I liked that Discover Uganda was a departure from the armchair tourism television format of a presenter introducing a segment in the comfort of a studio while a field presenter lazily takes viewers on a boring atlas-like journey into the wild or something. This was bulls-eye stuff that sucks you into the experience and makes you forget you are soaking it all up from the comfort of your couch. The two hosts took us on a road journey to Jinja to make our own discovery of the mighty River Nile, which many of us still don’t appreciate beyond the erratic electricity supply from its over-dammed waters. The premise was on point. A contrast between the roadside mouth-watering treats at Namawojjolo and the not so generous haute cuisine servings at Wild Waters, a resort that sits right in the middle of the Nile.
But for the most part, viewers were mostly enthralled by an attempt to steer away from missionary-position-style mundane camera shots to breath-taking aerial drone shots of the ferocity of the Nile. Its roaring falls now provide a playground to thrill seekers wishing to paddle rafts over. It doesn’t matter that you may have your heart in your mouth when your raft flips and tosses you to the mercy of the river current. That’s the point of experiencing the premium adventure that validates our enduring tagline as “The Pearl of Africa” our fucked-up politics notwithstanding. And then it was on to the show capper; bungee jumping which is akin to taunting the grim reaper. Of course there’s the psyching up by the bungee attendants about the lofty freefalling experience being way safer than driving the 80km journey from Kampala to Jinja. Tell that to a cat that has a guarantee of counting down nine lives. I take my hat off to that guy that jumped from that height enough to “tea bag” on the Nile and the highly creative production crew. Those camera shots were divine! Discover Uganda airs Tuesdays at 7.35pm on NTV with Sunday afternoon repeats at 2pm.
Text: MOSES SERUGO