Tag Archive for Africa

Day 8 – Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kampala, Uganda

Today was another big driving day, as it took 7 hours to get from Kisase to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. We got started at 0930 and didn’t arrive at our hotel, the Emin Pasha Hotel, until 1700. We stopped for lunch for about 45 minutes at an orphanage in a small village, and Marv made a donation. Leslie picked up some shawls at a vendor at an earlier stop, where we also picked up some Fantas.

Upon leaving the lodge, we saw elephants, buffalo, and antelope but moved on without stopping: “That was so yesterday,” Leslie remarked.

The drive was unremarkable, but did include beautiful rolling hills and vistas, tea and banana plantations, and a variety of farming. We also noticed that a lot of the infrastructure development was foreign managed. Robert explained that the Ugandans still had close ties to the British, who had leases to run industrial endeavors, such as cement factories. As we got closer to Kampala, we noticed Chinese road crews building roads and undertaking construction projects.

We also noticed the influence of Indian culture in the cuisine, the look and feel of the businesses, and the advertisements. For example, samosas were on every menu and the presence of large Indian conglomerates manifested themselves in architecture and marketing.

The hotel was is called the Emin Pasha Hotel, a German Jew who had quite an interesting and adventurous life in Africa (but not much to do with the hotel that bears his name). It was a walled oasis/villa amidst the capital city.

Emin Pasha Hotel - Kampala Emin Pasha Hotel - Kampala Emin Pasha Hotel - Kampala Emin Pasha Hotel - Kampala Emin Pasha Hotel - Kampala

Lush gardens, immaculate, tasteful, and luxurious furnishings, and delicious food. I had dinner in while Marv and Leslie went out with Robert for Chinese food (I wasn’t feeling well – slight stomach cramps, which Cipro ultimately cleared up). I also watched the first television in many many weeks (CNN), and learned about the freezing weather in the US (including my home city, Boston).

When Marv and Leslie returned from their outing, I learned that they went to the Fang Fang restaurant, and that it was outstanding.

Tomorrow we fly out of Kampala and I begin my adventure alone in Ethiopia.

Day 7 – Animal Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese)

We woke up early and a cup of coffee fueled us for the morning safari drive, where we opened up our Land Cruiser top and to spot animals. Our drive started at 0630 and we returned around 1000. We actually ended up seeing more variety the night before, but here’s what we found that morning:

Read more

Day 3 – Butare to Kigali to Rehengeri

We started out on the road early, around 0800 since we had a big driving day ahead of us (about 5 hours) to transit the entire South-North expanse of Rwanda, through winding, mountain roads, not to mention several stops along the way. Today was the big day to really explore Rwanda’s history – from pre-colonial, to colonial, to neo-colonial, to modern.

Read more

Day 2 in Africa – Bujumbura to Butare

On our second full day, we spent most of the time in the car on winding mountain roads, crossing from Bujumbura (Buja), Burundi into Butare, Rwanda. The road was very good, but we didn’t top 35 mph because of the steepness and the switchbacks. We also got a later start than we wanted, leaving Buja around 0900, getting us to Butare at around 1400.

Read more

Day 1 in Bujumbura

The day started over a nice breakfast on the beach. My favorite food items was sliced up avocado with stringy onions and carrots in lemon juice. I also enjoyed a bowl of granola with dried bananas and fresh yogurt atop. True to the Schaffer way (Schaffer is my mom’s side of the family’s last name, her maiden name), my grandfather brought a enormous plate of French breads back from the buffet line. We love the carbs.

Read more

Arriving in Bujumbura

It was a 30 hour journey from LAX to BJM (Bujumbura, Burundi) that started at 2230 Dec 26 and ended at 1500 Dec 28. Somehow we lost a day in there due to the time change and the 13 hour flight from IAD – ADD (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). All told we have 4 flights: LAX – IAD; IAD – ADD; ADD – KGL (Kigali, Rwanda); KGL- BJM.

I waved goodbye to my parents and my grandfather and I set off to LAX.

Bye Bye LA

Read more

Preparing for Africa

It’s the night before my trip and I am psyched, but also a little anxious. I notoriously over-packed, but in my defense, one whole bag is dedicated to photography equipment (on the right) and of course I have to bring my laptop also for blogging and post-processing.

I’ll be taking my Canon Rebel T3i and tripod (and several lenses) on this trip and I’m going to be experimenting with different techniques. I’ve spent the past week over Christmas break finally learning about my camera and the science behind photography. This will be my first real chance to put my studying into action. Here’s are a few of my favorite shots from the past week:

Cherry Poppin' Daddies

Wine on wine

Berries in Westlake

Shrubs in Westlake

Winter in California

As usual, I feel like I didn’t have enough time to plan out the details for this trip, knowing full-well that half the fun lies in the spontaneity of what unfolds and what can be discovered in the spur of the moment. when left to chance (read=awesomeness).

That said, I did do a little homework on other travel blogs to pool some recommendations of others in the know for things to do in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Especially because this trip I am not on my own – I’ll be traveling to the first three countries with my grandfather (an intrepid world traveler) and my aunt , who also got bit by the travel bug – which means things needs to be a little more fleshed out and organizing than I normally am used to.

I am mostly set for Ethiopia because I will be staying with family for a few days and already have my flights mapped out for Lalibela and Gonder – and I’m sure my cousins can provide some great recommendations and help once I get there. But, for the other countries, it seems that I have no direct friends that currently live there (which is actually surprising considering the breadth of my Thunderbird School of Global Management MBA network) – nor do I have many friends of friends that have ever even visited….so, blogging research it is! TGFTB (Thank God For Travel Blogs)

Here’s what I’ve collected in my perusals, in order of the countries/cities we’re visiting (much of this is a note to myself to go back and re-read these upon arrival).

Burundi

  • Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika: 28 Dec – 30, Morgan in Africa Blog– Great tips on dining and shopping in particular.

Rwanda

Uganda

Ethiopia

Feel free to pass along any advice, contact information of friends’family, or travel blogs about any of these places. There a surprising dearth of information on the web.

error: Content is protected !!