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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
I wind around the back of Mt. Elon, through little villages and on roads that could easily be in South America. It’s a stunning rural slice of Uganda, and I’m having such a good time I forget to take a single photo. After 1,666 miles exploring Uganda, I’ve seen enough to know I will come back one day.
I roll up to the small border post at Suam River and immediately like what I see. There are a couple of buildings and a couple of people around, but it’s an extremely quiet dirt road crossing. In Uganda it takes only five minutes to stamp out myself and the Jeep, and a friendly guy offers to change my money. I’m not certain of the exchange rate, and he is kind enough to get todays newspaper and show me the official buy and sell rate, which he is happy to give me, even in this remote place.
Talk about nice.
I move forward a hundred yards and cross a small bridge over the river before the process is repeated on the Kenyan side. The Immigration boss is out for lunch, giving me a chance to eat myself and chat to the few Officers that are standing around. Everyone is really friendly and happy to give advice on where I should go in Kenya. When the boss returns he issues me a one month Kenyan visa for $50USD without a problem, and next door at Customs the boss there stamps a temporary import permit for me in about one minute.
It’s obvious he couldn’t care less about paperwork, which is great for me. Kenya does officially have a Temporary Import Permit good for 14 days, and I can extend it once for another 14 days in downtown Nairobi.
Leaving the border I drive through now familiar endless roadworks for a few hours before arriving in the sizeable town of Kitale. Kenya immediately feels bigger, faster and a little more raw than Uganda. I want to say it feels like some parts of Cameroon. Everyone is friendly, but the pace of life and sheer size of everything has picked up from slightly-sleepy Uganda.
In the morning I move one, aiming South and East towards the Tanzania border. I camp a night on stunning Lake Victoria, again chatting to many friendly locals and quite a few foreigners who are working here too.
Kenya already is great, and I’m excited about what comes next!
47,025 total miles down, and I’m into African country number 31.
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