By Titus Kakembo
“Uganda has a diversity of tribes, landscapes and water bodies that are not found anywhere in the world” observed the visiting, explorer Sir Samuel Baker’s great grandson David Baker.
“It has been amazing to stand at the exact spot where my great grandfather stood with his wife Florence
150 years ago to see and name Lake Albert.”
“Thanks to RGS, the modern GPS and Google map. The exact spot is today a refugee camp,” added elated Baker.
Flipping his ipad open, he quotes from the griping account of Sir Samuel Baker’s exploration, a description of the people, lifestyle and dress code found in place way back in the 19th Century. “The reception I got was warm.
The natives greeted me by raising my hand up above my head. Then as a gesture of acceptance by the tribe-pumping it three times before-letting go,” read Baker.
Comparing experiences, Baker considers himself and his daughter Melanie lucky to meet Ugandans who are citizens of the global world today.
They tweet, joke, wear Jeans, speak English, drink Coca cola and dine posh.
“Para Sarova is a ten star hotel,” said Baker. “Where else in the world can you see the big five, the cascading River Nile, birds and live dances like I have seen in one day.
The thunderous drums are still ringing in my ears and the choreographed Bwola dancer’s footwork
is engraved on my mind.
They can fill a theater to capacity in Central London!”
Great granddaughter Melanie who lives in Canada was speechless and could not wait to publish her experience in Africa.
“Getting to learn that there is a school named after my great granny makes me proud of my roots,” boasts Melanie. “And it has awakened me to the fact that not what we all take for granted in the developed world,
like education and healthcare, is available to all.”
National Geographic leader of the expedition Julian Fisher said credit goes to Uganda Wildlife Authority, Para Safari Lodge and National Geographic