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.

Koikoi Delicacy: Color. Taste. Variety.

Uganda is so rich in the variety of food on offer, ranging from fresh food to processed food. One might live all of their life in Uganda without ever having to consume processed food. This variety and depth of the offering is what #KoikoiDelicacy themed week sought to capture.

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FLUENT UGANDAN

I came across this video on Facebook today about this girl who speaks “fluent American.” Basically, she was talking to this guy in the UK about something she wanted him to buy for her. She literally put the gold in gold digger, and it’s not in the way you think. On explaining to the guy that what she wanted, he said it was too expensive, “an entire 15 pounds” he said. She however could not understand why he was telling her how heavy it was instead of how much it cost.  As I said, pure gold right? This got me thinking though, what do people think of Uganda in “fluent American,” or “fluent German” or “fluent French?” What shapes their vocabulary about our country?

Very recently the dictionary was updated. They added words like ‘side-boob’ and ‘amaze-balls,’ words for so long that were not considered acceptable in the English language but now can be used in a PhD thesis. These words were being used so much that the snobbish aristocrats who decide what is and what isn’t English had no choice but to let them into their circle of acceptable lingual.

So the snobbish aristocrats of fluent American, or fluent French might think we live in trees, own giraffes or that Idi Amin is still our president, and maybe that is all the section on Uganda in their dictionary says. We however can’t tell the world so many stories about this country that they have no choice but ti expand their vocabulary. We can put 1 million photos of this beautiful country on the internet, on Instagram and by extension Facebook. We can make the world a little wiser. We can shout #koikoiug from the roof tops.

Ps: In case you are still wondering the application of the word ‘amazeballs,’well;

A.maze.balls /əˈmāzbôlz/ : extremely good or impressive: amazing.

Uganda is amazeballs. Tell someone about it using the hash tag #koikoiug.

Side boob is self-explanatory, unless of course you are six.

#KOIKOIUG: IT IS BIGGER THAN ANY ONE OF US. IT TAKES ALL OF US. WHAT IS IT?

An honest, balanced depiction of Uganda. That is what #Koikoiug is supposed to be. That’s what we at Kafunda Kreative want it to be, all three of us so far. But then there is what the cold feet want it to be. “Oh you have no sponsorship they say, you won’t be able to pull it off.” “Oh you have no incentives; people won’t participate if you are not giving them something.”

It has been a scary couple of months trying to make #koikoiug work. Countless meetings, postponements, waking up in cold sweats, prayer, knocking on doors, begging, you name it, we have done it.

Cold feet say, “what if it doesn’t work out, what if no one comes, what if no one participates?” And every day we have pushed on, saying, “ what if they do?” What if Ugandans stand up, get together and minus all the gimmicks and flash put 1 million photos of Uganda out on the internet? What if we tell 1 million stories? What if Ugandans shout out Koikoi? What if we manage to put out Uganda’s first crowd sourced ad? Can we tell a story about this country, our country that will stop the world in its tracks?

That story starts this weekend, Sunday September 13th, as we do an Instawalk around Kampala, starting at the KCCA Katale and ending at the Gadhafi mosque capturing the pulsating urban culture of our countries capital. After which, all through to the 20th of November, we shall have a weekly photo challenge with themes like Landmarks, Independence, Innovation, Night out, Proudly East African and so many more. And at the end of those 10 weeks, all this will put into a series of ads reminding the world, that Uganda is still The Pearl of Africa.

How do you get involved? Well, show up for the Instawalk this weekend. Be a part of the 10 week photo challenge. If you are a business, get in touch, give something, support the team that’s doing this. Otherwise spread the word, share this blog post. Follow Kafunda Kreative on twitter, facebook and Instagram, and share the weeks themes, tell a friend, whatever you can do, do it. Just don’t sit it out.

An honest, balanced depiction of Uganda, for Uganda, by Ugandans. We cannot do that without Ugandans. We cannot do it without you.

WHATS BLUE, DOESN’T EXIST, AND COMES ONCE A WEEK TO TORMENT US?

