Day 143: Eldoret to almost Uganda, but then to Kakamega Forest

|, Kenya, Trip Report|Day 143: Eldoret to almost Uganda, but then to Kakamega Forest

4 July 2017

Day 143: Eldoret to almost Uganda, but then to Kakamega Forest

Distance: 196km (Cumulative: 15 541km)
Moving time: 5:53
Average speed: 33km/h
Road surface: 74% Tar, 36% Gravel (of which 50% on narrow motorcycle paths)

Accommodation: Camping
Kakamega Forest - R160 p.p

Beautiful location, lacking facilities.


Caro made french toast for breakfast. The Indian owner then stopped at our site and apologised for not being there when we arrived. We asked him about Suam border post and he said we should definitely avoid it at this time after the rain. He then offered us fresh vegetables from their Shamba. Caro went with one of the workers and could pick anything. She took carrots, radish, lettuce, green pepper and chillies.

We finished packing up at 11:30 and headed to Malaba border post which is the closest to Eldoret. Just after Webuye at 14:20 we got stopped by the police for the first time in Kenya. It has been so long we weren’t even prepared with a game plan. We were accused of speeding and fined 5000 KES. Hugo tried to ask for proof, but they had all kinds of stories about going to court and only getting proof there, etc. Hugo went to discuss the matter with the others and Caro got out to negotiate further. We just wanted to leave Kenya and they claimed to have official receipts. The guy started writing the receipt and took the money, but then he stopped and went on about the court date again and that we won’t be able to go to court. We then had to wait for another officer who then asked as what should happen. By this point it was fairly clear that they just wanted to pocket the money and we just wanted to get the hell out, so we left without a receipt and they probably kept the money for their weekend alcohol supply. This whole ordeal took more than 30 minutes.

Things then went from bad to worse when Caro read up on the upcoming border procedure and that it is not possible to get a visa on arrival anywhere to Uganda. We stopped at a cafeteria and applied online, but the earliest entry date we could choose was the 7th of July, three days away. We had to submit things like yellow fever certificates, ID photos and our return airplane ticket. The last field is also compulsory so Hugo just made a pdf that said “We are overlanding” and uploaded that to the return airplane ticket field.

We then had to look for a place to stay since we couldn’t cross to Uganda today. We decided to go to the Kakamega forest, but didn’t want to go past the police again. Google Maps showed some backroads that wasn’t on T4A (not surprisingly), but even worse it wasn’t on Open Street Maps. It started out fine, but quickly became small gravel roads only used by motorcycles and bicycles with deep ruts or rocks.

We then got to a bridge which was more than a meter above the road surface. The locals put up a steep ramp against it, but not even motorcycles could cross only pedestrians and bicycles. We turned around, but instead of backtracking all the way to the tar road and going past the police we continued on backroads through farms until we finally reached the C40, which was again a tar road. The C41 that we tried to take earlier was a small and very rough gravel road full of boulders and dongas. The 52kms of backroads took one and a half hours (35km/h average), which is not actually much slower than what we did on the main A104 highway due to traffic.

We drover through the city of Kakamega, which was again surprisingly big. We then went onto a gravel road again and got to the Kakamega Forest Resthouse & Campsite 18:42. The camping is just 650KES, but an ‘entrance’ fee of 600KES per person is also payable.

The campsite is on a beautiful lawn between the trees, but the facilities is in rather poor state, with only smelly long drops available. Warm water was mentioned and there is a donkey, but we couldn’t find the tap where the warm water is leading to.

For starters Caro made a nice salad with lettuce, avocado, tomato, baby marrow, onions, cheese, carrots and even croutons. Sekar then made mince and 2-minute noodles with sweet soy sauce.

We went to bed early after the rough day, but the Two Monkeys watched Netflix again until the morning hours.

 

2018-09-19T14:43:20+00:00 February 12th, 2017|Categories: Africa, South Africa, Trip Report|

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