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My 'Childish' Trip Report - 40 years late!

Trip report Kenya

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#1 twaffle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:03 AM

I'm not sure how this will work, but the Game Warden has suggested a separate thread for some my family's archived old photos from East Africa. Bear in mind that the slides are quite old and my scanner is also, so I apologise for some of the quality of the photographs. My memories are hazy on many of the facts, so I have tried my best to include some details and anecdotes to give the photos some relevance in my life. This will have to be a work in progress, as it will take time to sort and scan all the photos which I hope will be of interest to some of you.

Moving to Africa was an adventure which even we children could get excited about, but I’m sure my mother felt some trepidation. It was an era when not many people travelled to the countries of Africa so she didn’t have many friends she could compare notes with.

UGANDA:
I was running for my life, sweat dripping down my face, little arms pumping. I reached the corner of the house and I noticed that there were brown stains down the white plaster. I don’t remember why I noticed such an irrevelant thing at such a critical moment, but there you are. I sprinted along the short side of the house, strange bushes grabbing my clothes with their thorns. Desperate to reach the door, I didn’t dare look behind me knowing what was there. I could hear the pounding feet, all four of them, and the breath coming out through the yellow teeth which had a foul smell even from the distance of a few yards. With a gasp I opened the door and slammed it shut, just as the weight of the animal landed against it. I was safe. The lion could no longer reach me.

This dream started when we first moved to Kampala and was a recurring part of my life for a long time. Kampala was a strange existence. We lived through a fair bit of civil unrest and hearing gunfire at night was not unusual. There was a nighttime curfew which my father chose to ignore for reasons only he would know. It caused my mother terrible stress and we children also felt it. The highlights for me were the weekends at Lake Nabogabo and the exploration of the various wonderful game parks.

Our first house was a two story, white house set in beautiful gardens in Lower Kololo. We inherited a dog and a cat, the cat would live with us until we left East Africa 8 years later.

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and one for Matt, Dad's first foray into sports cars in Africa, a Sunbeam.

 

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So our first safari was a thrilling and nerve wracking trip, no guides or drivers, you had to navigate and find the game yourself.

Our first significant safari was to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The animals weren't very habituated but we saw enough to get the safari bug well and truly.

 

 

 

 

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… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#2 twaffle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:25 AM

The following photos are also in 1964 on a trip out west to Kasese by train.

These are the Rwenzori foothills, to my eye the hills looked deforested even then.

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Train climbing the eastern side of the Western Rift Valley.

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The Rwenzoris.

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From the train.

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Lobelia

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Rwenzoris and swamps near Kasese

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Uganda wasn’t probably the happiest of times, too much civil unrest, very humid even after living in Malaya but it was a beautiful country filled with a richness of country, wildlife and culture.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#3 twaffle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 10:42 AM

Whilst living in Kampala, we did short trips to Kenya. My Mother's passion was riding and because of Sleeping Sickness, horses couldn't be kept in Uganda. In Kenya, because of the altitude, we were able to ride so trips to various polo clubs and other sundry riding establishments became part of our lives.
This trip to Kaptagat was also in 1964, we stayed at the Kaptagat Arms Hotel, which is still going (according to the internet, although it looks very run down).

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The following photos are on a trip back to the west of the country to the Kigezi hills.

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Villages in the Kigezi hills. It all looks very neat and well kept.

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This is Muhavura, at 13,500ft. A volcano on the Uganda/Rwanda border at the northern edge of the Virunga range.

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The Ankole Hills of cattle fame.

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Next we will head of to Murchison Falls National Park, cross the Nile at Packwach and see some local tribal dancers.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#4 Orenx

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:29 AM

wow now that is an interesting trip report. Thanks twaffle

#5 Guest_nyama_*

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:47 AM

A real pleasure.

(You're undermining my working morale.)

#6 Geoff

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

A most enjoyable read. What wonderful childhood memories.

Funny, I have dreams about lions too.

Hurry and post more.
Geoff.

#7 twaffle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:14 PM

Thanks guys for the encouragement, I appreciate it.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#8 tonypark

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:21 PM

Beautiful.

#9 Bugs

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for that Twaff..

