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“Eyes turned upward” – aerial photos of South Western Uganda

Mar 4 • 1850 views • 6 Comments Africa, East Africa, Lake Victoria, tourism experience, Travel, Travel tips and advice, Uganda

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned upward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), painter, artist, engineer & Renaissance genius, Florence, Italy

The Muzungu was looking forward to escaping the sticky city of Kampala for some cool weather and the distant hum of village life. In fact I was so excited about my imminent departure to Kisoro (and then onto Mgahinga, Virunga and Kigali) that I was ready early: 24 hours early to be precise! Yes, my family may tease me for the missed flights and the missed trains, but not this time. At 5.15 in the morning – indeed! – I stood outside my house, bags packed, waiting for the driver to pick me up…

Aerolink staff Entebbe. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

The smiling Aerolink staff welcomed us on board the plane. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

The Sunday morning flight from Entebbe International airport took off at 7:45 AM.

The check-in process for domestic flights Uganda is the same as for international flights; however, once you’re through security in the departure lounge, you are up in the air within minutes.

Clean, and with plenty of legroom, there were enough free seats for everyone in our group to have a window seat.

One of the pilots welcomed us on board and told us the emergency procedures. “Behind the seat in front of you, there is a sick bag, in case you need it.” I couldn’t help but notice his tiny, cheeky chuckle.

But we weren’t to need it, the Aerolink flight was smooth as smooth can be.

Lady sleeping on plane. Aerial view of Entebbe. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

This lady looked like a regular domestic flight commuter. She was asleep before take-off! Aerial view of Entebbe.

Our flight took us over Uganda’s former capital of Entebbe. As we flew over the shore of Lake Victoria, we passed over Uganda Wildlife Education Centre UWEC and the departure point for the boat to Ngamba Island, home of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Wildlife Trust.

The low, early morning sun glimmered on the lake beneath us.

Aerial view of Lake Victoria. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view of Lake Victoria. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Islands – inhabited and non-inhabited – spread out below us, caught in outline by the rising sun.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Small wooden canoes passed beneath our plane, en route to fish in the depths of the lake.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda - Diary of a Muzungu | Uganda travel blog

Shards of sunlight break through the clouds. Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Flying west, we flew inland over dozens of lakes and waterways, swamps and wetlands. Lake Mburo is a popular weekend destination for Kampala expats, and a convenient stopover en route to gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Mgahinga or gorilla trekking Rwanda, but is in fact just one of many lakes in this part of the world.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Beyond the lakes, the topography changed. I love the way the shadows outline the contours of the land.

Aerial view of farmland south western Uganda. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view of farmland south western Uganda. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

I was surprised to see geometric lines – defining land boundaries I assume – not a style I have seen in Uganda. I would love to know why this particular area of land has these straight lines. I wondered if the inhabitants of the area are from outside Uganda?

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

A newly tarmacked road passes through a trading centre. The road west from Kampala to the Rwandese border has been improved significantly over the past few years – but flying is so much more exciting!

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

The occasional hill and raised terrain give way to an uninterrupted mountainous area.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

The morning sun glints on the tin roofs of houses below us.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

There was a sense of anticipation as we approached our destination: Kisoro.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Low cloud or early morning mist?

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Terraced hills, south western Uganda. Aerial view

You have to admire the ingenuity of humans who can live and farm at this altitude. Note how steep many of the terraces are.

On our walking safari in Nkuringo, south side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we couldn’t believe how steep the potato fields were. One day we watched a young boy dragging a huge sack of potatoes up quasi-vertical terraced fields. How he managed to stay upright, I don’t know.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Terraced hills, south western Uganda. Aerial view

The first of the eight volcanoes in the Virunga chain comes into view. Mount Muhuvura is known as ‘the guide’ – this photo clearly shows you why.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Mount Muhuvura, one of eight Virunga volcanoes, comes into view. Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Like water lapping at the edge of the lake, mist half covers a village.

Aerial view. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Mist covers village of terraced hill. Aerial view south western Uganda

Lake Mutanda is an increasingly popular tourist destination in South West Uganda. It’s a great base for hiking volcanoes, walking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, mountain biking, trekking the mountain gorillas or trekking the Golden Monkeys. Its proximity to Kisoro and the Rwandese border makes it a convenient stopover for anyone trekking the gorillas in Rwanda too.

Aerial view of Lake Mutanda. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

Aerial view of Lake Mutanda. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

And she was still asleep! An hour and a half later, this lady passenger was still sleeping as the plane descended to land.

Lady sleeping on plane. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

Lady sleeping on plane. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

Coming into land at Kisoro airstrip.

Aerial view of Kisoro. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink. domestic flights uganda

Coming into land at Kisoro airstrip. Aerial view of Kisoro. Entebbe to Kisoro with Aerolink

A perfect start to a perfect day.

Next stop, Mt. Gahinga Lodge, Mgahinga – and breakfast!

Aerolink plane Kisoro airstrip - Diary of a Muzungu | Uganda travel blog. domestic flights uganda

Aerolink plane Kisoro airstrip – Diary of a Muzungu | Uganda travel blog

Are you looking for domestic flights Uganda?

Aerolink offer daily flights to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips), Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese, Semliki and Mweya airstrips), Semuliki National Park (Semliki airstrip), Murchison Falls (Bugungu, Pakuba and Chobe airstrips) and Kidepo Valley National Park (Kidepo airstrip).

You can book and pay for your domestic flights Uganda online here www.aerolinkuganda.com

View a copy of Aerolink Uganda’s 2014 domestic flight timetable and prices here.

For more information on domestic flights Uganda, please email info@aerolinkuganda.com or call +256 776882205/2/3

Fire truck Kisoro airstrip

Funky yellow fire truck at Kisoro airstrip, south western Uganda, lovely Crested Crane logo on the door

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6 Responses to “Eyes turned upward” – aerial photos of South Western Uganda

  1. Daniel says:

    Thanks for taking us there so seductively and colourfully! Wonder what the cost is?

  2. Nick Webber says:

    Beautiful ! We are going to have to book a flight when we come to Uganda later this year. Thanks for the snaps

    Nick

  3. Mary Cheriyan says:

    Thanks a ton! I thoroughly enjoyed your very graphic description and beautiful pics. Having been born and brought up in Uganda this brings back precious memories. I’ll certainly check out your airline info for next year when I’ve promised my husband we’re going so I can show off my homeland.

    • the muzungu says:

      Thanks Mary! Glad you enjoyed the story and photos. Uganda is such a beautiful country; sometimes I just have to pinch myself – I live here! :) – Always happy to advise on travel ideas by the way, there must be lots of new places to visit and things to see since you last visited… tourism’s really set to take off here.

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