumming a ride on the back of NRE's ute we headed out to their campsite overlooking Bujagali Falls near the source of the Nile at lake Victoria. But our picturesque camp was soon invaded by a group of 18 year old American missionaries, who's conversations ranged from "OMG All the prices are in Ugandan Shillings!" (amazing considering we are in Uganda) and "What time are we going to force everyone to worship tonight?".
The next day we were up early to head to the river put in point for a day of white water rafting.
A tasty breakfast of Rolex, omelette in a chapatti, and fruit salad, provided the fuel for a day spent in an inflatable raft. In reality we spent nearly as much time out of the Raft, getting tossed out by grade five rapids and bobbing along in the Nile current. With names like The Avenger and The Bad Place, the size of the standing waves would tip our boat onto its tail, rolling us over and leaving you gasping for breath, not knowing whether you were under the raft or being tossed head first into some rocks.
After several fantastic hours and some nice sun burn in the shape of our life jackets, we finished up with a roast beef lunch and some Nile Specials, the local brew. We enjoyed the locally produced beers so much we spent the night sampling many more. This made for a not-so-fun morning the next day, when we rolled out the tent early, packed everything away and headed off towards Fort Portal, via Kampala.