Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Walking The Nile Update: Into Uganda

It has been awhile since we checked in with Levison Wood, the British explorer who is walking the length of the Nile River in Africa. The journey began back on December 3rd, and Wood has been making steady progress through often challenging and difficult conditions. Starting at the furthest source of the river, located in the highlands of Rwanda and Burundi, the trek will eventually cover more than 4000 miles (6440 km) and require a year to complete, making it one of the most amazing expeditions in recent memory.

Currently, Lev is in Uganda, where he has been enjoying a bit of downtime in the capital city of Kampala. There, he has found himself to be a bit of a celebrity, and had a very nice welcome party a few days back. He even received a ritual blessing from one of the more well-known local witch doctors, that was performed to keep him safe and give him strength on his journey.

Wood has now been joined on his expedition by a local Ugandan man named Boston. He has been traveling with the Brit for some time, and was reunited with his family when they arrived in Kampala as well. It isn't clear how long Boston will continue to walk with Lev, but his addition to the expedition reminds me a bit of Cho, the constant companion of Ed Stafford, the explorer who walked the Amazon a few years ago.

Wood and Boston have now completed the first 1000km (621 miles) of the walk, which means they still have a very long way to go before they reach the Nile Delta in the Mediterranean Sea. They are expected to attend a large festival in the town of Jinja this weekend before returning to the trail next week to resume the walk. After they leave Uganda, they'll face the uncertainty of travel in South Sudan, where political upheaval and old rivalries are making things difficult at the moment. They are still weeks away from crossing the border however, so hopefully things will have quieted down by then, and they'll be able to pass without too much difficulty.

You can follow the Walking the Nile expedition on Twitter, Facebook and on a special Channel 4 page dedicated specifically for the journey. Lev is posted regular updates, with good information from the field. It should be a lot of fun to follow along with his progress.

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