I have the coolest job in the world, or so I think. I don’t have to be in the office at 8 am and that means I can sleep in, I work four hours a day and I can wear shorts and flip flops on a Monday. I should be the last person to complain about the blues.  (ok, save for mattress tester who is literally paid to sleep. Yes, mattress tester is a real job) Everything should be rosy, but it isn’t. Like the majority of people, I dread Mondays, and the funny thing is, like the majority of people, I do not know why. Do you know why you hate Mondays? Oh, you are some sort of super human who doesn’t succumb to the whims and desires of us mere mortals? My bad! When you think about it, there is no reason to hate Mondays, unless you hate you job, and in that case the problem isn’t with Monday but is with your current employ. Also when you think about it, succumb is such a funny word, sounds very made up. Like more made up than other made up English words. I know, it is one of those ones you want to say over and over again. Succumb! Succumb! Okay, now its no longer just in your head, you are now vocalizing, and in comes that dumb childish grin, and wait for it, the full on chuckle. Stop it, people might actually think you are crazy.

Sad thing about the world though, is we don’t find the belief in the existence of Monday blues crazy. The belief in the existence of some imaginary nemesis, with a cloak made out of paper work whose sole purpose is to make the beginning of the week suck. How is that not crazy? We encourage imaginary friends now? Oh! Okay. Like most things, Monday blues are another lie we have sold to ourselves, and not until you stop buying it do you realise how much it affects you way of life.

Yes, you guessed right. I am going to switch up this nicely crafted tale about the blues and make it about KoiKoiug, because that was always the plan; to draw you in with some almost funny commentary on blues and then bam!!!! Koikoiug.

We are what we believe. And those beliefs affect how we see the world and inherently our quality of life too. If Monday blues are your beliefs about Mondays, then your start of the week is going to suck. Now this doesn’t mean that shitty stuff doesn’t happen on Mondays, it sure does., but the blues ensure we stay with that pants down, toilet like feeling even when there is nothing toilet like happening. Same thing about country. Are you having the blues for your country; A persistent toilet like feeling about your motherland even when there is nothing toilet like happening? What do you believe? Koikoi!!!

PS: A couple of friends and I (@kafundakreative) are wondering why blue? Shouldn’t they have been Monday greys? Coz blue is such a nice, calming color.  Follow us on Facebook, twitter and Instagram to start a petition to change that. Also there is another petition to do something about that toilet feeling we have towards out country called #Koikoiug, we hope you sign up.

I hope you read that in an Obama voice, because then it sounds cooler and exponentially more inspiring. Ok bye.

#KOIKOIUG: THE PEARL OF AFRICA

“How does your program highlight the plight of the women? How can your initiative be used by the youth to discuss issues affecting them? “Questions like this are the daily bread of interviews, and honestly it gets tiring to hear them over and over and over again. Now this is not because we are insensitive to the plight, we are very much are aware of the sick, the poor, the ailing systems and infrastructure you name it, we live with it every day, but from taking a moment to stop and take it all in, we realise, that maybe without knowing, the plight has begun to define us. Has that become all we see when we look at our country? Think about it for a second, isn’t one of the problems with this, our Pearl of Africa, our vantage point? Do we hurry to point out what is wrong, but are hesitant to acknowledge when things are right?

Come on a journey with us will you, to the year 1908. Tribes were at war with one another, men were being traded for salt and mirrors, communication took days, roads networks barely existent, hospitals a dream, education for the lucky few, and yet during this time Uganda was baptised the Pearl of Africa. There have been many theories as to why Churchill called Uganda the pearl, but let me give you mine.

Have you ever researched on how a pearl is made? It’s fascinating really. When a foreign object like a grain of sand makes it way through the shells of an oyster, in order to protect itself, it builds a mass around it, which mass becomes the pearl. That is the short version really but you see how magnificent this is, don’t you? From the ‘plight’ of the oyster comes the pearl.

Churchill looked at Uganda, he looked at the sickness, the pain, the war, but he also looked at the magnificent scenery, the beautiful culture in our 50 plus tribes, the wildlife, and despite he saw the mass, the beautiful mass that formed around the plight and decided to call us the Pearl of Africa. What could change if we looked at our country the way he did?

The oyster build a large beauty, a pearl, around a grain of sand. We seem to have built a large grain of sand around our pearl. If we chose to “protect”( read show the world) our pearl, wouldn’t we attract more tourists, better investors and thus create more jobs and more stability? If we chose to tell the full story, how many minds could we change, how many stereotypes could we break?  Isn’t the root of our problem, our vantage point?

That’s is the riddle that needs to be solved. Koikoi.