Written by Liam Hetherington on 06 Feb, 2012
Any journey in Uganda is entertaining. And even though the road back to Kampala from Lake Bunyonyi was surfaced and even though the bulk of the journey, from Ntungamo onwards, was retracing the route we had followed on our way south, it still had plenty…Read More
Any journey in Uganda is entertaining. And even though the road back to Kampala from Lake Bunyonyi was surfaced and even though the bulk of the journey, from Ntungamo onwards, was retracing the route we had followed on our way south, it still had plenty to show. Robert, our driver, asked permission to make a couple of stops en route. He wished to go shopping. It seems that fresh produce is dramatically cheaper down in Kigezi than it is up in Kampala. He had already bought a sack of ‘Irish’ (the local name for the one variety of potatoes that can be found in Uganda) and he wished to pick up some stems of matoke. These green cooking bananas were sold still attached to their curving boughs. A typical purchase would be good four feet long, with dozens of bananas hanging off. We got used to seeing these lashed to car roofs or hanging from bicycles, boda-bodas or truck wing mirrors. My map of Kigezi had shown the road from Kabale to Rutobo markd with the warning ‘annoying vegetable sellers’. However, when Laura realised that the veg on sale by the roadside here was around a third of what she would pay in Kampala she was eager to get in on the action too. Obviously prices were higher for her than they would have been for Robert on his own – this is the ‘muzungu price’. Robert helped to haggle the prices down as low as he could though. At Ndeja we bought – in addition to Robert’s matoke – pineapples, avocados, passion fruits and a couple of hands of small eating bananas. Laura also bought a waragi bottle filled with local honey. We stopped again near Masaka to buy some red sweet potatoes. Other stalls we passed sold tomatoes, wicker chairs or fresh catfish. It seems the best way of transporting fish home is to tie it to the radiator grill of ones vehicle so the breeze can keep it cool!We stopped at the Agip Motel in Mbarara again. I’m glad we did not set off a minute earlier than we actually did, for cresting a rise we found a lorry flipped over with one of its trailers lying across the entire width of the road. It blocked the way on a bridge crossing a marshy valley, thereby stopping any traffic from getting past. Sacks of grain, destined for Rwanda, had spilled across the tarmac like sand. When we reached it there were only a couple of cars ahead of us on one of the main roads in Uganda. Had we set off a minute earlier from Mbarara the truck might have flipped over on top of us!Needless to say, this caused a right farrago as the traffic backed up in both directions. A carnival atmosphere built up, with people seeming to accept that this was part and parcel of everyday life in Uganda. Vehicles emptied as their drivers and passengers got out to take toilet breaks at the road side, engage in conversation, and wander up to have a good old look at the situation. They inevitably returned stuffing handfuls of grain into their pockets!Once the obstruction was cleared we made good time back to Kampala. We even stopped a couple of times, once at the Equator for a toilet break, and once at Katonga to look at a roadside billboard showing Ugandan president Yoweri Musaveni and his good friend Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (who was, by this time, deceased). Our speed dropped shortly when we reached the outskirts of Kampala. Traffic crawled past the shanties, and stalls. However, even here I could see wildlife – for the first time I could see dozens of ungainly marabou storks perched on roof tops or stalking through piles of refuse. I had not seen any of them during my first weekend in Kampala. Now there was no way to miss them. Ironically for birds whose feathers were the epitome of 1930s luxury it has to be admitted that marabou storks are criminally ugly garbage-chomping scavengers! Close
Robert said the drive down to Bwindi from Kampala would take about eleven hours. He was spot on to the minute.Rather than trusting the public transport we had booked a driver. There is one bus every other day from Kampala to Butogota, leaving the traveller…Read More
Robert said the drive down to Bwindi from Kampala would take about eleven hours. He was spot on to the minute.Rather than trusting the public transport we had booked a driver. There is one bus every other day from Kampala to Butogota, leaving the traveller to manage the remaining 17km to Buhoma, the gateway to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, on their own. The buses we saw on the roads failed to fill us with confidence; the weekend of my arrival one had crashed, killing several of its passengers. Robert and his Toyota Landcruiser arrived at Laura’s house at 6.30am.We chuntered out of Kampala – it must have taken ninety minutes before we were clear of the traffic-clogged streets and bustling markets. Thereafter the road ran straight south-west, rising and falling over the corrugated terrain. On top of the ridges brick-red termite mounds clustered close to the road’s margins. Down in the valleys were patches of marsh choked with papyrus and