I had been planning to take an eastern Uganda tour for while which would end up in Kidepo valley national park beyond the usual Mbale and Kapchorwa areas for a while. My plan was to get people together and we all take the trip but like all group tour planning dynamics, it did not work out as proposed which led me to consider traveling alone. Along the way I learned that the Uganda Safari Guides association was organizing travel to the same area except with a few changes to my itinerary. I then decided to shelf the idea of traveling alone and instead join their tour. A week to the travel, they cancel the tour and I have to start afresh planning for the trip. I went back to the earlier plan of solo travel, and along the way other people agreed to join to bring the cost down. However this still did not work out and I gave up the plan opting again to travel solo again!!!! A day to my travel date, someone informed me that they had reorganized and I could join their group and we make 6. Finally we agreed to set off on Friday afternoon – 2pm. We unfortunately set of f after 3 pm because one of the people on the tour was so late and we were torn between waiting and leaving her.
I had about 5 sites I wanted on this tour but had to change to fit in the groups itinerary. I had wanted to do the bungee jump in Jinja, visit the Nyero rocks, do abseiling down Sipi falls, day hike in mountain Elgon, Pian Upe game reserve and end with Moroto. I had no intentions of visiting Kidepo valley National Park because I was there in December which was a month earlier. In the end I settled for the itinerary for the group which was abseiling, birding Mt Elgon, Pian UPe game reserve, Moroto, Bokora-Matheniko reserve and finally Kidepo valley NP. I still plan on a return journey to the eastern Uganda to visit the other sites I missed out.
We arrived in Mbale late in the night after a terrible traffic jam in Mabira forest where 2 trailers were involved in an accident and blocked off the road as a result. This was very frustrating considering that we had set off late from Kampala. Thankfully we had stopped at the famous Najjembe market for some muchomo and gonja – must have snacks while on a road trip in Uganda. The hunger pangs were setting in but with no booked accommodation, we knew that this was priority. After visiting several guesthouses we finally settled on one which was not anything to write home about. We tried to find dinner but Mbale sleeps early, we eventually settled for a cup of tea and slept off. The next morning I was rudely awaken at about 0500hours by school children in a boarding school adjacent to the guesthouse, we had no idea about. And off we started the tour officially by visiting the Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices in Mbale town before setting for Mt Elgon.