We left the park early in the morning, ready for the long journey to Kampala. At about 6a.m. there was a massive tropical storm with high winds, lashing rain and spectacular lightening strikes. We couldn’t help thinking about those fishermen, who would be paddling back to their village with their catch from the lake.
Once on a main tarmac road, there was still plenty of wildlife to see. A group of hyenas loped across the road with that ungainly gait, and there were plenty of baboons and water buck by the roadside.
The vegetation changed again, with the cactus- like trees giving way to the elegant flat-topped acacia trees in their hundreds. The dominant crop was now cotton, with flimsy straw shacks in the fields to provide shelter for the workers.
Later there were vast tea plantations on an industrial scale.
There were two shocking sights on this journey. We saw a woman and two small children scooping up water from puddles in the grass by the roadside, using small metal cooking pots to then pour the liquid into their bright yellow jerrican.
In a small town we passed through, I saw a young man bend down to a brown, muddy puddle, scoop some water with his bare hands, and drink.
Once again, the shocking reality of people’s lives here, with no basic infrastructure to support them, is presented to you in contrast to the natural beauty of the surroundings – in this case, we were skirting the magnificent craggy Rwenzori mountain range.
Towns become progressively busier as you journey, and there are increasing signs of greater prosperity reflected in the predominance of brick built buildings rather than the wattle and daub structures which characterise Kanungu.
In Fort Portal, you suddenly realise there are two-storey buildings, when you have been used to only seeing squat buildings, and large advertising hoardings, offering a brighter, happier life, preparing you for the onslaught on your senses as you reach the frenzy which is Kampala.