Distance: 59km (Cumulative: 16 014km)
Moving time: 1:31
Average speed: 39km/h
Road surface: 75% Tar, 25% Gravel
Griffin Falls Camp - R40 p.p
Beautiful Forest, friendly staff, pit toilets
Even though we only had 60km to go today we wanted to get an early start so that we can still hike in the Mabira forest. We thus set our alarms for 07:00, but only managed to get up much later.
Last night another vehicle arrived and the number plate looked like a Burundi plate, but we weren’t sure. The owner and his family, however, came to make breakfast at the kitchen sink next to us and confirmed that they are indeed from Burundi. The Belgian family has been living in Bujumbura for 5 years and regularly do short trips in East Africa. They said they feel quiet safe in their neighbourhood in Bujumbura, but that the situation in Burundi for locals is quiet dire at the moment.
We managed to leave by 09:30 only to stop at a small supermarket at the T-junction with the Jinja – Kampala road to buy water (6000 UGX, R20, for 18.9 liters) and other drinks we haven’t seen before like carbonated coffee and Bushera, a disgusting drink of sorghum and millet. We also bought bread and a tray of 30 eggs.
A short distance further we stopped at a fruit and vegetable market next to the road with attendants having numbered overalls. As soon as we stopped 10 woman started shoving vegetables through the window. Caro and Sekar got out and despite several attempts to get them to back off so that they can just browse the stalls and then decided what to buy, they continued to surround them and shove things in their faces. We left with carrots, tomatoes, green peppers and onions. Each bag cost 2000 UGX.
We followed T4A to the Griffin Falls Camp in the Mabira forest, but it first led us into a school gate. We turned around and took the next turn-off and followed a gravel road until we saw a blue painted rock with Griffin Falls on it. We then continued to follow the signs into T4A whitespace, the T4A route might still exist, but the one that the signs took us on seemed in a much better condition.
We reached the campsite at 11:30. It is also the starting point for zip slide adventures which seemed quite popular as there were two large groups that day. It costs $50 per person and looked like fun, but again we didn’t partake.
The camping cost only 10 000 UGX (R40) and to hike in the forest to the Griffin Falls cost 15 000 UGX per person. We set up camp in a small clearing in the forest about 200m from the office. We used 8 of the 30 eggs to make delicious scrambled eggs with green pepper, onion and tomatoes and then ‘baked’ it with cheese on top. We were all a bit tired, but pushed ourselves to gear up and hike to the waterfall.
There are numerous tracks without any signs. We followed the track that looked like the most used one, but then walked passed the waterfall (luckily we could see this on Open Street Maps) and then had to backtrack. The forest and all the plants, birds and primates are really beautiful, but the waterfall itself is not much of a spectacle. It’s more like a rapid.
A local was catching fish beneath the ‘rapids’ with a net. He caught a few good sized Catfish and even Tilapia.
We took another route out and then passed some of the zipline platforms more than 20m in the air. At one tree a guide was climbing down the tree without any ropes attached, just using the metal bars that was nailed into the tree trunk.
Back at the camp Hugo put up a hammock and a relaxed while coffee was made. We started a fire and boiled water for a warm bucket shower. Caro then started to make Spaghetti with eggplant and other vegetables. Daniel wanted to make stokbrood and made the mix which we set close to the fire to raise.
A Dutch couple who arrived earlier today on their ‘overlanding’ bicycles joined us at the fire. After dinner we tried to make the stokbrood, but the mix wasn’t stiff enough and didn’t stick to the stick. Daniel and Sekar managed to get something going while Hugo just put two pieces of dough directly in the coals. It got burned and was still a bit raw, but we managed to get a few bites.
We talked around the campfire until quite late. Tomorrow we also don’t have far to go to Kampala so we could sleep late.