Heavenly honeymoon

Hemelse Honeymoon 5Peter and I are not married, but if anyone asks I introduce Peter as my ‘husband’. First, because “boyfriend” or “partner” sounds a little funny, but mainly because it is easier and avoids complicated questions. Where it is generally accepted in the Netherlands that we lived together as an unmarried couple and are now travelling together, it certainly is not the case in Africa. When we fill out forms, we can often only choose between “single” or “married.” Anything in between does not seem to exist. In order to share a hotel room we fill in that we are married. And on the streets, when a little too pushy African wants to take a picture with me (his “white European girlfriend”), I hold up my ringed finger and I point to ‘my husband’. Although we never officially said “yes” to each other, we are marries if any one asks and -in line with that- we enjoyed even an unexpected honeymoon ….

Hemelse Honeymoon 1From Sipi we drive through the beautiful green hills in the direction of Jinja. In the first larger town we pass we do some shopping. While Peter stays with the motorbikes and as always makes new friends, I walk from one shop to another to find the things we want to buy. In one booth I buy onions and avocado, in the next one I get tomatoes and bread and at yet another one water and mango. Ross left with us that morning, but does not come with us to Jinja today. He goes to look for some adventure in northern Uganda. After we have both finished our shopping, we say goodbye to him in Mbale and see him disappear into the distance on his orange monster.

Peter and I drive on to Jinja together, to the place where the Nile leaves Lake Victoria. From Jinja the river flow through Uganda to the North, here still as the White Nile. In Khartoum in Sudan, the White Nile is joined by the Blue Nile. It then continues to flow through Sudan and Egypt and flows into the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria. All places we have been following and crossing this mysterious river. Just outside Jinja are some campsites and lodges along the White Nile. We were advised to go to ‘The Haven’.

Hemelse Honeymoon 2Along the side of the road we see a large sign pointing us to the lodge. We turn onto a small road and follow the signs to the entrance. When we are almost there, one of the signs says: “The Haven, 264m”. That is very non-African precise. “The owner will probably be German”, we joke to each other. We drive through the gate into a beautiful green garden and park our bikes in the parking lot. We are greeted by several staff members of the lodge, but are so paralyzed by the overwhelming view that we forget to say something in return. Agape we look from the terrace over the wide Nile below us that squeezes itself along the rock with a lot of violence. The water makes a lot of roaring sound, has white heads of foam and fills the air above the river with fog. Very impressive.

When we ’wake up’, we say a belated goodbye and require after the prices for camping at the reception desk. We wanted to stay a couple of days, but unfortunately it is way above our budget. Somewhat disappointed we walk back to the motorbikes to look up the address of one of the other sites. While we are there, a tall man comes walking towards us. He takes more interest in our motorbikes than in us. He introduces himself as Rainer, the (German!) owner of the lodge. He himself is a motorcyclist, the proud owner of a Honda Africa Twin and has travelled through Africa on a motorbike just like us. A nice conversation follows. Just as Hemelse Honeymoon 3we prepare to leave, he asks us whether his manager had told about the 50% discount he gives to ‘overlanders’ who arrive to Uganda with their own transport. Well, that changes things! Now we can stay here a few days within our budget.

We register and ride our bikes to one of the beautiful camping sites. From there we have a beautiful view over the rapids in the Nile. While we are just starting to take out our stuff from the bike, the manager comes towards us. “Mr. Peter!” he calls, and then with a mysterious smile he says that he has an offer we can not refuse. With the compliments of the owner he can upgrade us for the price of camping to the HONEYMOON SUITE! What is your answer? “YES!”

We follow him to a beautiful cottage, right next to the roaring rapids. He opens the door and lets us see the cottage with a huge bed, a beautiful bathroom and a double bath from which you have a view over the river. With a graceful gesture and a big smile on his face he hands over the key. We are speechless! We sit on the porch for a bit to recover from the shock. Fortunately, that Hemelse Honeymoon 9does not take long and we fully start enjoying the luxury that now surrounds us so unexpectedly. Refreshed, we take a seat on the terrace at the front desk. The friendly waiter who brings us our cold drinks asks: “Hello, how are you enjoying your honeymoon?” We exchange a brief smirk and then chuckling answers that we really enjoy our honeymoon …

We end up staying three nights in the honeymoon suite  and enjoy the delicious food, the huge bed, the rain shower, the bath for two, the hammock, the animals scurrying around the cottage, the never-ending thundering river and the splendid sunrise. It was heavenly at The H(e)aven!

