Piri-Piri Market In Mozambique

Best place to buy fresh product and local specialities are the local markets. It’s also the place to meet people and chat with locals. Fresh made Piri-Piri, a spicy sauce made from chilli peppers, are displayed all over the market. It was my goal to get some before i leave the country. The women been calling me to get her best products, even i was just roaming around first. A cute toddler sat in front of the vegetables and observed me curiously when got picked up by his mother. Too cute to just pass by.

Next to the colorful market is a simply restaurant with refreshment. Just right to sit down, watching the life on market and get to know more people. Junior tells me from his work as a psychiatrist in the hospital nearby. He’s also a photo enthusiast, tells me from his uncle, who got even famous as a photographer. Pity i don’t have more time to meet that guy in person.

On my way out of the market i stumbled in „Fernandos Bar“, covered with cards and stickers. Why isn’t there are business card of mine, i asked amused. Hand me some over, i’ll stick it somewhere, the bar keeper replied. In no time was my business card tacked above the bar desk and several sticker of my website put on the fridge and the beer tap. This must be celebrate with a tasty beer, i decided…

The Sipi Falls

From Kampala leads a wide, tarred road to the Kenyan border, but on my way i decided to drive a detour to the Sipi Falls. The camp was settled opposite the falls with stunning view to the scenery. Even a sprinkling rainbow appeared with the setting sun. Unfortunately it’s a typically ran down campsite, as many others in Uganda and in Africa in general. The staff tell me from a owner living far away, not interested to invest in facilities, nor seems the employers really keen on keeping it nice and tidy. they only count on customers coming (and paying) for the scenery up here. Probably i would had stayed longer if the campsite would been better maintained. However, that one beautiful night i enjoyed the place.

The Source Of River Nile

I felt the privilege to camp on a grassy site overlooking the River Nile. One site called „The Haven“ became easily a base of tranquility and peace, inviting me to stop by for awhile and do nothing than watch the river flow, the eagles fly and fishermen boats float. It was both, inspiring and meditative. The village nearby couldn’t offer much but laughters and friendly talks when i got to the only little shop around. It was actually just a shack with a weird calendar showing the Ugandian president in truly Rambo style. The ‚roll-eggs‘ they made was delicious, though.

Another camp i found was just above the spot where the Lake Victoria giving birth to the River Nile. A humble monument shows the place where the first European, a certain Mr. John Hanning Speke, spotted the source of the river on 28th July 1862.

Lake Bunyonyi

The road to Lake Bunyonyi was already worthwhile the trip. Hills and craters everywhere you look. Fields around tiny villages, which are scattered in the landscape. Whenever you stop you get company by curious people and begging kids. Then suddenly the lake appears between the hills, lies quietly in the valley. I reached my destination, a peninsula with a campsite. And what a site to camp; in the morning i woke up with the view over the lake. Mist flows over the calm water and crawls up the hills. On the small island in front of me moved slightly the treetops, as some strange power lives there.

Next day i decided to go for an hike on the nearby hills. One of the rare opportunities to go for a hike for free, without any permit needed. But i wasn’t alone. Buggy, the dog from the campsite, followed me. In the villages women sitting on the floor, doing handicrafts. Soon another company joined in. A kid from the village wanted show me the path to the top, and went with me since. From the small farmhouses with beautiful views over the lake the kids waves shyly their hands, wondering where i’m going. I hadn’t an idea myself. My new little friend pointed to another villages behind the hill we just climbed. Yes, let’s go there, i agreed. The people watched me in astonishment, when i arrived with that little local kid and the dog. I found an empty bar and bought my company a soda, which he sipped with a broad smile in his face. Meanwhile Buggy were sitting in front of the door and watched the curious kids on the other side of the street. After the refreshments the way back seems to be easy and fast.

Pygmy Village

The pygmy people, they call themselves Batwa, used to live in the forest, where they survived as hunters and gatherers. As the forests became national parks, the Batwa got relocated without access to new hunting and collecting areas. Lost in a strange environment, many became addicted to alcohol and start with begging too. They get abused as cheap labour, survive from the leftovers of other ones or get some income from dancing and performing for tourists.

Neza, who works for an organization, which takes care for the Batwa communities, explained me the difficulties of their life. I got interested to see the real life of these people rather than visiting a tourist performance. I’m invited to join a meeting, but was expected not to come barehanded, since the Batwa rely on food and goods coming from outside. A 25 kilo bag of maize flour was my ticket to the community. But first i met a few people in the office of the organization UOBDU and got introduced to several people, as a lawyer, accountant, shop keeper of the souvenirs and the head of organization. With her i had a longer talk and learned more about the misery of the Batwa people. In short; the government neglect the Batwa, the local people don’t care, but abuse them as cheap labour and many Batwa refuse to work at all, since their culture were hunting and gathering, what is now forbidden to them. UOBDU is trying to reduce the suffering and bring them education, it got explained to me. What’s the goal for the future, i asked. Good question, was the thoughtfully reply, but still lacking the answer.

A new dirt road leads up to mountains, passing many small villages and little farms. Here in the valleys lives the Batwa in neighborhood with Hutus and Tutsis, i learned. But it seems they don’t help each other out. We arrived a tiny farm. Now we had to wait till the word spread in the neighborhood, that the members of the organization arrived. Everyone who joins the meeting had to put the name on a list and either gives a signature or a fingerprint. Then started a three hour teaching with loud words, many gestures, big laughters and role play. The topics, as i learned later, were about violence between neighbors and within family, the right of education for children and young marriages. At the end of the meeting the people gathered around the vehicle of UOBDU. Everyone who attended and signed the list for the meeting got a soap bar and some food. What was the real motivation for people to join the meeting, and will be a constantly flow of donations from foreign organizations the real future of those people? i asked myself when i passed the majestic volcano behind Lake Kayumbu.