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Saturday, May 14, 2022

African Adventure 2022: Travel to Uganda

We awoke early (read: 3am) to get a quick shower and get ready to start the long travel day to Entebbe, Uganda from Bristol. We hired Arrow Cars to collect us at 3:45am to head to the airport to catch our 6am flight from Bristol to Amsterdam. Our driver arrived a few minutes early, so we set off slightly ahead of schedule. The Bristol Airport was surprisingly full of other holiday makers, scrambling to catch an EasyJet or Thomas Cook flight to somewhere warm and sunny or a place that offered skiing opportunities. Thankfully, not many appeared to be on KLM to Amsterdam, so we didn't have to wait long before we got in line to go through security.

With the world getting a little easier to navigate again, we will need to look at not getting to the airport quite as early. We managed to drop our bags and get through security in about 15min, which left us with about an hour until our gate was announced and boarding began. Oh well.

The flight to Amsterdam was uneventful like normal. Upon our arrival, we headed to the KLM Crown Lounge for some breakfast and to wait for our next flight to Entebbe to board.

The flight to Entebbe was a little delayed out of Amsterdam due to the flight arriving late. This was also the first flight I can remember taking that had two destinations: Kigali and Entebbe. Passengers for both destinations boarded the plane and we set off for Kigali first followed by Entebbe. In reality, this flight was really a loop: Amsterdam to Kigali to Entebbe to Amsterdam. The plane only fully emptied and reloaded in Amsterdam. Other than some technical issues with the on-board entertainment, it was a fairly uneventful flight. We watched a few movies and played some of the in-flight games.

It took about an hour in Kigali to unload everyone staying in Rwanda, clean the plane, and add the new passengers enroute to Entebbe or Amsterdam. It was a bit of a weird experience hanging out on the plane during that time. Once we were back in the air, it was a short hop to Entebbe.

Upon arrival in Entebbe, we made our way off the plane and found our escort to get through customs and the health checks. While I'm not sure we needed the escort, it was nice to help make sure we had everything ready for the right person. Once we had our bags, we met up with our driver to take us to the Boma Lodge for our short night of sleep.

Waiting for us at the Boma Lodge was a doctor to collect samples for our COVID test to get into Tanzania next week. Then, our driver gave us a briefing on what to expect for our time in Uganda before leaving us for the night. We were a little sad we were only going to get to spend ~6 hours in the lodge with most of that asleep. It looked lovely and would likely be worth more time to enjoy. After getting settled in the room, we passed out, knowing our 5am wake-up was going to come quickly!

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