Here Are 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

It is the nearest national park to Kampala. It is only 240km away from the city and in comparison to other national parks you can set off, depending on how much time you spend taking pictures of your self at the equator or stuffing up on chicken in Lukaya you can be one with the wild of Lake Mburo in 4 hours. It’s also not too far away from major towns in Lyantonde and Mbarara district

Zebras. Lake Mburo is home to most of Uganda’s Zebras. There is an entire zebra track after the Nshara gate in Lake Mburo National Park. It is like after paying your park entrance fees, herds of them come to welcome you to their territory.  Zebras are beautiful and from their demeanour, they love to have their pictures taken.  Someone joked that the zebras have been trained by UWA to work their angles and show their good side, whenever they see a camera.  You may not come out of Lake Mburo with the answer to whether zebras are black with white stripes or white with black stripes,  but you will see enough of them to choose a side to this argument and defend it.  For example, I think they are brown with cream stripes.

The Zebra welcoming you to Lake Mburo National Park.
Photo Credit: Pipes | Kreative Adkit

A leopard. Not leopards but one leopard. We did our game drive in the morning and according to Immaculate our guide, we had zero to none chances of seeing a leopard because they are nocturnal. (Just a fancy word for they feed at night). She didn’t lie about that. However later in the evening while we drove out of the park, we saw one. Chilling by itself below an anthill probably aiming for its dinner.

The leopard in the Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
#KoikoiUG Photo credit: Nze Eve

The bus got excited.  Fingers started being pointed. Yelling at the driver to; stop, reverse a little, go slightly ahead all at once ensued until everyone caught a glimpse of this big cat with spots (If you have no idea what I am talking about, at least you have seen leopard print fabric.) Cameras were aimed at it and all the wows and “did you see it(s)” managed to scare it away, or as I like to think we saved an animal from being dinner.

The Lake. First of all the UWA boat is new. All the life jackets are still intact so are the seats and paint so it gives a false sense of safety like crocodiles give a damn about, seats paint and inflated orange jackets but that’s not the point. The point is we love water or at least most people do. If you don’t believe me, ask anyone who stopped going to the beach why they did and I will bet that the answer will be they were too crowded.  Taking pictures on the water with your shades on gives “life eater” bragging rights,  plus the breeze is refreshing.  A welcome change from Kampala’s sewer filled air ( especially if you don’t live or work in Kololo).

The Aerial view of some part of Lake Mburo
Shot by Mu | Mugasha Arnold

On Lake Mburo, you will see hippos and maybe two crocodiles and several birds. You will make jokes about whether falling off the boat will scare the crocodile away or send it running towards you piece of meat.  You will take several pictures while you are posing and others while you stare at the waves. The kind that you will put on Instagram with long “deep” captions about reflecting on life and how it’s like the waves or if you are me,  something about God being a genius. You will hardly hear anything, Rebecca, the guide, and her megaphone will say about the lake unless she is thanking you for being a lovely crowd and telling you to get the hell off her new boat. You will have spent 1 hour and 30 minutes on the lake and that will make you feel things. Good things.

Joanne and Jeddy on the #LiveThe4GExperience plan, next to Lake Mburo.
Photo Credit: Pipes | Kreative Adkit

There is nothing wrong with being a tourist. Maybe if we all gathered some fuel and our favorite people every few months and became local tourists the people in charge will stop giving us rates in US Dollars. And when you do share your authentic Ugandan story. There are not very many out there.

About the Author:

 

Komusana Fiona | Sunshine – She loves to have an opinion but more than that she loves to give it, so she writes. The idea that she gets to express her opinion without looking any one in the face is motivating.

Sunshine, Patriarchy and Nsenene

Nsenene season is upon us and it is happiness all around. November is not just a month away from Christmas bonuses (if you are those people) and jingle bells. It also ushers in grasshoppers. These are not just ordinary insects. Here are some personal truths about them.