haunted by egrets. Stalls stood at the roadside displaying brightly-painted basketware or neat pyramids of sweet potatoes and tomatoes.We stopped for the obligatory photo opportunity at the Equator - two concrete hoops set at a slant either side of the road. We had a comfort break at the tomato-red Aid Child Café for a chai (4000 shillings each – fairly expensive, but profits from the café go to help children suffering the effects of AIDS). In the attached craft shop I made a note of prices for comparison at a later date.We headed off again. After Musaka the termite mounds died away. There were a couple of police roadblocks, but otherwise the open road was the domain of packed coaches, lorries belching black fumes and motorbikes, gaily-dressed women sitting side-saddle behind the driver. The road margins were busy with locals walking or pushing cycles laden with cassava root.At one point we drew to a halt to view a flock of sixteen grey crowned cranes as they pecked at the grass. These majestic birds are the national symbol of Uganda – one even appears on the Ugandan flag. Soon afterwards we paused again to have a look at an open patch of water down to our left. According to Robert this lake did not even exist three months previously, a testament to the amount of rain that had fallen recently. Scanning the lake with binoculars we were able to spot several examples of birdlife among the drowned trees and half-submerged tussocks of grass. We saw grey herons, white egrets, brown open-beaked storks, even a marsh harrier.Having been impressed with the birdlife I was then promised bigger game. Laura cautioned to keep my eyes open to the left of the road as we passed Lake Mburo National Park in case we saw any zebras. I scolded her for getting my hopes up… then asked for Robert to stop the car because I had seen some! There was a herd of a half-dozen or so zebras placidly grazing as I crept up to photograph them.Back on board we reached the bustling Mbarara, capital of the Ankole. We had been seeing the characteristic Ankole cattle at the side of the road for some time. These cows are blessed with mighty lyre-shaped horns which seemed to get bigger and bigger as we neared Mbarara. The most impressive were easily the length of a man’s leg. Everyone stops at the Agip Motel in Mbarara for lunch and use of the toilets. We were no exception. They sometimes have a full buffet on for 20,000 shillings, but not on that day. Instead I paid 10,000 Ush for a toasted sandwich of ground beef and carrot and onion in soy sauce which was very tasty. I accompanied this with a 2,000 Ush bottle of Stoney Tangawizi, a local ginger ale (made by Coca-Cola unfortunately).The road from Mbarara through Ntungamo and on to Rukungiri was the best yet. It even had road markings! After Rukungiri, however, all bets were off. The remaining two-and-a-half hours to Buhoma would be on dirt tracks. I was thankful for the Landcruiser’s four-wheel drive as we jolted up slopes, around plunging ravines and over pre-fab bridges, the waters swirling brown beneath us. Then, suddenly, the wildness of the terrain would be supplanted by bucolic scenes of gentle hills, green meadows and black-and-white cows at pasture. It could almost have been a snapshot of the English countryside, were it not for the fact that the fields were speckled with red termite mounds. We made our way up to Kihihi, and then south – Kanyantorogo, Butogota. Tea plantations appeared at the side of the road beyond the houses. And then on into the little township of Buhoma. Souvenir stalls and the gateways of lodges lined the had-packed red earth that served as a road. And off to the left stood the forbidding deep green wall of the Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest. Close
Written by Liam Hetherington on 02 Feb, 2012
The rustling in the undergrowth grew louder. And then, from behind a tree, a fully grown male silverback gorilla sauntered into view. Without glancing at us he knuckled away.Breathlessly I took stock of our surroundings. We had emerged out of the damp forest canopy where…Read More
The rustling in the undergrowth grew louder. And then, from behind a tree, a fully grown male silverback gorilla sauntered into view. Without glancing at us he knuckled away.Breathlessly I took stock of our surroundings. We had emerged out of the damp forest canopy where the air was heavy with the smell of decomposing leaf matter and into a large sloping meadow. As my eyes accustomed to the daylight I could see, among the stomach-high ferns and brush, other black shapes. The trackers had done their work well. We had found the Habinyanja family of mountain gorillas.Of the three ‘habituated’ gorilla groups around Buhoma the Habinyanja have been known to roam the furthest. That morning as we checked in at the Bwindi National Park headquarters we had been informed that finding this group meant either a stiff three hour hike down into the Munyaga valley, up the steep hillsides that presented themselves across the other side of the river, and then down the far slope. Or we could cheat – an hour drive east along twisting roads to a trailhead and then a shorter trek into the rainforest from there. We took the latter option. At the trailhead the villagers gathered around, regarding us with some