Uganda was beginning to feel more like South East Asia as Big Yellow putted up steep winding roads enclosed by abundant tropical rainforests, banana plantations, heavily cultivated fields and rice paddy farms. We noticed women everywhere working in the fields, shops and markets, doing the heavy lifting and carrying impossibly large bundles on their heads while the men sat around chatting, or pushing bicycles wrapped in bananas up the relentless hills. With the wet season approaching the bad weather made the already bumpy, terrible roads into a muddy obstacle course. Half dirt, half bitumen, broken and crumbling, we peered out of the front window nervously wondering who gets the right of way when everyone just drives straight down the middle. Never-ending road works made the drive slow going, thankfully with Patrick at the wheel we never felt unsafe, with his 15 years experience driving these trucks we new we were in safe hands.
Hugging the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in western Uganda is Queen Elizabeth National Park, a vast wilderness including one of the largest concentrations of Hippo’s in Africa. As Big Yellow bounced along Ntungamo Road in the distance we could see the West Rift Valley, a fantastic geological trench stretching all the way from Syria to Mozambique, and the expansive plains below of the National Park which we were on our way to visit. Standing at the viewpoint admiring the incredible vista extending all the way to the DRC on the horizon and the spectacular Rwenzori Mountains, we spotted our first wild African Elephant, miles away feeding beneath an Acacia tree, a tell tale sign of the animal adventures that awaited us in the valley below!