53 – Road to Entebbe

Witch doctor - kongwa2london.comWe used to visit Entebbe to go swimming, which was by the shores of Lake Victoria some 25 miles from Kampala.

On our drive to Entebbe, we stopped to look at a stand on the roadside, it had objects covered with silver foil and bottles of potions. The stand belonged to the local witch doctor, we looked, I took a photograph, but what we didn’t do was part with any money. Our reward was to be cursed by him until we were out of earshot. I now put the blame for any problems I have had in the last 40 years down to him.

We proceeded to the swimming club, which was situated on a promontory overlooking the lake and Entebbe airport.

Why not swim in the lake? Good question. The beach is beautiful as I could testify, I’ve walked along it. Well, that is until a policeman was attacked by a crocodile and had his leg bitten off.

Then the water in the lake has little snails that release parasites through the pores in your skin and give you bilharzia.

There is a story of Arab pilots employed during the Idi Amin era attempting to fly MIG fighters from Entebbe airport, only to find themselves plunging into Lake Victoria. A fast delivery service for the crocodiles.

Later the airport would make the world’s headlines when the Israelis raided it to rescue hostages. Meanwhile I just watched aircraft take off over the lake from the pool – another day in paradise.

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