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    • Day 20

      Kampala and Entebbe

      October 5, 2019 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      After our scary night bus, narrowly missing a huge crash, we safely arrive in Kampala. First impressions? It's much better than Nairobi or Mombasa, but it's still a large sprawling metropolis. We're staying at Five Horsemen, which sits on a steep hillside overlooking an army barracks. The views of the city are great, since the city broadly sits around a bowl-shaped series of hills, which allows for panoramic views from the rooftop bar.

      We head to the royal compound in the heart of Kampala, notorious for its connections to Idi Amin. Our guide tells us the fascinating history of Kampala and Uganda, a story of kingdoms which united to form Uganda, then turned against each other by a succession of tyrannical leaders. The morbid centrepiece of the compound is an underground bunker, ostensibly built by Idi Amin for an arsenal, but turned into a torture chamber. Strangely, since this is still a palace for the Bugandan king, the workers and families still live around the torture chambers.

      After exploring Kampala for a couple of days, we head to the nearby town of Entebbe. To get there, we need to take a minibus. In Uganda, these are simply called taxis, and most of them leave from the Old Taxi Station downtown. We try to get a taxi there, but due to the hustle and bustle, we can't get close enough, so we have to navigate the remaining block on foot. As we get closer to the heart of the taxi station, the lines of minibusses get thicker and thicker. There are thousands of them, parked in this huge open space. At one point, we are forced to take our bags off and squeeze through the narrow gaps between vehicles. It's claustrophobic, and it's amazing how anyone knows which bus to get. Eventually, with some help, we find the right minibus and make the short trip to Entebbe.

      Which turns out to be quite a boring town. It's the site of the airport, so most people just stay here on their way to and from catching a plane. We walk through the National Botanical Gardens, made famous by being featured in one of the earlier Tarzan films. It's easy to understand why such a location was chosen - It's magnificently green with the famous vines found throughout different areas of the garden. We spend as much time as possible here watching a family of monkeys play and soaking up the sun while having a beer overlooking Lake Victoria.

      We then head to the only other attraction in town- a beach on Lake Victoria called "Aero Beach" after all the old planes that are displayed there. It's bizarre- big jumbo jets and fighter planes just parked up next to a beach. We try to walk in and around the planes, but giant orb spiders stand guard, preventing access.

      That afternoon, we head to ViaVia, a hostel on the outskirts of town. It's a dream hostel- built around a small pond which attracts birds and bats, and with fantastic food and drink. We regret not staying here, but resolve to stay at any ViaVia that we find in future.

      Before we leave Entebbe, we stop off for an egg wrap at the Rolex Guy. Rolexes are basically omelettes wrapped in chapattis, but are perhaps one of the best street foods we've ever had. The Rolex Guy makes gourmet ones, adding different cheese or vegetables, and they are stunningly good.
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