Timothy Kintu (#TrekWithTim) the guide aka Trekking Timmy, launched trekking as a monthly activity with the first one done on Easter Monday  April, 2nd 2018. Follow us on our social media handles for updates on the forth coming challenges.

I have to start with a big Thank You to all the 24 walkers who turned up for the Uganda Colony Trek. You brought good vibes and fun energy. You made the trek fun.

In last week’s blog I gave you some background on the Uganda Colony Trek. But if you haven’t read it yet, here’s a snap recap.

This trek goes round the territory where the British first established their presence in Uganda. We call it Uganda Colony Trek (Uganda was actually a protectorate) because this particular ring was in all respects a British colony. It was a settlement managed in the apartheid style, with its own laws and governing system that did not apply to the native (local) communities surrounding it.

The British built rings like these everywhere they settled during the colonial era. Black people were not allowed into this ring unless they were laborers or clerks working in the offices and homes of British administrators.

As bulwark against possible attacks (they were surrounded by African settlements on all sides) they built a ring around the hills of Kololo and Nakasero (which form the central business district) and fortified with a ring of Indian settlements along the road we were walking.

First Leg

Remember how we said the trek is 12km. It turns out ‘those guys’ at Google are not as good at calculating distances as they think they are. The trek is actually 14km. All the better for us; everyone who initially thought 12km would be a tough stretch found themselves wishing the trail had been longer. Walking is so much more fun than running.

Here we are at Lugogo By-pass, where the trek started. This road is the line between Kololo and Naguru. Kololo is where top officials in the colonial administration lived. It was the most coveted real estate during colonial times. Still is today.

We had our first water stop at a Chinese supermarket in the middle of this stretch. As many trekkers would later come to learn, most of the businesses along this ring are owned by foreigners so in some respects the ring has not yet changed its character.

Below left, Josh, a volunteer guide, keeps the engines revving at the backline; while right,  a volunteer guide explains the history of Kololo hill and its significance in today’s social structure.

Here we are at Lugogo By-pass, where the trek started. This road is the line between Kololo and Naguru. Kololo is where top officials in the colonial administration lived. It was the most coveted real estate during colonial times. Still is today.

At the junction where Lugogo-Bypass drops into Kira Road is Kira Road police station, we turned into the stretch heading to Kamwokya-Mulago, and onwards into Kampala’s central business district.

The houses left of this photo are surviving structures of the Indian Quarters which served as a bulwark between the colony and the native settlements in the hills across. In this photo, Trekking Timmy (far right) is captured describing it to some guests on the trek.

The walk was going smoothly up to this point. The walkways newly built by KCCA ended here and we had to walk single file. I hope the authority sends a representative to walk with us next time.

Second Leg

Rain trapped us at the Uganda Museum, pushing the time count forward by an hour . Luckily for us, there was an intriguing storytelling session to capture our attention. The trekkers are treated to rare accounts of Uganda’s history, and a tour of the museum.

It isn’t a trek without good photos; the trekkers pause for a selfie with PR guru, Simon Kaheru. We are on Jinja Rd round about at this point, just outside what used to be railway yard. There is just a kilometre, or two, left on the trek but the trekkers feel fresh and ready for more.

And to wrap up the trek, after stretching the legs and learning something new about Kampala’s history, we sat down enjoy this delicious goat, graciously donated by one of the trekkers.Travel Massive was represented too. We had some talks about hiking and travel as we settled down to a variety of beverages and hot plates of Uganda’s breakfast staple, “Katogo”.

Special thanks to Simon Kaheru for contributing Rwenzori Water to the trek. Simon is also the guy who published the article that inspired this trail. Keep supporting the cause Simon.

Special thanks to Tom and the Red i crew for supporting the trek. Tom is the guy who contributed the goat we enjoyed after the trek.

