My maiden trip from Arua to Kampala
What you need to know:
- There is always a first time. After two years of limited travel options, we were desperate to go out and see the world again. It was my turn to also take a maiden trip to Arua and back. My return journey was more fascinating because the sights and sounds were my first of a kind, writes Anita Muyama.
I could not resist sights on my way from Arua to Kampala. The north-western part of Uganda is one of the most tranquil rural places. For nature lovers, this is one of the destinations you must go to before you die, keeping the fuel prices and distance constant. Even then, nature is great for our mental wellbeing as it is said to reduce anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings.
But before I share my experience, my journey from Kampala to Arua turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I learnt that most people use Gulu-Kampala route which gives one a clear view of the magnificent Karuma Falls, Tangi River, and the Albert Nile as you approach Pakwach Town.
When my turn came, we were unable to use the same route because there were road works. We detoured from Pakwach Town before reaching Tangi River. However one is excited by travel it is quite some distance.
Bungugu Wildlife Reserve
Using an alternative route of Paraa Bridge, we passed through Bungugu Wildlife Reserve which is part of Murchison Falls Conservation Area situated between Buliisa and Masindi districts. At the gate, a group of armed police had to thoroughly check the bus and briefed the driver and passengers about the rules and regulations for using the route; vehicles should drive at a speed of 40km per hour to avoid endangering of the wildlife.
As we drove through the park, one could not miss a huge population of kobs, rhinos, elephants, warthogs, giraffes among others at the base of the Great Rift Valley. The painful bit is that one could not get up-close with the wildlife because we were in transit. I could not keep staring because my neck started to pain and I needed to change for a while. Forgetting about glancing outside the window, we strike into a conversation with my neighbour.
After a while, we had arrived on the beautiful bridge that gave us a paranoiac view of some cottages. We did not know until a signpost that read Red Chilli Hideaway – Murchison Falls popped.
The irresistible feeling of stepping out of the bus to take in the cool breeze from the water and greenery was far from possible, so we leaned back and enjoyed the scenic drive across the water.
Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls was our next transit point where we encountered amazing wildlife species and it a beautiful stretch to explore if you included it to your bucket list either as a road trip or family getaway in the wild. Unlike Bungugu, Murchison Falls Park is characterised by dense green vegetation that covers the park. This place gave our minds and body a peaceful feel, as birds chirped but relaxation hypnosis gradually caused one to drift off to sleep.
Murchison Falls has more than 76 mammal species including buffaloes, lions, leopard hyenas, lions and elephants. More than 500 bird species and unique various primate species such as the endangered chimpanzees.
There are places where you can get to rest such as Red Chilli Hideaway- Murchison Falls, Sambiya River Lodge, Paara Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls Lodge and more in case you are touring.
From the amazing features of the northwestern Uganda, we got to the villages of Masindi District in the west like Kyatiri, Kyakayenga and others. The pit stop was Kigumba, where passengers got a chance to step out, stretch and, also buying some snacks.
Since I was famished, I walked to the closest supermarket, bought milk and returned to my seat.
The journey became lovely as the sky started getting darker, I could not resist taking a nap because we were approaching town. From Luweero up to the bus park slumbered off.
Immediately the driver parked the bus, my neighbour nudged me with the elbow and I woke up. I had to make my way back home at night however, terrific it was and I arrived at 9pm, tired but glad to be home.
“Yes, the driving distance between Kampala to Arua is 496 km. It takes approximately 7h 22m to drive from Kampala to Arua.
Unlike Bungugu, Murchison Falls Park is characterised by dense green vegetation that covers the park. This place gave our minds and body a peaceful feel, as birds chirped but relaxation hypnosis gradually caused one to drift off to sleep.