curiosity. The folk out here in the hills were noticeably poorer than those I had passed along the main roads, the houses unpainted, the children clad in brown sacking. I pulled on my pack and we set off towards where the trackers had located the gorillas. There were twelve of us in total. Our party was comprised of seven tourists (two Americans, two Germans and two other young Brits as well as myself), our Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger, David, two armed guards, and a couple of porters that had been hired at Buhoma. From the village the trail led up to a ridge overlooking the village’s tea and millet fields. A lone tree was hung with the spherical nests of weaver birds. And ahead stood a sudden dark wall, the abrupt start of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Brightly coloured butterflies fluttered around the forest eaves.for contrast. Once inside the forest the footing was treacherous. We were hacking through the undergrowth, sidling between trunks and stepping over roots and brush. And all this while negotiating slippery slopes. We conversed in subdued whispers only, aware that we were intruding into an ancient ecosystem. After only about forty-five minutes of walking we came upon our two trackers. David gave us last minute instructions. Here we would leave our packs and sticks. I also took the opportunity to divest myself of my rain coat. The armed guards and porters would also remain here. The gorillas were not far. Remember: make no sudden movements, and never approach to within seven metres of a gorilla.The thing is, I don’t think anyone had ever told the gorillas about the seven metres rule. Sat down amidst the scrub, eating placidly at the freshest stalks, they were sometimes surprisingly hard to spot despite their size. We would stumble upon them by chance. On one occasion I was at most two-and-a-half metres away from one of the adult females. I think the fairest thing to say was that these mighty mountain dwellers tolerated our presence. They would put up with us, but only for so long. When we reached their tolerance levels they would rise up and amble off. Otherwise they were very docile. They sat there chomping on leaves and bamboo, scratching and grunting and – all too infrequently - turning to appraise us with their big brown eyes, liquid eyes the colour of melted chocolate. There was intelligence in their gazes. It actually made me feel rather sad and humble that after everything we humans had ever done to the mountain gorillas they were still prepared to accept me into their world as a guest.We had an hour with the gorillas. Slowly and steadily we began to move into the meadow to see more of the family. We saw the one-eyed alpha female, Kisho. The blackback (an adult male but submissive to the silverback) Maraya kept his distance. Stepping back into the forest eaves we found one of the juveniles – Hamusini I think - napping. Emerging again we saw a beautiful sight. One of the females was hunkered down, while her baby clambered over our head. Like a wizened hairy pixie the baby sat boldly on her shoulder and stared in puzzlement at us. No other moment of the entire experience felt quite so much like I had stepped into a staged show of animatronic models.Turning to my right I made eye-contact with Makara, the silverback. It was interesting to see how the silverbacks differed from the other gorillas, even the other adult male. His head had the high domed shape we know from King Kong rather than the low rounded profile of the others. And of course he had that icing-sugar dusting across his broad shoulders and down his back. Being top dog in an individual family brings on these characteristics. He wasn’t doing much to protect his harem it must be said. Previously he had shambled away from us at every opportunity. Now he squatted on the other side of a tree, keeping a watch on our activities through the bamboo. Abruptly he rose and grunted an instruction. One by one the other gorillas also pulled themselves to their feet and followed him as he shouldered his way through the underbrush and up into the trees. Our hour was up. I cannot express how humbled and privileged I felt to spend time in the world of these magnificent creatures. In fact I feel bad even using the word ‘creatures’ – these were beautiful beings with their own clearly defined personalities. There was more intelligence and humanity in their gazes than one could find in those of many politicians and bankers. This was their world, and they were a species on the edge. The Habinyanja family group comprises eighteen individuals. To put it into context, I had spent the morning with 2.5% of all the mountain gorillas that still exist in the world. Despite mankind’s hunting and poaching, despite our destruction of the environment they need to survive, these gorillas were still prepared to allow me to walk amongst them, if only for an hour.Driving back from the trailhead I began to see in my surroundings the threats to these incredible creatures. Deforestation – whether for logging or for opening more space for tea plantations – was the main one. I just hope that the efforts of the conservationists to make the people that live alongside the gorillas realise that they are worth more alive and free than dead or in a cage are successful. Close
