twaffle

My 'Childish' Trip Report - 40 years late!

221 posts in this topic

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.

82.jpg

82.jpg


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

 

81.jpg

 

 


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.

 

 

 

 

80.jpg

 

81.jpg

81.jpg

81.jpg


This post has been promoted to an article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

80.jpg

 

Train climbing the eastern side of the Western Rift Valley.

81-13.jpg

 

The Rwenzoris.

81.jpg

 

From the train.

81.jpg

Lobelia

81.jpg

Rwenzoris and swamps near Kasese

81-10.jpg

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

81.jpg

 

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

81.jpg

 

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

81-28.jpg

 

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

81.jpg

 

The Ankole Hills of cattle fame.

81.jpg

 

 

 

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

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

wow now that is an interesting trip report. Thanks twaffle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A real pleasure.

 

(You're undermining my working morale.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A most enjoyable read. What wonderful childhood memories.

 

Funny, I have dreams about lions too.

 

Hurry and post more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for the encouragement, I appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that Twaff..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are quite the historian for us. What an insightful, lovely report with photos!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh this is fab, how lovely to see these family photographs of your experiences in Africa so long ago! Super!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

82-5.jpg

82-13.jpg

82.jpg

82.jpg

Crossing the Nile at Packwach.

82-16.jpg

 

 

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!

82.jpg

 

 

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.

079-01.jpg

From above

82-34.jpg

Some wildlife seen from the water.

82-19.jpg

82.jpg

82.jpg

 

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

82-31.jpg

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.

82.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

83-8.jpg

 

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.

83.jpg

The range from the Kasese-Fort Portal Road.

83-13.jpg

 

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

83.jpg

 

Elephant on the banks of the Kazinga Channel.

84-8.jpg

 

 

Rare Northern White Rhino, Queen Elizabeth NP.

84-14.jpg

 

Water buck.

84.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow this is good. more please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am floored by the quality of the photos.

 

And thanks again for sharing, truly great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The second house we lived in during our time in Kampala was in a suburb called Nakasero. At the bottom of a hill next to the house there used to gather dancers from various tribes who would dance and sing for whoever chose to stop and listen. It was fantastic, the beat and the rhythm would invade our house and garden and we would rush down the drive and sit in the grass watching with amazement. (Nothing to do with topless women, I hasten to add! :P )

This hill was where we used to take our tin and cardboard slides and laboriously climb up, then slide down exultantly. My older sister in particular, had scant regard for our safety.

 

Acholi dancers

83-30.jpg

 

We weren’t to know that within 10 years Idi Amin would preside over the wholesale slaughter of the Acholi people.

83.jpg

 

Baganda dancers

83-34.jpg

 

On one occasion, a documentary crew came to film the dancers but I don't have information on who it was for. The camera and tripod can just be seen at the top left hand side of the photograph.

83.jpg

 

Heading north east to Karamoja along the Soroti-Moroto Road.

84.jpg

A Karamajong village with thorn walls.

84-19.jpg

In Moroto, the regional capital.

84.jpg

For those with an interest in Uganda, Karamoja is a very arid area bordering Sudan and northern Kenya. In the north of this area is Kidepo National Park which I believe is starting to re assert itself as a safari destination. This area, known for its warriors has been a particularly troublesome area for travellers.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your supportive comments … it is quite daunting putting part of your life on display.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dad took us on a safari of a different kind, to Europe. I imagine we did some sort of snow activity but it is of little importance to this story. What was really significant was that we purchased our first NEW car. How exciting for us children. It was a Ford Taunus and we picked it up in Europe and drove it around then had it shipped back to Uganda. Sports cars might be good as a 'boy's toy' but they aren't much fun if you're squashed in the back.

84.jpg

 

After Christmas 1964 we packed up the new car and set off for a beach holiday in Mombasa. Unheard of … sand, sea and sun!

 

This is us lunching on the first day of driving. The young man in attendance wasn't one of our servants, but a local who dropped in for a chat. You could never have a picnic without having attendant watchers. It is something we all got used to. I am the one stuffing food in my face … I remember thinking that I needed to be doing something when having my photo taken, but why food I don't know!

84.jpg

 

Our first stop was at Lake Nakuru.

84-31.jpg

 

Halfway up the Eastern escarpment of Eastern Rift Valley.

84.jpg

 

We next stopped at Tsavo National Park but we only have a few photos of gazelle and ostrich and they really aren't worth showing.

 

Next we spend some time Gedi National Park and travel back to Uganda through Nairobi National Park, where we actually saw Wild Dogs, unbelievable but true. But I need to scan these in so "that's all folks" … for now!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2017 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.