As my flight coming back from Hong Kong was late landing back into Dubai, it resulted in me being pulled off my original flight to London Heathrow and been given some reserve days. I was expecting a turn around but was so happily pulled out for a flight to Entebbe in Uganda.
Departing Dubai at 09:30am, it was a nice and easy four hours and twenty minutes over to Entebbe International Airport. Landing late lunchtime we made the journey over to the hotel through the colourful streets of Entebbe. We checked in and a few of the crew had arranged to meet downstairs in an hours time for some exploring.
It had been almost a year since I was last in Entebbe and it’s a lovely quick flight with one service and then a nice twenty four hour layover. We stay at a beautiful resort right by Lake Victoria, and I was looking forward to getting out on the lake.
We were heading out on a boat trip on Lake Victoria. It is the largest lake in Africa and the third largest lake in the world, Lake Victoria rests between three countries namely, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and covers an approximate 68,800 km squared and is also the source of the River Nile. Scattered along the beautiful shores of Lake Victoria, there are approximately 84 secluded clusters of islands, known as the Ssese islands.
For an hours boat ride it cost 100,000 Ugandan shillings and this was then split between the seven of us which worked out at just £3 each. The trip took us out on the lake and across to a local market on the waters edge.
We pulled into the market and were welcomed with open arms by a local guy who just wanted to show off his town. He asked us excitedly what it was we were wanting?! With the majority of us answering “avocados”. Millennials, hey?
The market was so full of life with many people spending their Sunday afternoon stocking up on groceries in the sunshine and also stopping to eat food at the nearby restaurant that adorned the waters edge.
There was such an abundance and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables for such a little price, there was even dried salted fish which I was told is a local delicacy. Not something I was ready to purchase though! I was in my element meandering through the stalls admiring the bright colours and chatting away with the locals.
I got talking to one guy at a stall who found my accent the most hilarious thing ever, and just couldn’t string one sentence together without laughing. We had such a funny chat and he asked if we could have a little selfie.
I managed to purchase two ginormous avocados, four mangos, ten passion fruits, five limes and a banana for the absolute bargain price of £4!!! What an absolute dream, its served me well back in Dubai!
Our time at the market was wrapping up and we walked back through the hustle and bustle, weaving our way in and out of rouge chickens that were running around our feet and stepped back onto the boat.
One of the crew Alexandru had bought local beers for the crew and we took the scenic journey back to the hotel sipping on club beers, soaking up the sunshine and created a plan for dinner later on.
We decided to stay in the hotel for the convenience and one of the hotel staff, Pius, was waiting for us on a golf buggy to take us back to reception, but not before calling back in our rooms to drop off our precious cargo.
The hotel is actually a really good place for dinner and on my past two trips I’ve had the mango and avocado starter which is so heavenly and I couldn’t wait to order this again with a rack of ribs also.
The hotel saves a table for the Emirates crew and crew rock up at all different points of the evening. There was also a second crew who were going to be deadheading back with us (the lucky things) so there was such a big crowd of us all at dinner chatting away into the night.
With it being a Sunday evening, there were a few market stalls on the grass by the hotel selling a whole host of different items. One of the crew had bought a traditional African top and I absolutely loved it, and not before long a fair few of us were all sat at the table in African clothing. I thought we all looked so fab! Nothing like embracing the local culture. I did tuck it in though for a more ‘me’ style!
As the evening drew to a close, I wandered back to bed ready to pass out for a long nights sleep.
I woke late the next morning and laid in bed eating the fresh fruit I had bought from the market the night before and then had a leisurely morning on the balcony before the afternoon wake up call. A perfect layover, one I was more than happy to see last minute on my roster. I really love Uganda, I really want to explore some more. I know a family who have recently relocated to Uganda to the town of Gulu and would love to be able to venture up North to see them. It’s sadly unachievable on a layover, as its a six hour drive from Entebbe, but hopefully it can be done in the future!
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