There's none so blind as those who will not see.


#10 Game Warden

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:47 PM

Indeed Twaffle, I can only echo the other's sentiments. You have some precious memories, thanks for sharing them with us.

Matt

"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you." - African proverb.

 

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#11 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:00 PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the years growing up in East Africa, Twaffle. I echo the others - What a wonderful read!!! and I suppose you are re-living all those years growing up there, as you write this?

www.facebook.com/madaboutcheetah

Botswana in my blood .......


#12 Jan

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:59 PM

Dear Twaffle,

How envious I am of your childhood. I'm sure that for your mother it was stressful at times. What great

photos, please keep them coming.


Jan

#13 Atravelynn

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:46 PM

You are quite the historian for us. What an insightful, lovely report with photos!
When you think of a rhino, think of a tree (African proverb)

#14 Guest_nappa_*

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:37 PM

Excellent photo's full off memories & life in times gone by...... And not a crop, tweek or worry about lighting! :)

#15 Guest_nappa_*

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:39 PM

Thanks Twaffle..

#16 Guest_nyama_*

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:45 PM

Why do I think that Matt's favourite photo is the third one...? :)

#17 Kavey

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 05:31 PM

Oh this is fab, how lovely to see these family photographs of your experiences in Africa so long ago! Super!
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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"I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
Life to the lees."
Alfred Tennyson

#18 twaffle

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:49 AM

Excellent photo's full off memories & life in times gone by...... And not a crop, tweek or worry about lighting! :)


These days we are all so much more sophisticated with our photography and expectations that many of the photos would have gone via the delete button. We are much more forgiving with these old memories on Kodachome (vale). It is one reason why I NEVER delete ANY photos I take on safari unless they are so out of focus that you can't see what it is that you were taking. I just buy more hard drives. I am looking now at 10 hard drives most at least 500gb or more. I'm a photo junkie, what can I say. :mellow:

PS Of course, if I were a better photographer I would need far fewer images of much better quality.

… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#19 twaffle

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 05:34 AM

When you think of the great rivers of the world, two in Africa come to mind … the Zambezi and the Nile. I've only seen the Zambezi from 30,000' but we spent many happy hours on and beside the Nile. The following photos were all taken towards the end of 1964.

The following photograph shows a tobacco barn in the Arua area, in the Western region reached by crossing the Nile at Packwach. Also shown are some of the roadside sights, some women watching the car pass and women grinding posho.

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Crossing the Nile at Packwach.

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These elephants were on the edge of the Nile, the image has some movement but it was taken from the water. Good set of tusks!

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We often visited Murchinson Falls NP and I remember the boat trips we took. The crocodiles were huge and there were so many of them. I understand that even now, the crocodiles in that area are some of the largest you'll find in Africa.

Murchison Falls from the boat about 2 miles away.

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From above

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Some wildlife seen from the water.

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We stayed at Paraa Lodge, where even the elephants felt at home.

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A view at the edge of Budongo Mahogany Forest, the largest mahogany forest in East Africa and home to the largest population of chimpanzees in Uganda. We never saw gorillas or chimpanzees in the wild, they weren't habituated at that time so if you saw them, it was by lucky chance.

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… clarity in thought comes after challenge …


#20 twaffle

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 05:49 AM

Dad developed a love of skiing when we were young, and this translated to a love of snow covered mountains. I didn't realise how much until I found slide after slide of the snow covered Rwenzoris. I have included a few more here, as part of another trip to Queen Elizabeth NP.
Margherita & Stanley peaks looking up Mobuku Valley.

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As children we often made up myths about the Mountains of the Moons. We were lucky when we saw glimpses of snow on our travels around the country and it became the home of our imagination … a mysterious destination where no one travelled, a barrier from the Congo, itself a terrifying place of darkness and legend.

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The range from the Kasese-Fort Portal Road.

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Elephants by the road, Queen Elizabeth NP. Interesting to note that these elephants have straight tusks, much like the ones of the forest elephants.

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Elephant on the banks of the Kazinga Channel.

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Rare Northern White Rhino, Queen Elizabeth NP.

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Water buck.

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… clarity in thought comes after challenge …






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