We’ve been crossing the border from Kenya into Uganda this morning. The procedure was relatively smooth, only the sheer number of riders in our own group to blame for any waiting times.
The immigration office for Kenya and Uganda was in the same building aside of the road. Afterwards, we passed by a police checkpoint, and—without any checking whether we had actually paid the visa—I found myself in Uganda.
“Hold on,” I thought to myself, “no one checked whether I’ve actually paid my visa and legally passed the border. Have I missed something?”
So I stopped to check whether I had all the required stamps in my passport—Kenya yes, Uganda was missing.
“Hey guys,” I asked the others, “did you go anywhere else to get the Uganda stamp?”
“No, that’s it,” they confirmed, “but the stamp is quite inconspicuous,” and off they went.
So I checked again and turned every single stamp in my passport—no Uganda stamp.
“Better make sure,” I thought to myself and returned to the immigration house.
The woman behind the counter looked at me sceptically. “You were here before?”
“Yes, just a few minutes ago,” I nodded, “but I can’t find the stamp.”
She turned the pages in my passport, stamped it, and handed it back to me.
“Haha,” I joked with her, “so I would have gotten into quite some trouble if I hadn’t come back.”
“No no,” she smiled at me.
I don’t know how much of a trouble it might have become to try exit Uganda next week without the entry stamp. However, if in doubt, I’m glad that I had chosen to go back and verify.
Stage 29: Busia – Jinja (Uganda), 130km
Road & traffic condition:
Good tar and a wide shoulder almost all the time upon entering Uganda—partly with excellent tar, partly rough or dirt/gravel. Hilly—lots of shorter ups and downs. Mostly quite respectful truck drivers, but busy driving into Jinja.
5km+ dirt road for our final ride to camp—check out the massive horns of these cows (so-called Ankole Longhorn) that we passed along the way!
I should add that—while we’d hardly seen any local cyclists up north—bicycles seem to be a very common means of transport in Eastern Africa.
Overcast all day long (but no rain)—ideal of cycling.
Lots of chapati stalls in the villages; also lots of fresh fruits and vegetables along the way.
I stopped for a brief chat with these fruit vendors.
“Durian?” I asked, pointing at the big green fruits. They didn’t understand.
As usual before and on rest days, lunch is our last meal provided by TDA. Dinner à la carte at our camp was a less exciting affair, dominated by mediocre international cuisine.
Crossing the border into Uganda.
I took it very easy today while cycling. However, I’ve realised that taking it too easy is also no good—sore butt after hours in the saddle, and not much time to relax at camp in the evening.