Written by Gary Stapleton on 05 Oct, 2008
My wife and I have just returned from a trip to Uganda. Having never been there before, we had no pre-conceived ides as to what to expect and I think that served us well. An unusual choice of destinations, yes. Our only reason to set…Read More
My wife and I have just returned from a trip to Uganda. Having never been there before, we had no pre-conceived ides as to what to expect and I think that served us well. An unusual choice of destinations, yes. Our only reason to set our sights on Uganda was because we had been invited by a girl that we started sponsoring 26 years ago. We stayed with Agnes in her own home in Kampala, in sight of Lake Victoria. From the moment we met up with our 'daughter', we were made to feel extremely welcome. I don't know if I would feel so comfortable in Kampala without knowing someone who was able to show us around. Our visit took place during April, a time when the weather conditions were very pleasant. Temperatures were in the high 20's (C), with an early morning thunder storm off the lake, a regular occurance.The city is busy, some might say chaotic, with 'jams' manifesting themselves at any time on the crowded streets. Even the police are at ends to control the situation and usually stand waving their arms about until the traffic finally clears.After flying over a very dry Ethiopia, Uganda is a fertile, productive country. With its equatorial climate, one feels that you could grow anything in the lush soil that abounds there. We travelled to the western regions of Uganda, to visit the mother of our host and spend time in the village that she had spent the earlier part of her life in. Our welcome was very emotional, with the whole village turning out to meet us. We needed to go through the formal welcome procedures due to the fact that if strangers come into the village without being formally recognised, there is much concern and suspicion. There are militant groups in these areas and the villagers are very cautious in this regard.We were invited and stayed in the village overnight, much to the joy of all the people there. No westerners had done this before and there was great excitement. We were taken on an evening walk by some of our guests, while arrangements were made for the sumptious evening meal. Such a huge variety of tastes featured in the feast that followed. A gluggy portion of millet was a prized feature of the cuisene. Fruit in abundance and the company of as many as could fit into our dining area made us feel very welcome.Our time in Uganda also included a trip to the source of the Nile at Jinja and a visit to see the wonderful work being done at the orphanage 'Watoto'. Our host arranged a group from the local church to entertain us with their traditional singing and dance. We were able to meet a number of people at this gathering, which was very lay back.After nine days we needed to continue with our journey and with much sadness, we left our wonderful Ugandan family. We hope some day to return and again enjoy the warmth and compassion of our friends there. Close
Written by rufusni on 31 Jul, 2007
This town in the southwest of Uganda is fairly non-descript and tourists only tend to come here on their way to trekking to see the mountain gorillas. However, the scenery around the town is spectacular with extinct volcanoes making up the mountain range that soars…Read More
This town in the southwest of Uganda is fairly non-descript and tourists only tend to come here on their way to trekking to see the mountain gorillas. However, the scenery around the town is spectacular with extinct volcanoes making up the mountain range that soars above the town. To reach the town involves a drive over the mountains from Kabale along a road that has steep climbs and descents as well as sheer drops. There are amazing views on the way but it can be a terrifying journey hurtling along this road. There is a regular bus linking Kampala, Kabale and Kisoro, as well as matatus. I was quite disappointed as I had a bad chest infection while I was in Kisoro and was unable to do a lot of things. I did visit the market in the town, which was quite interesting with people coming in from the surrounding countryside as well as crossing the border from Rwanda. The market is dominated with vegetables and imported second-hand clothing, as well as the basics required for life. I also attended a service in the cathedral (which is Church of Uganda -Anglican) on the Sunday morning and it went on for several hours with amazing singing, clapping, and drumming as they worshipped in African style.
I was disappointed not to trek up to the summit of one of the extinct volcanoes above the town which some of the rest of the people I was travelling with did. The town has several hotels that cater for tourists in the town, and some also have restaurants. There is also a small Internet 'café' in the town, but we never used it due to a couple of power cuts. The main street is quite wide with a grass centre, and there are several small shops lining the street, including those selling traditional material and the opportunity to have an outfit made. The bakery in the town has reasonable bread available - I enjoyed the little fluffy and slightly sweet rolls.
