So here I am, yet another African country in another African nature photography adventure. I arrived 1 day before the rest of the party, who are due to arrive tonight. Being diabetic, I didn’t want to take the risk of being off balance when we start the very intensive trip ahead of us.
And I am happy I did. The last couple of weeks have been very hectic and this extra day was a welcome break, acclimatizing and exploring the capital while getting my bearings.
And what’s to say about my first day wondering around Uganda’s capital. Kampala is a large city, consisting of mostly low built building and a population of approximately 2 million people. Originally built on 7 hills, the city knows a rapid development just like many other large African cities.
There is, however, an uncanny side to this swift expansion, for it is mainly induced by Chinese intervention. Roads and buildings are built everywhere, infrastructure and medical support is improving. Consumption goods are easily available for the Ugandan people (although they are mainly cheap Chinese manufactured goods). The locals I talked to have mixed feelings about these so called ‘improvements’, They feel trapped by this Chinese interference and I share their concern.
Just imagine what it would mean for Uganda if production could take place locally. If the Ugandan people were not just robbed for their resources like copper and forced to buy it back in products produced by Chinese corporations. What if they were enabled to grow their economy by themselves.
And if we take another leap forward, imagine what this would mean for the preservation of wildlife. If Uganda was able to diminish poverty and hunger by fair trade contracts, slow down population growth and stabilize its society overall. The main reason for poaching would vanish like frost under the morning sun.
But let’s not waste valuable time ranting. I have traveled her to observe and photograph nature and even in this urban area there was plenty to see. I have observed lots of Black Kites flying over the city. And I spent 20 minutes looking at some miniscule caterpillar fidgeting in the trees. I tried to figure out what it was trying to do, but didn’t come up with any feasible explanation. I just love the wonders of nature!
Although Kampala is a very green and clean city and its inhabitants are more than friendly, I am very impatient to leave this urbanized area and visit the Africa that I anticipated for so long: nature.