Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nile High

On a daily basis we experience Uganda from the ground and are familiar with it's sights, sounds and smells.  We have visited the source of the Nile River, camped along it's banks and fished in it's water many times.  To gain new perspective on a country that we love, we took a 90 minute scenic flight.

Cessna 172

I had never been in a small aircraft before and was full of nervous excitement.  Kevin had flown to Lake Albert previously so was excited to see Uganda once again from the air and to get me in a small aircraft to see what I thought.  We boarded a Cessna 172 at the Kajjansi airfield, the pilot logged our flight plan, started the engine, taxied out to the long murram runway and before long we were floating above the earth.  The moment we were off the ground my nervousness subsided and I was in awe of what I saw.


We took off from Kajjansi in a south east direction over wetlands before reaching the waters of Lake Victoria.  I had seen these types of images in books before, but now I was seeing it for myself and it was incredible.  We turned in an eastern direction and followed the edge of the lake shores passing over fields, villages and people carrying out their daily activities, some of them pausing to look up and see what was passing overhead.

Then it was time for the highlight, the whole reason we had decided to take this flight, The Nile River.  We flew over the source of the Nile and Jinja town before taking a sharp left turn to head North and follow the river.

Source of the Nile River

Having driven over the Owen Falls Dam numerous times, it was fascinating to see it from the air.  It gave me a whole new perspective on the dam and it's operation.  As we followed the river we saw many of the places that we have visited and stayed at over the years.  The new Bujagali Dam which is in it's final stages of construction was a busy place.  Lot's of people and heavy machinery hard at work to complete the project and start producing much needed power for the country.

Bujagali Dam

We circled around some rapids in the river and instead of hearing the thundering of water that usually goes with seeing them, we heard only the light hum of the engines.  It was a very peaceful and serene way of watching all that water come crashing down rapids we know well and have fished below many times.

Rapids on the Nile River

A gentle left put us in a south western direction heading straight for Mabira Forest.  A beautiful, lush green dense mass of life.  I was so fascinated with the forest.  As we were flying over the forest a light rain began to gently hit the windscreen, it was mystical!  I couldn't stop thinking of all the life that was down below in the rainforest.

The last part of the flight carried us over Jinja road on the outskirts of Mukono, over Murchison Bay with Kampala city on our right and Munyonyo before we swung round to face south east and prepare for our landing which was as smooth as butter.  With that, we were back on terre ferme.  What a unbelievable experience!  I'll never forget it and can't wait to fly small craft again.

For more information on scenic or charter flights contact:
Kampala Aeroclub And Flight Training Centre

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Having lived in East Africa, visiting the source of the Nile was always one of my dreams, but never got around to doing it. I guess this gives me a reason to come back. Thanks for sharing the story and the beautiful pictures!