This is all the fun you missed. Be sure to follow us on facebook, twitter, or better still, drop us an email on trekwithtim@trekkingtimmy.com

 

#trekwithtim

 

Hi, my name is Tim. I am a Kampala-based travel guide and I’m inviting you to join me this Easter Monday. 2nd April 2018, for a walking tour of Kampala City.

The Easter Monday Challenge is 12km hike on a route I call the Colony Loop. Trekking is a fun and easy way to keep fit. It is also the best way to learn your way round the city.

The trek will start and end at Red i Lounge in Lugogo (UMA Showgrounds).

This road is along Kira Rd. Can you name its location?

Everybody knows that Kampala was originally built on 7 hills. Did you know that it was designed to accommodate 500,000 people? Did you know that of the 3.5 million people who walk its streets everyday, only in 1.7 million actually reside in Kampala?

Here’s an easy one. The building in the picture below is Uganda House. What year was it built? How many floors does it have?

Uganda House, one of the oldest and most recognizable buildings in Kampala City.

 

Photo Credit: mccrow.org.uk

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW KAMPALA?

Some time last year, while I was somewhere in the jungles of Bwindi, I received a strange text. “Tim. I’ve sent something on your email. Check it out as soon as possible.* I had just concluded a 6 hour Gorilla trek on behalf of National Geographic Journeys with G adventures. We had been rewarded with an encounter with a large group of Mountain Gorillas and after the encounter, I was in a high spirits. I was getting ready to cool the day down at the hotel bar. I was in no mood to read mail. It was time for pombe.

I opened the mail anyway. I was curious. It turned out to be a link to an article, which I found even more curious. I did not know this friend of mine to be a reader, and it was a long article. I was amazed. Read it here for yourself and find out why.

As a guide, one of the things I love most about my job is sharing information, so you can imagine my excitement when upon reading this article I discovered that I had been born and raised in Kampala but knew virtually nothing about this history.

I handle tours for National Geographic and G-Adventures, and throughout my adventures with them I have encountered many foreigners who know more about our country than many of us do, and many more who are more interested in its beauty than we who live in it. I had been asking myself what I could do to get my fellow Ugandans more interested in travel — I do freelance local tours themed around trekking/walking, which is why people call me Trekking Tiimmy — and when I read this article, I had a Eureka moment.

This Easter Monday I am organising the Uganda Colony Trek. It’s a trail that starts in Lugogo, through Lugogo Bypass/Rotary Avenue, goes into Kira Road at that famous police station, all the way to Kampala Road through Bombo Road, onto Jinja Road, and back to Red i Lounge at Lugogo Showgrounds where the trek will begin at 10.30hrs.

Have you ever sat in taxi from Ntinda or Bugolobi and heard the conductor say, tugenda Kampala? That conductor may not have known what they meant, but this ring, around which we will walk on Easter Monday, is the original Kampala, and the original Uganda colony.

Map Credit: skaheru.com

This trek goes around the boundary of what used to be Kampala during the colonial days. Yes. In the days before independence, everything within this ring was for white people exclusively. Only blacks who worked as servants or clerks could cross this road. This is actually how the Britain’s colonial system worked everywhere in the world.

Do you want to know something they never taught you in school. Every time you’ve hear the words colony, or protectorate, contact us and we’ll walk you around the Uganda Colony Trek.

In the coming blogs I’m going to share with you stories about buildings and activities that took place in Kampala back in the colony days, and compare them what happens today.

@trekkingtimmy

#trekwithtim

Uganda is a birder’s paradise. Over half of all bird species in Africa can be found in Uganda making it the richest African birding destination. Even within the surroundings of the capital city Kampala, you can record nearly 300 species in a day, and all this is thanks to the richly diverse of habitats from the scenic shores of Lake Victoria to the lush forests of the Albertine Rift and the banks of the mighty Nile River.

One of the best times for birding is early morning when the birds are feeding. As the day gets warmer, the birds tend to relax in the shade while butterflies become more active, which allows a natural shift of attention to another set of beautiful flying creatures.