Too Good

Amused, bewildered or annoyed, this morning Uganda woke up to the new reality of social media taxes. Figuring out a way to pay those ridiculous daily 200 shillings (or circumvent the system) had to take priority over choosing a Sunday service outfit that your pastor may notice… This white Ugandan (OK, birders would probably call…

Bullets & Love

“Does the morning gunfire help define the parameters of the Gorilla Highlands? Marcus’ audio on his post was impressive. I hope it all ends with a colourful memory,” Jon messaged me from California last Sunday. We were truly ending our Congo experience with a bang, unable to leave the country because of an armed conflict….

30,000 Chinese

A group of Chinese tour operators returned from a Uganda trip this week. Among the many brochures they have brought to their offices in Beijing and Guangdong is a little thing from us: the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide to Uganda and Rwanda with an accompanying leaflet in Mandarin. It all happened very quickly—and was rather…

Thanks, 2016!

Here in the Gorilla Highlands we respect the old. No Omugurusi, Umusaza or Mzee should be mistreated, no newborn could possibly be more important than those who have seen it all. So the way everybody seems to be eager to beat 2016 off the stage to clear space for 2017 feels profoundly wrong. Secondly, as a…

Blasio’s Flower

I don’t enjoy weddings. They take too much time and they are almost the same, wherever you go in Uganda. But when Blasio, Edirisa’s co-director, asked me to come to his first-born’s kwanjula, I felt I couldn’t say no. Also known as the introduction, this is the central part of the traditional wedding procedures. Busy…

Missing Hippos

Out of the blue, three hippos appeared. They became the talk of Lake Bunyonyi, the lake so casually described as super-safe for swimming, with no bilharzia (more about that here), no crocodiles … and no hippos. Well, in 2013 they were very much there. For several days, until locals got tired of hippos eating their…