Uganda 2022

When the Covid-19 pandemic finally reached an interim low in spring 2022, intercontinental travel become at least a little reliable again, even though a lot of paperwork was involved. It was just then, that a WhatsApp from my "old" motorcycle buddy Jonathan (he really is 70 years old) fluttered to my mobile phone display. Just three months ago I had crossed the Colombian Andes with him and now the travel fever was plaguing him again. Uganda, the pearl of East Africa, should be the scene of our next motorcycle adventure. For a while I looked for reasons not to go along, couldn't find any and a few weeks later we were sitting together on the shores of Lake Victoria in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, feverishly awaiting the start of Moto Safari Uganda 2022.

Moto Safari Uganda - Delirium

The night in the tent was a blessing. Mosquito-free and relaxing. I made the nightly walk outside to the toilet in the subtle red light of the headlamp. Attracted by the LED spotlight, with which I could have completely illuminated the outdoor area, numerous uninvited guests would have followed me under my mosquito net. Although I had gone to bed early and slept there restfully, I felt a cold gain in severity. By evening my sinuses had begun to drip like a faucet. Jonathan and his son had been struck by the same symptoms at Lake Bunyonyi the night before last. So it wasn't just a matter of personal sensitivities on my part, but together we had encountered a cold virus that had easily coped with our weakened defenses. Maybe it was the next zoonosis after the Covid-19 virus that the others had recently brought back from their visit to the chimpanzees or gorillas. So now I had a monkey cold. I countered runny nose as the most unnerving symptom with paper balls. With that I closed my nostrils and had peace from the steady trickle. A practice that my co-sniffles at first smiled at and adopted a little later.

Moto Safari Uganda - Breakdown Series

The night was short and came to an unnatural end at 4 a.m. Getting up early was necessary, because around 5 a.m. before the rush hour we had to have already left Uganda's bustling capital Kampala. Otherwise we would get lost there as a group in the morning rush hour and would no longer find out together. The chaotic city traffic simply does not allow ten motorcycles to be kept together for a long period of time. We were all ready at just before 5 a.m. and could hardly wait for the start of the tour. But waiting is a core competence in Uganda that we had to demonstrate right from the start. Ironically, the local guide and experienced mechanic, who lives only ten minutes away, had a flat tire on his motorcycle and had to push his heavy boxer GS to the nearest gas station to mend the tire there. He arrived at half past five and we started. Luckily the traffic wasn't worth mentioning. But my two-wheeler does. A BMW 650 Xchallenge. Of the 3899 versions that were built, one of them found its way to Uganda. According to the speedometer, she had covered 40,000 kilometers so far, but looked like 140,000 kilometers. The lighting was non-existent apart from the front parking light and the brake light, the sound was close to that of a jackhammer and when I started the engine the other bikes couldn't be heard. After just the first kilometer I noticed that the ignition kept failing for several seconds, only to suddenly start again. The drive to the first toll station was like a rodeo ride. Arrived at the barrier, the enduro went out and could not be started anymore. A fate that also befell another passenger on his GS.

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