Distance: 38km (Cumulative: 15 955km)
Moving time: 1:20
Average speed: 28km/h
Road surface: 85% Tar, 15% Gravel
The Haven - R100 p.p
Best campsite outside South Africa
We slept passed 08:00 as we watched series until almost 02:00, but then it started to rain quite hard so we hid in the tent for another hour or more.
When it finally calmed down we went for a shower and then to the bar where D&S were already sitting with their laptops doing research for an Indonesian trip.
The Monkeys tried to do some work, but the internet was quite slow and then a large group of young people arrived. We ordered lunch in the restaurant which took ages due to the big group also ordering lunch. The rain had stopped so we decided to pack up and move on.
We only left at 13:45. The path was very slippery and we almost didn’t make it up the hill.
We went into Jinja’s city center to buy Sim cards and to draw money. Hugo got a Africell simcard and Sekar a MTN one. The Africell simcard cost only 500 UGX and for 60 000 UGX (R200) we could get 3GB for a month, quite expensive for Africa so far.
Hugo tried several ATMs and amounts before finding an ATM that gave 900 000 UGX, in retrospect since it worked the amount could have been higher. Perhaps 1 million or even 1.5 million. 50 000 UGX is their biggest note, so if the ATM limit is really 40 notes like in Tanzania and Kenya then one should theoretically be able to get 2 million Ugandan Shillings.
From there we tried to go to the source of the Nile, but we got to a park which wanted more than R500 entrance fee for the four of us together, so we just decided to go directly to The Haven 17km downstream from Jinja.
We got to The Haven at 16:00. There is just no comparison between the two campsites on opposite sides of the river (the other being the Nile Explorers Camp). The Haven has everything which one would think is obvious to provide campers, but which so many campsites don’t have. Clean hot water showers with enough hooks to hang everything up; kitchen sink or water tap close to camping sites, level camping spots, etc. The Haven, however, goes above and beyond with having beautiful lawns, breathtaking views, WiFi (albeit slow, but normal for Uganda), friendly staff, swimming pool, and so much more.
As an added bonus there were three other South African couples in a Ford and two Toyotas with CW and CCD plates. They drove from South Africa to Jinja in 14 days and will now spend some time in Murchison Falls NP and Queen Elizabeth NP and do Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi before ‘slowly’ returning home for a total journey time of only 6 weeks. All three vehicles have Hanibal Impi roof top tents and are nicely kitted out with drawer systems and tilting fridges.
Daniel took out his fishing rod again and tried to fish from the Jetty while the rest of us swam in the swimming pool. The Monkeys then did some work before Hugo and D&S made spaghetti and soy mince for dinner.
The next morning we slept late again until almost 09:00. We’re staying another night at The Haven. The Two Monkeys had work to do and Daniel wanted to try his luck fishing again. In the morning while having breakfast we watched how the first of more than 20 rafts came down the rapids. The starting point of Adrift white water rafting is close to The Haven. White water rafting, however costs more than $100 per person, so we decided to skip it. Hugo has done it in the Zambezi and Caro is not that much of an adrenaline junky.
We first did some washing before going to the restaurant and basically worked the whole day, only breaking for lunch and dinner. The internet which is quoted as being 3G was mostly unusable, but luckily we could work offline on one project. It looks like The Haven have hotspots using Airtell, MTN and Africell as each network only works intermittently. Sometimes, however, all three don’t work for a while at the same time.
For lunch Caro made toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches and for dinner Daniel made Mash and beans.
Just before dinner Caro suddenly realised that she was suppose to hand in a UNISA assignment 3 days ago, one which she hasn’t even started with or read what it is about.