Fully recovered from the long nights at Jungle Junction we drive to Kampala. The road to the Ugandan capital is busy, especially with lots of truck traffic. The city itself is even busier. In the burning sun we end up in a traffic jam Hemelse Honeymoon 7of minivans and motorcycle taxis. After a long hot ride we arrive soaking in sweat at the Red Chili Hideaway, a huge backpackers hotel that is more like a factory than a hostel. We set up our tent next to the pool, take our laptop to the noisy restaurant and take a seat among young gap-year backpackers, eat rice with beans and then crawl into our sleeping bags with earplugs. After the luxury at The Haven, we are now back to reality. But hey, that is actually quit nice as well!

In a subsequent post you can read about our time in Kampala and the adventures we subsequently had with our French motorbike riding friend Mélu.

Distance travelled to Kampala: 15,585 km (9,684 miles)

Click here to see the photos in this post.

Previous story “Red earth, green hills” – “Motorbike safari in Uganda

| Leonie | AFRICA, Uganda

9 Reacties (Comments) - Heavenly honeymoon

  1. Toine Berden

    Omdat ik een crf 250L wil kopen kwam ik toevallig op jullie site. Geweldige verhalen en ook positief over de bikes en lees dat jullie af en toe wat vermogen missen, maar dat het gewicht en verbruik toch wel cruciaal is.
    Zijn er van de door jullie doorgevoerde modificaties er ook die niets toevoegen en andere die jullie misschien missen.
    Na verschillende keren op een BMW80GS te zijn weggeweest (Zuid-Amerika, Rusland/Kazachstan/Kirgizie) ben ik voornemen met een Honda crf 250 door zuidelijk Africa te reizen en ben benieuwd naar jullie (mogelijk gewijzigde) inzichten.

    En blijf vooral de verhalen met enthousiame schrijven.



  2. Jeroen Tiggelman

    Kom viavia op jullie site terecht. Jammer dat we elkaar niet zijn tegengekomen. Wij zijn nu in Nairobi in afwachting voor ons visum voor Ethiopie en Sudan.

    Goede reis verder!
    Groeten, Jeroen

  3. Erik Keune

    Het lijkt wel als ik zo jullie verslagen lees en ben net klaar met de laatste, of de hemelse deuren elke keer weer voor jullie open gaan zo veel moois in zo’n relatief korte tijd en het is jullie zo gegund. Veel liefs Erik

  4. Celine en Leon

    Klinkt hemels die Haven 😉
    Maar die foto van die groene slang…gatver!
    Is dat inmiddels al normaal voor jullie, dat soort gespuis? Hopelijk is het gewoon een gemoedelijke tuinslang haha.
    We zijn benieuwd naar jullie belevingen in Kampala!

    Liefs, xxx leon en Celine

  5. Joke en Janleen Boutkam

    Hoi Leonie en Peter,

    Leuk he om als Honeymoon koppel te reizen.
    Wij hebben dat in Canada ook gehad en ook daar gaan er meer deuren open dan voor de “normale” toerist.
    Geniet verder van de reis!

    Joke en Janleen

  6. Ben en Anja

    Vanhartegefeliciteerd, hahaha. Jullie doen het wel op je eigen manier …… onze volgorde is anders,maar het plezier dat jullie er aan beleven vergeet je niet meer.
    Veel succes verder met jullie avontuur.
    Ben en Anja

  7. Duesi Nator

    Always good to do the honey moon before marrige !

  8. Jan en Anna

    Gefeliciteerd met jullie hemelse honeymoon. Wat weer een ervaring en wat een prachtige plek was het daar. En wat toch steeds weer een afwisselende ervaringen. Geniet er maar lekker van.

  9. Mieke

    Wat een prachtige belevenis weer rond die honeymoon van jullie. Nog gefeliciteerd hè, haha. Liefs van Gert en mij