It is the end of day 2 of our ride and already it feels like we have been in Africa for a long time. Although only 100 Kms from Entebbe to Jinja the journey takes almost four hours although we do stop for a coffee and a quick supermarket shop for forgotten things.
At last we bounce up a track and arrive at the stables and alongside them a lovely lodge where we stay for two nights.
Here is the view over the Nile from our porch.
After a beautiful lunch, our guide Natalie allocates us to our horses. We are each to have two horses to ride over the week and she lovingly explains their characteristics and foibles.
Natalie breeds most of the horses – the stallion, a striking coloured chap of about 16.2, rides out with the group. They are Irish sport horses crossed with thoroughbred, many of them competing in eventing in Kenya (a two day drive away) as well as being trail horses. They are fit and strong. Here are a couple of the young horses curious to see what was going on as we mount up.
This is me on the right on Jack Daniels, a much bigger horse than I’m used to and a wonderful ride.
The little nets over their noses are to stop them snatching at the crops as we ride past. Many of the crops are only inches from their noses and would be temptation to any horse. For the rural community through which we are riding each plant represents their livelihood
We walk where the track is narrow or there are a lot of people around but also have lots of long trots and canters some of them quite fast. The terrain is perfect for riding and we don’t have a single gate to do. We are just riding through the countryside along the tracks used by the locals. Some are very narrow but passable, some are being used by people and motorbikes and some are wide and we see the odd car.
We ride through lots and lots of villages. There are people living everywhere and they are overwhelmingly friendly and welcoming. The children run out screaming, their mothers and fathers wave. There are also many young men without any visible signs of work and we wonder how the country can cope with such a huge population and not enough work. Although there is clearly enough food to go around the young people with their smart phones and Internet access are going to want more.
Tomorrow we move onto the rainforest.
To read about other days on this trip, click below.
If you would like to join this fantastic riding adventure in Uganda, here is a link to our website with more details of the ride, the itinerary and the forthcoming dates and prices.