Lake Nabugabo – Island Paradise at Lake Victoria

Lake Nabugabo a fascinating place with idyllic campsite

My birthday. We decided to drive on to Lake Nabugabo. As my face had almost completely recovered we packed our things and although it rained heavily we drove on. The road was of course due to the rainfall much worse but with the lowered tire pressure it was a much more comfortable ride. At the ferry we had to wait bought three nice mud fish, and boarded.

After 30 minutes we were on the other side, and after some kilometers we turned off to Lake Nabugabo, which is part of Lake Victoria. There are three campsites, we had a look at all and Lake Nabugabo Holiday Resort was the nicest. We were the only one, bargained a special price if we stayed a week and so it was 7000 USh per Person about 3 US$. We had electricity, a shelter and were directly at the lake, just wonderful. As it was my birthday and it was late, we went to the restaurant, which was not a good idea, because the chicken was tough, but the French Fries were ok.

Lake Nabugabo campsite
Lake Nabugabo campsite

In the morning we discovered that the internet had no reception here, so we asked the receptionist, and she told us that only MTN works here, so we had to drive to Masaka to get a MTN SIM card and a bundle which was more expensive than Orange. Another disadvantage was that in this region there is no power at the weekend, only during the night.

Lake Nabugabo campsite
Lake Nabugabo campsite

11.11.2013 to 18.11.2013
We spent some wonderful days there, bought fish at the fishermen, enjoyed the lake and the bird life and of course did some work, and tried to do things where we did not need internet too much, although MTN was working it was very slow. A Swiss couple arrived and we had spent some nice evenings with them.

Lake Nabugabo campsite - baking rolls
Lake Nabugabo campsite – baking rolls

We decided to move to Masaka Backpackers, because we had to do more work at the internet. We bargained a price again, because we had to stay longer as my sister would come for a visit again in December, so it made not much sense to keep going and returning back to Entebbe to pick her up. Joseph the owner was quite a nice guy and offered 7000 USh per person (3 US$). We still had the problem with electricity, but the internet was really fast.

Masaka - girls dance
Masaka – girls dance
Masaka - repair of a fallen pole
Masaka – repair of a fallen pole

20.11.2013 to 22.11.2013
We spent the days with working, but it became more clear that power here was worse then anywhere else a lot of short cuts and failures. A couple from South Africa arrived with their Land cruiser. Really very nice people and we spent the evening with them.

With Ruj and Jean we drove to Masaka to a coffeeshop to have some nice coffee and cake. In the evening there was a dance performance of a local group of young people. We went to have a look, entrance they said we should give a donation, but during the performance a lady came from a NGO and asked for 20.000 USh (about 9 US$). That was not a correct way, and Rui was really angry and me as well.

Masaka - girls dance
Masaka – girls dance

As the power problems continued we decided to buy a small generator, so I went to town with Rui and Joseph to look for one. Finally we found one for 230.000 USh (about 100 US$) and drove back to the campsite to try it. But when we tried it delivered only 110 Volts instead of 220 Volts and did not deliver the 800 W, which the description said. So we went back to the shop where I had bought it. The guy said this is only a problem of adjusting it and called for a guy who could do that. So in a backyard garage the guys tried to adjust it but it did not look too good. So the seller wanted to come with us to the campsite to have a look. So we went back and he tried to adjust it again and suddenly it worked. So I was very happy.

With Rui and Jean we drove to Masaka again to do some shopping which was handy because the mouse of my computer was broken, so I had to find a new one. We walked through the shopping street, had coffee and cake at a bakery and then Rolex at a street stall. A Rolex is a Chapati, looks like pancakes, where scrambled eggs are rolled in thus the name Roll Eggs, but they write it Rolex. In the only computer store we got the mouse and headed back to the campsite.

Jean and Rui left in the morning for Ssese Islands. Again no power but now we had the generator, so it was no problem any more.

No power, generator

Masaka - repair of a fallen pole
Masaka – repair of a fallen pole

Our road tax had to be renewed so I drove with Joseph to Ugandan Revenue authority to extend. After a while it was clear that they could not do it here, they said I should go to the border with Tanzania and do it there (about 70 km). Back there was no power again, so the generator had to work, but power from the generator is not very cheap.

Work, nothing special

In the morning we left to the border to extend the road tax. The drive was nice, nice landscape good tarmac, so soon we arrived at the border. We left the Land Rover outside, Alexandra stayed with the car and I walked in. Eventually I found revenue authority, but the guy said I cannot extend, I have to do it in Kampala. And he reminded me that the car has to leave after three month, which was completely new to me and had great effects on our planning. First of all my sister had to change her return flight, so she had to fly back from Kigali in Rwanda, because it became very much clear, that although we could have extended our visa, we could not extend the stay of our Land Rover for more then three month. I was angry because we had again to go to Kampala, which is not my favorite city and the guy there at revenue Authority in Kampala was not very friendly.

African road trip