These stories were told at Uganda’s Ndere Cultural Centre. I went to a cultural evening there after having lived in the country for six weeks, and the stories summed up my experiences – of making friends, working, travelling, my daily Ugandan life and frustrations – rather beautifully.
The Batwa – Uganda’s “first people” – were nomadic hunter-gatherers who developed advanced hunting and trapping methods. Their profound knowledge of the forest allowed them to harvest honey, fruit and roots to use produce food, medicine and shelter. But when the forest became a national park, the Batwa were moved out. Now, the Batwa Trail is their only chance to return to their ancestral home.
But unlike the routine travel we do back home – the daily commute, the weekend trips to visit family – “travelling” can provide some truly memorable means of reaching a destination, and as the Chinese proverb says, the journey becomes the reward. Here’s a round up of my five most memorable travel experiences – some because they were terrifying, others because they were unexpected. And many were both.
After almost 40 years leading tourists through the savannah, it was no wonder that George had an awesome anecdote for every occasion. Besides killing a buffalo with an ancient rifle, he had thrown himself to the ground to avoid being bitten in two by a one-and-a-half ton hippo, and escaped a lion by dashing up a tree.