We just got back from a ‘spontaneous’ 2,5 day trip to Africa, and this mini vacay DEFINETLY deserves a blog post – im still on a high!
Some of you may think i have lost my mind, which i kind of understand. I mean, who takes a 1 year old to Uganda, just like that? … i do! Ive always loved trying different things, and travelling to not-so-common destinations. You always get positively surprised, i find. Arttu had a layover (where he flies to the destination, waits some days, and then flies back), and asked for us to join him. At first i wasn’t so sure, but before i knew it the tickets were booked and the planning started. I literally had just over a week to pull this trip off, and at some points i regretted it BIG TIME. I had absolutely NO idea, how complicated it would be. Victor and i were vaccinated against ‘yellow fever’, and i started a course of malaria tablets (a bit dramatic if you ask me). I also bought lots of insect repellent, just to be on the safe side, since Africa is known for some nasty disease-carrying bugs (yes, i was scared shitless reading all these ridiculous tripadvisor reviews – which was stupid because i hardly saw any whilst i was there!). I went with Arttu to Tanzania and Zanzibar before i got pregnant, and i remember how much of an experience it was. You can read about that trip here. I was sure Uganda would be equally full of surprises, and it didn’t disappoint.
We flew from Dubai sunday afternoon and landed in Entebbe in the evening. The flight was about 5 hrs, so it wasn’t that bad compared to the distances Victor and i have flown alone before, but this was the first time Victor was on a plane with his dad in the front seat – that was pretty monumental for daddy-cool.
We only had 2 full days, so we had to make the most of it, which we did! The day started off really cloudy so we chose to do some sight-seeing. I was advised by a lovely instagram-follower who had figured out my clues on my stories last week, that i had to visit the Serena Golf Resort in Kampala which was about 1 hr drive from the crew-hotel. If we didn’t have Victor with us, i would have probably opted to visit some charities, but i didn’t want to risk anything with him being so small and then for only 2 days. To get to the resort, we had to drive though a poverty stricken shanty area, which was truly eye-opening. Never have i seen anything like it in real life. Victor was so spell bound by the whole thing, and i was watching intensely out of the window the whole car ride. It made me really emotional – i wish he was a bit older so he could understand more of what his pretty blue eyes were seeing. He just laid his head on his dads chest and took it all in.
The resort was literally right next to the shanty area, which was completely mind-boggling. It all seemed totally deluded and unreal to be honest, but the place itself was AMAZING. I would have loved to stay at that hotel.
The following day, we decided to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre. Now, im not a ‘zoo-person’. To be honest, most zoo’s make me feel terrible and really sad, since the enclosures are inadequate and facilities bad. I was reassured by many though, that this place wasn’t like a normal zoo. Again, i was taken by surprise. This place was a breath of fresh air! All the animals there are either rescued from poor facilities, poachers or they were orphaned in the wild. Most of the enclosures were MASSIVE, with wide open spaces, and you could tell that the workers there were passionate about the animals. And on top of that, i got to go into the giraffe enclosure and help feed them! I mean, WHAT!?!?!?!? That was by far one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Sure a majestic and beautiful animal, licking my face!
At the end of the day, we found this absolutely BEAUTIFUL little restaurant on the bank of Lake Victoria, where the whole crew enjoyed lunch and the view. It was really such a great day, and the perfect way to end our mini holiday.
Uganda was special, and more than i expected. I could easily have stayed for a week longer, and it was obvious that Victor was loving having both his parents around him so intensely. We definitely have to do things like this more often! I can only recommend, that people take a step out of their comfort zone, and dare to try something different once in a while. Im not saying that Africa is not dangerous, because some areas are, and it is extremely important to take precautions – but i can honestly say, hand on my heart, that i didn’t feel unsafe once. Uganda, thank you for showing us your beautiful nature and your beautiful people. We made memories for life …