My trip to Uganda Safari was fantastic. Visitor visa to East Africa is surprisingly straight forward that one can either apply for here in their London offices or at the point of entry. I did all here for peace of mind.
The following photos were taken at Murchison National Park, it was incredible seeing these wild animals in their natural habitats and more so that the area is well looked after and tour guides taking pride in their job.
The sunrise is at Heaven Resort, Jinja. One morning as I unzipped my camp tent, right opposite was this breathtaking sunrise over the Nile – hard not to pulse and appreciate the break of a new day. Only a couple of hours drive from Kampala.
From ease of visa processing, clean and organised airport area to stable electricity, uninterrupted water supply and in general (compared to Nigeria) good sanitation and environmental hygiene – hard not to reflect on why these basic needs and necessities remain big challenges in Nigeria when a country like Uganda with a fraction of our population and non of our oil wealth are keen on improving.
I made a trip to Baha’i Temple one morning for no other reason than to visit another interesting feature in the city – architecture and amazing view.
The young man working at the temple was as soft spoken as most Ugandans, he was very helpful explaining that Baha’i Faith is a unifier religion connecting all religions of the world together – didn’t even know Baha’i Faith existed so good to know. Inside of the temple was clean and dead quiet that a drop of pin will be audible so I sat down for a while admiring the details on the ceiling.
On the way back, I decided to walk back to the city centre rather than taking a taxi or boda boda – best way to see everyday people minding their businesses.
The sun was up and doing its job of biting the back of my neck, but the walk was a lot more pleasant as I realise one more thing about Uganda that is quite different from Nigeria.
For the last five years at least, we have heard a lot of increases in the number of Nigerian students being sponsored to study in Uganda universities, this is mostly from the north.
The increase in the study abroad for the last decade has been political (in my opinion), so if one wants votes, offers of oversea scholarships is one sure way of getting it – this is very common in the south, that much is obvious. Only last week there was a report of medical students in the Caribbean taking to stealing, they blamed it all on the Rivers State government for non payment of their tuition/allowances. – This by the way is not limited to Rivers State alone, common with most of our governors.
Salary payment isn’t one thing Nigeria do well at. Not too much surprises that state government continue to fail on their promises of oversea scholarship payments.
Now coming to Uganda, on my waka about from Baha’i Temple, What I noticed for the first time was that all of the schools that I found on my way for the most part were different from that of Nigeria government owned schools. I don’t know anything about Ugandan schools other than what I observed on the surface and the news about government sponsored Nigerians. However, one thing that is obvious is that their primary and secondary schools seem to be a lot more organised – I didn’t see one make-shift, side of the road schools in the area I walked past.
In Nigeria significant numbers of government sponsored students from the north were sent to Islamic university in Uganda, this could be for many reasons, here I will assume so that they could continue their studies within a set etiquette. Here are a few that we know were sent to Uganda in the recent year. Sokoto, Kano and this one from Kaduna
“Mr Ocheger (Ug commissioner to Nigeria in Kaduna) said that about 750 Nigerians are studying in one Ugandan University alone, maintaining that this will encourage interaction among different social and religious backgrounds and different nationals that will bring about social harmony and exchange of ideas.”
Come to think about this, Uganda with 40M people with only 12.1% Muslim and Nigeria with 41% Muslim out of 182M estimate. And all these years Nigeria with the numbers of professors can’t build good enough Islamic schools in our nation?
So, when are we ever going to realise it is better now and future for our country to use the scarce resources to develop our own schools?
In my two weeks, there was only one time of power outage for about half hour (the whole country was affected) and back up provision kicked in with minimal interruptions, this is such a big deal that the company in charge issued a report.
I had a great time in Uganda overall.
Giant of Africa needs reality check on all fronts.