My favourite buy in the town was honey - there is a local beekeeper association who has a shop near the Agip fuel station. The honey is incredible and comes in several varieties including a creamed and euchalyptus which we bought and were luscious.
Written by gemdenoel on 27 Sep, 2004
Out of my whole 4 months of staying in Uganda, the town that had the biggest impact on me was my stay in Kasese. It was there that world events took a great change in shape and the African perception of me as a white…Read More
Out of my whole 4 months of staying in Uganda, the town that had the biggest impact on me was my stay in Kasese. It was there that world events took a great change in shape and the African perception of me as a white person changed dramatically (at least for those who had access to media).
Kasese was a week-long teaching project for Uganda Red Cross recruits to learn to assess and implement emergency planning in refugee camps and areas vulnerable to natural disasters. (Kasese was especially vulnerable to two factors, one being landslides from the old copper mines "Kilembe" above, empty but still causing problems, and the second not a natural disaster, but civil unrest in the neighbouring country - Kasese is on the border to Congo.
What really was the highlight was an afternoon spent with a group of children (my day was free anyway and I had done my bit of exploring around). I was able to give a geography lesson (even though our languages were different, we seemed to have an understanding of how far away I was from and how long I spent in the sky to get there (leaves on the ground do wonders in explaining world geography). I was able to teach a bit of physics (sort of) with a bottle of water, a rock, and a batch of keys (if the items ever made it to the ground), and then physical education - games of Red Rover and Adaptations. There was laughter and freedom to be a child for once. The feeling of being looked up to was great - even for one day, I made some lives better. I pull out the photos of the kids every now and then and I remember that day so clearly and I am curious how these kids are 3 years later - will they remember me?
As for the world change - I was the only white person in the town (let alone the bar) the night of the Twin Tower attacks (because of the time difference - we are ahead about 10 hours there). I could feel the room set their eyes on me. It was a feeling of pity and confusion, and vulnerability. The impact was incredible, the doubt and the fear - it took a while for things to sink in when I went back to the main town where I was stationed for my work and found that the welcomed feel I’d had when I came was quickly deteriorating.
Written by jjackman on 22 Feb, 2008
When I was in 9th grade I ate an earth worm for extra credit in a science class. Being that it was worth 100 extra credit points and the mounting pressure from my classmates that had already eaten one I chewed it up and swallowed…Read More
When I was in 9th grade I ate an earth worm for extra credit in a science class. Being that it was worth 100 extra credit points and the mounting pressure from my classmates that had already eaten one I chewed it up and swallowed the little guy with little to no hesitation. Peer pressure is often an amazing incentive and eating a grasshopper here in Uganda is of no exception. I did my research on Uganda before arriving and thought that I was relatively educated on the culture and food; however no where in any of the research were grasshoppers mentioned. In a conversation one evening Daphne asked me if I had ever eaten an insect. I told her my story of the earth worm. She looked at me in disgust and could not believe I would do such a thing even for extra credit! It was beyond her comprehension. Not even a moment later she, nonchalantly mentions that grasshoppers are good and they are eaten in Uganda frequently. I laughed and shrugged it off as a sarcastic attempt to poke fun of my worm eating adventure.The following day while we were having a drink at a local restaurant/bar a man strolled by with a container filled with crispy looking things resembling the shell of something fried. Daphne motioned the guy over and he gave us a handful of the fried items on a napkin. Daphne was not fibbing; sprawled out before me were fried grasshoppers! Since I am in a new place I decided to be bold and try one. Much to my surprise they were actually pretty good. Sold by street vendors and eaten as if they are lays baked potato chips, grasshoppers are indeed a commonly eaten snack. With the head and body in tact, legs pulled off, deep fried, smothered in spices; these little guys serve as a decent appetizer. Apart from the black beady eyes staring at you before you pop them in your mouth and the crunchy dilemma of knowing one is eating a grasshopper, they are better than I would have imagined. Close
Written by re.bekah on 20 Dec, 2006
Living in Kampala as a white female requires a certain amount of humor and resilience to deal with the constant barrage of redundant pick-up lines. The persistence of certain men, who find you desirable even when you’re stumbling hungover through the taxi park at six…Read More
