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Uganda-Report 2019 – Kagulu Rock

By Test Jens, 11/17/2019 - 12:53
Uganda-Bericht 2019 – Kagulu Rock

Namaganda, 17. 11. 2019 (Deutsch) In the meantime we have got used to our rustic dwelling. Thanks to the mosquito net in the frame the door can stay open all the time, even during the day. That helps in any case. No more thoughts of escaping to the hotel in Kamuli. Also our godchild Habiba slowly thaws out. Today she brings us corn again as a small thank you for all the presents - what a nice gesture from the family.

That reminds us that we have another souvenir for the children. Raphaela quickly fetches a can of "Pustefix" bubbles. Astonished and curious they watch how to create soap bubbles with it. And have lots of fun catching them. They have even more fun making the soap bubbles themselves.

Also today we make an excursion. In August this year Eddy organized a big bus and went to Kagulu Rock with all the children of the school. A great thing for the children, many of whom have never even been to Kamuli, which is only 15 km away. When I saw the pictures of the tour, I immediately thought "that's where I want to go!"

Such rocks or rocky mountains can be found practically everywhere north of Kamuli, from Mount Elgon in eastern Uganda to the Rift Valley in the west. The most famous one is probably the Soroti Rock in the north-east that we will visit in a few days. Our destination today is one of the biggest and highest rocks of this kind.

However, yesterday's climbing on the Nile still sticks in my bones a bit. But the Kagulu Rock can't be that bad, in August there were also smaller children there. And also today a few children are allowed to come along. Habiba and her big sister Amina and the two godchildren of Ina Florence and Royida.

After a short stop in Kamuli, where Wilson, the headmaster of the Visionary Learning Center, is still on board, we will head north-northeast for about 40 km. We park in the shade at the foot of a long staircase leading up Kagulu Rock.

But for Ina and little Habiba the climbing is nothing. They prefer to stay with the car. Royida keeps them company. We hire a chaperone, then we go up the stairs with a guide.

Already with the first steps I feel my sore muscles. In addition I loaded my backpack with water bottles (which was not a bad idea, as it turns out later). So I have at least an excuse why I am so out of breath (it can't be because of my belly or my lack of fitness...).

The stairs are getting really steep soon. In places clearly over 100% gradient. We have the feeling that it goes vertically up the mountain. Sometimes the stairs or the path in front of us is overgrown by high grass. Then our feet are often not to be seen and we do not know where we step. Therefore, the view is already on the first part of the way ingenious.

It's a beautiful summer day. The sun is shining cheerfully, it is certainly over 30 degrees warm in the shade. Except that there is almost no shade here. Probably only the stupid Muzungus get the idea to climb Kagulu Rock on such a day at noon of all times.

I am happy about every little breather that is not initiated by me. We use every little spot of shadow between the rocks to rest. We are rewarded with ever new and exciting views of the African landscape.

What was it like with the children again, which made me think that the ascent can't be that long and hard? Amina and Florence jump up and down the steps and rocks like mountain goats with ease. Again and again they wait for the panting adults or come back the way they came when they got too far away. And all this barefoot on the hot rocks!

The path leads us higher and higher up the mountain. Often I think, only the part up to the next paragraph, but then the next steep passage follows. Then all of a sudden the path leads down again a short piece. A comfortable grassy area invites us to stay, but we are only halfway up and have to continue immediately.

Afterwards there is no shadow at all. Not the slightest crevice. I concentrate on every step. Just put one foot after the other. Breathe calmly and don't think about how far or how steep it is. The next step is the goal - you can do it!

Suddenly the summit is actually visible. And there is a shade giving shelter up there, which is practically open in every direction, so that a refreshing breeze flows through the room. We take a long break and are happy about our large water supplies, which we share with a group of children who collect dead wood up here.

The view up here is great. Far to the west you can just about see the mouth of the Victoria Nile flowing into the widely ramified Kyoga Lake, which surrounds Kagulu Rock on three sides. Unfortunately it is quite hazy, so that one can only guess at the huge Lake Victoria in the south.

It is good that we have a guide with us, otherwise we would have missed the perhaps most beautiful part for sure. Nearby there are caves which our guide wants to show us. The way there leads through a hollow with man-high grass, in which we sink completely. On the other side it is only a short piece up the rocks, then we are standing in front of the cave entrance.

Thank God it is not as narrow as the cave the day before at the Nile Falls. I can slip through without any problems. Inside there is plenty of room, and in some places the sun shines through small openings, which also provide very pleasant ventilation.

Past large rocks we follow the winding path and finally reach the southern exit of the cave. Outside we experience again a new, impressive view of the landscape. Over cuddly grasslands and smaller rocks, past a few wild goats, we walk back towards the big stairs.

The descent is much easier for us than the ascent. Or we are still intoxicated by the experience and the great views with always new perspectives. Soon we even see Ina and the children waiting patiently at the car from a distance. The steep passages are not easy, but we master all challenges. Only Wilson has the same difficulty as in August

Back at the foot of the stairs we are greeted joyfully. We enjoy the pleasant shade of the trees and rest for a while from the exciting exertions. Raphaela still enters us in the official visitor's book of Kagulu Rock (which, by the way, looks exactly like the copy of the Visionary Learning Centre where we immortalized ourselves on the first day).

On the return trip we could learn again something about the African way of life and how to deal with situations. Suddenly the way is blocked. A big excavator is trying to make the road, which is battered by rainy season floods, passable again. There is no way through for cars and trucks.

Although the repair is supposed to take two hours, no one is getting upset here. We wait with stoic composure. The construction site is a small attraction and is curiously marvelled at. Just as short time later the three Muzungus, who have lost their way in this remote area.

After only half an hour, the excavator releases the provisionally repaired path. The trucks in front of us have to struggle with the passage, but finally we pass the obstacle much faster than originally thought.

In Kamuli we still buy food for the school at the market. The market is a lively experience in itself. Tightly packed stands and visitors between the most different goods. We are happy to have Eddy with us who takes care of the shops.

On the last part of the way home we pass a really mobile disco. A great construction, which I would like to have in Germany too:

We'll take Habiba straight home to her mother. At school we are expected again. We will think back to this day for a long time.