  1. Unlike most insects, we wait on them all year and when they arrive we don’t bring out doom or whatever insecticide to kill them because they are not harmful to our health. We set up iron sheets with light and trap them. Okay maybe we don’t do the trapping ourselves but people do and we pay them money for it which brings me to my next point.
  2. They are bringing this country closer to midro income status. Throughout the month of November, nsenene employ a good number of Ugandans. Some are wholesalers. They send their truckloads of this delicacy to urban dwellers. Others are sigiri owning chefs frying and dishing out yummy portions in the middle of the old taxi park.  And others will be shoving them down your car window or taxi while you are stuck in Kampala’s unending traffic.
  3. They used to be the key to getting Christmas outfits. According to my grandmother who is a very wise woman nsenene alongside chicken and eggs are on the list women were not allowed to eat but they would catch, hunt, conquer, solicit them for their husbands in order to encourage them to buy them to buy her Christmas clothes. (I don’t know what to say to that except that patriarchy is greedy and mean and therefore we should all be feminists)

I really thought I had more nsenene truths but they are done, almost as fast as any amount of nsenene that comes into my proximity. I am open to any and all invitations to eat nsenene this November. Totally unrelated, why has no one come up with nsenene rolex, or nsenene pizza, or nsenene burger, or nsensene salad?  So many possibilities.

About the Author:

 

Komusana Fiona | Sunshine – She loves to have an opinion but more than that she loves to give it, so she writes. The idea that she gets to express her opinion without looking any one in the face is motivating.

THE ART OF WRITING A KOIKOIUG STORY

First, there is no KoiKoiUg story but should you choose to write one, it will be you. It will be the beauty of your words, their rhyme and intonation, the dignity of piecing together that will make the Koi Koi story.

Koi Koi is about telling stories – by photos or words or both. You will, most times, find yourself on the road and nature demands that you tell its story. A photo will do but so will words and that’s where this comes in. more “THE ART OF WRITING A KOIKOIUG STORY”

POSTCARD FROM KAPCHORWA

When I joined the KoiKoi Uganda team on the tour of the East, I decided to be open minded. I did not have big expectations.

I have always loved to travel. Unfortunately there was not much of an opportunity to do so because I settled down early and tucked away some of that while I found different dreams and hobbies that fit within my schedule. But, life doesn’t wait for free time in a schedule. You have to make it.

And I did.

It was hard to relax amidst the focus of the numerous camera lenses, those with flashes and the ones that might have gone unnoticed. I was anxious but I had set out to adventure. And all of it faded away when I became at home with the true spirit of KoiKoi Uganda.

I was able to truly see my country. I used to think that the highlight of Kapchorwa was the three waterfalls and the ruthless FGM of the Sabiny girls. But there is much more: the humility and strength of the Sebei children who helped me climb the steep slopes, the rare jewel stones from the cliffs, the rich history of the Kalenjin people, the cultivation and livelihood practices of the area, the tasty local honey tonic and corn beer.

And the waterfalls! They are serene and unique. From a domineering high water cliff, to the cool meditation spot with a shallow pool and the exciting screaming water spray. All three falls presented breathtaking views and experiences.

I wouldn’t just recommend this as your next destination. I insist- this is a must visit location. [Note to self: How could you have thought Sipi falls was in Mbale? Obviously did not pay attention in Geography class.]

The experience wouldn’t be complete without the group mealtimes, the thrill of abseiling with its subsequent unspoken mountain crawling and rib cracking conversations at the camp fire.

Even as I file away this adventure into my box of favorite things, I am happy because I will keep the memory like a postcard that one day my great-grandchildren will read at a campfire.

About the Author;

Alive and glowing from the inside Juliet Mpiima brought mirth and her infectious smile to#KoiKoiEast making the trip a delectable sojourn. A trait we have found to be common amongst people who eat life with a big spoon. We certainly hope she can bring her vivacious life view to more trips and explore more of Uganda