Living in Kampala as a white female requires a certain amount of humor and resilience to deal with the constant barrage of redundant pick-up lines. The persistence of certain men, who find you desirable even when you’re stumbling hungover through the taxi park at six in the morning, necessitates a wide variety of excuses. These can range from “I’m sorry, I seem to have forgotten my own number,” to “Yes, my husband is a professional Norwegian lumberjack, and we raise pit bulls together with our three lovely children” — both of which have come in handy.And then there are the times you fail, your mind falters and all excuses desert you, and you’re left having given your phone number to a blue-helmeted boda driver named Edward who will call you every thirty minutes between 6:30am and 8pm for the next three weeks.Edward and I spent a miserable 90 minutes on a boda (motorcycle taxi) one drizzly Tuesday morning in a sorely misguided attempt to return to my village from southeastern Kampala. Despite my frantic arm-waving and my emphatic commands to “Stop. This is Bad. We turn around. We go back,” Edward sojourned on to Kawempe, 10km from where I live. When we finally reached my home, he was so apologetic that he knocked 2000 shillings off the price and offered to give me a ride whenever I needed it. Finding someone willing to take you cross-town and then some for a reasonable price at 6am can be a challenge, so I accepted and we exchanged numbers. Though I’d done my best to explain when I needed rides, Edward began calling me just a few short hours after dropping me off to ask if I could use his services. I answered the first time he called out of curiosity (perhaps I’d left something on his bike?), and the second out of pity and mild frustration. (“Thank you, I’m sorry you don’t have any other riders, but I’m not going anywhere at the moment.”)Though I stopped picking up, Edward kept calling, and the situation grew so dire that I began keeping my phone on silent. Rather than daunting his persistence, my refusal to acknowledge Edward seemed to increase his determination. He began sending text messages of the sort that only romance-stricken boda drivers can send: “U wher r u havnt seen u in so long plz call Edward” and “Hopping ur not sick want 2 see u call me plz.”The messages eventually slowed and then, one blissful day, stopped entirely, and Edward faded from my consciousness until a couple of days ago, when I made the mistake of picking up another boda from the same stage. Immediately after hopping on the bike, I noticed Edward hunched sulkily over his handlebars, staring at me. As we pulled away, he straightened up and yelled, as only boda drivers can, “MZUNGU WHY YOU NOT LOVE ME?”I’m sorry, Edward. My heart already belongs to a Norwegian lumberjack. Close
Written by travelista1 on 24 Aug, 2006
Located near the bus park, Aweno market is one of the busiest spots in Kampala. Be sure to keep a close watch on your bag, or better yet don't take one.
The market is always full of people who want your business and will…Read More
Located near the bus park, Aweno market is one of the busiest spots in Kampala. Be sure to keep a close watch on your bag, or better yet don't take one.
The market is always full of people who want your business and will bargain with you if you are persistent enough to not take the first offer and tell them you don't want the "mzungu price" or the price they give a foreigner.
The market has everything you could need from clothing and shoes to crafts and live chickens. You never know what its possible to find here so if there is something you just cant find in a store around Kampala, check at the market it will probably be a lot cheaper. Although most of the things are used, many are still in great condition and you can get them for under 5000 Uganda shillings or about $2.77 US dollars.
My favorite place to stay is at the Nile River Explorers/Backpackers Hostel. The hostel has a main accommodation near the town of Jinja and also a camp right at Bujagali falls where you can see the rafting. The people that work for NRE are…Read More
My favorite place to stay is at the Nile River Explorers/Backpackers Hostel. The hostel has a main accommodation near the town of Jinja and also a camp right at Bujagali falls where you can see the rafting. The people that work for NRE are really nice and always willing to help you find something you might need while staying in Jinja. If you don't like rafting or kayaking, check out bike rentals from NRE. You can even get a guide to take you out to the Mabira forest.
Around the corner from the NRE hostel is a place called Three Friends which has a lot of great food, drinks and even has ice cream! (pretty hard to find in Uganda) Just ask one of the guys where it's at and they'll point you in the right direction.
There is also the Adrift camp which most people stay at who book with Adrift while in Kampala. This camp has mostly tourists and can sometimes be a bit quiet when there are only a few rafters around. I prefer NRE because many of the locals hang out there and know the good places to go around Jinja.
In addition to these two options there are many smaller guest houses sprinkled around Jinja which offer a more low-key spot for people who may be traveling as a couple and don't want to stay with a younger backpacking crowd.
Try King Fisher Safaris Resort or Bridgeway guest house