Another early start today, with breakfast at 530, in an attempt to make it to the border early. It wasn’t far to the border but we expected it to take some time due to all the processes that needed to be undertaken. We made a quick stop at Webuye, near Bungoma, to refuel the truck on the way to the border where just as I predicted the Tokoloshe got us quite a lot of attention from the locals. They weren’t quite sure if his attachment was his belly button or his penis and spent some time rubbing it trying to find out!!
It’s quite a surreal experience crossing a land border in Africa. In Europe we don’t have any proper land borders but this border had the Kenyan departure section, then customs control, then the border itself, then Ugandan medical control, then Ugandan Arrivals and then finally Ugandan customs. All of the time you have people trying to sell you everything from meat samosas to Ugandan passport covers and everything in between.
Changing money is also a new experience. On both sides of the border there lots of people wearing what look like rain coats and holding big bundles of money- these are the official, licensed, money exchangers. Even though they’re licensed you have to be careful. When I tried to change USD to Ugandan Shillings he offered 1800 despite the exchange rate being 2030. We negotiated him up to 1950 which was the best we were going to get but then he conveniently miscounted so after arguing the case and getting the correct number of shillings from him I was happy and got back on the truck.
Uganda seems more built up than Kenya and as soon as we crossed the borders there were more houses, factories, hotels and bigger farms. It also seems a lot greener even just after crossing a river. We stopped for lunch at Kakira, near Jinja, and of course were the centre of attention to the kids again.
We arrived at the Red Chilli campsite in Kampala this afternoon, after making a brief stop at a petrol station near Mukono, and set up camp. Dinner was a nice large amount of Spaghetti Bolognese and afterwards we all met for drinks in the bar. The bar was basic but the drinks were cheap and the surroundings were really nice. I really like this camp site and wish we were able to stay here an extra day as we’ve been told we won’t have any time to explore Kampala and this would give us an opportunity to do so.