“Simply travel home for Christmas. The view will be yours every time you step out of the house. Bumanye hill is there to see, but if you turn to the right, then the magnificent Wanale ridge of Mt. Elgon will be a sight not to miss!”
That’s how you gather the family for a village Christmas.
As you head to your respective villages, there stands a unique physical feature that alerts you on your closeness to home. If you originate from Mbale like I do, that would be the famous Wanale ridge rising above the ground in the distance. But in addition to that, I have the Bumanye hill which lies closer to my actual village home.
From an early age, my dad always told stories of his childhood adventure and mischief up this hill. Not much has changed since then. Residents still trek up for different reasons; some for leisure, others grazing goats and cows, kids watching cars cruise by on the main highway or simply playing whatever game is lined up for the day. To me, it was a quick shot from the plains to the clouds.
With a modest elevation of 1289m, Bumanye hill was an easy climb, flattening out at the top to become the perfect chilling spot to run about and maybe enjoy a barbeque. It offers a superb 360° view of the surrounding vast plains, Tororo rock and of course Wanale ridge along with the other ranges of Mt. Elgon disappearing in its background. It was also great to see home and the neighbouring villages with a birds’ eye view; a green, serene, rugged and smooth beauty!
We explored the caves and found what looked like a porcupine quill, an appropriate trophy for my nephew. I was glad to know there are no snakes, but one can never be too sure. I must also mention that I was shocked to see cows up there. I really want to watch them climb.
The expedition lasted longer than we had planned and yet that wasn’t enough. We loved every bit of it, all through to the descent. I plan to make this hike a yearly ritual, call it my village exercise routine. And for those who honour my invitation to the village, this will keep us busy. I haven’t viewed the sunrise or sunset atop this hill. So, we can start with that!