A Safari in three parts: Part Three

Once more, we wake before dawn.

We are at the farthest point in our journey and so we begin to retrace our steps. Back in the van, we rumble over the dirt road and out of the game park making sure not to hit the many baboons scampering across the tire tracks in front of us.

Halfway to Kampala, we veer off the pavement, returning to dirt. We stop at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, strap on sandals and don gum boots, and begin to track the reserve’s six Rhinos on foot.

Lest you be under some false impression, let me assure you of this: there is nothing glamorous or exciting about tracking Rhinos on foot, at noon, under the hot African sun. And once you have seen one Rhino, there is no need to push yourself to see more. Alas.

We return to Kampala, dusty, windblown and slightly nauseous from the road, but glad to be out in the open air of the cool evening. Yet while the rest of my family takes the land rover out into the city for dinner, I am at the hospital. Fiance is ill. I think he may have malaria, but the test is negative. The British doctor tells me that he has never met anyone who has been to Karamoja and not gotten brucellosis. I choose not to argue with him, but frankly, no one on our mission has ever contracted that disease. The diagnosis is vague—“an acute gastro” coupled with influenza—but Zack feels better come morning and so we continue our journey south.

From Kampala we drive to Mbale. In Mbale we rest. The next morning we head north again and return to Karamoja, having been gone for six days, five of which were spent traveling.
The thing about road trips – I reflect later - is the perspective they lend, in a myriad ways: time to consider how lucky you are to see all this; time to think; time to enjoy being away and then the chance to feel pleased at getting home.

We saw a herd of ostriches again outside Namalu as we neared home. They stood tall, proudly lifting their feathers up to the wind, and gracefully running away form the vehicle as we sped past. No one bothered to so much as reach for a camera.


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