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EVERYDAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN

By Edmund Kagire

When I got an invitation to attend the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan the week running October 21 to 27, 2018, I was a bit hesitant to accept it but then I said what the hell, let me just take it on. After all I am the adventurous type.

I set off on October 21 to what turned out to be a whirlwind week of new experiences, exposure and new human connections. The journey was smooth, taking Rwandair from Kigali to Dubai & then Air Astana from Dubai to Astana. I had never heard of the airline. It is a very pleasant airline with good service -one of the best in EuraAsia, if not the best. It boast of over 30 aircraft in its fleet and operates in at least 64 destinations.

Interesting. In Kinyarwanda they say “Akanyoni katagurutse ntikamenya iyo bweze”, literally meaning that a bird that never flies will never know where the millet harvest is. I had been told that racism is rife in Russia and all Slavic countries formerly linked to the Soviet Union. I expected to be ‘unwelcome’ but it was not the case in Kazakhstan. Kazakhs are very hospitable people and will do anything to help you even though you might struggle to communicate if you don’t speak Kazakh or Russian. Right from the airport to the conference centre and malls, they would go out of their way to make sure that all is well. Occasionally, they will talk amongst themselves and laugh but it all seemed in good faith (I didn’t read much into it) and in line with helping you to get what you wanted. Kazakhstan is a very organised country. The discipline and time keeping is impressive.

The Palace of Independence where the meeting was held is a beautiful piece of architecture and hosts thousands of people. The organisation was top notch. The Astana Opera House experience was out of this world. The opera house, which was right opposite my hotel, was breathtaking. It is said to be the 3rd biggest opera house in the world in terms of capacity. I haven’t seen anything well built as that architectural marvel. The performances were overwhelming. Astana is a young city. It turned 20 recently in June but it looks more established than most cities that are over a century old. The architecture in Astana is unbelievable, almost science fiction stuff. I am working on a travel piece for The East African, you will read more details there.

All in all, I just wanted to say that everyday presents us an opportunity to learn and be more informed on what the world has to offer. My perception of Kazakhstan has forever changed for the better. The more we learn, the better we become as human beings. We just have to be open minded

Views expressed in this blog are 100% an experience of the traveller or writter not of Travel With Darius TV Blog

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DARIUS’ SEMEI KAKUNGULU HERITAGE EXPERIENCE. Part 2

In my previous episode https://bit.ly/2RerFfu I narrated how I had stepped my foot on Gangama hill. It’s on this hill that Mwanga and Kabalega were incarcerated, it’s on this hill that Semei Lwakirenzi Kakungulu finally settled, it’s on this hill that he died and was buried. In this episode I take you straight to what to see on this hill in the Semei Kakungulu Heritage Experience with Kakunguru Safaris a local company that has taken time to develop the itinerary.

TOUR SEMEI KAKUNGULU GRAVE.

Semei Kakungulu grave at Gangama Hill in Mbale.

Kakungulu died on 24th November 1928of Tetanus. Kakungulu is buried in a short distance from the main Abayudaya synagogue behind the unpretentious home which he lived during his last years of his life. He was buried inside a house. I asked Steve my guide why he was buried inside a house. “He built this house before he died and instructed his relatives to be buried there” Says Steve the soft spoken man with a lot of simplicity. We were allowed in by the care taker of Kakungulu’s grave and old house Mr. Hamis Nambale who looks like he is in his old 60s. As you enter, the immediate site is a front stone on the grave with words……..

“SEMEI LWAKIRENZI KAKUNGULU A victorious General, Saza Chief in Buganda, Administrator of Eastern province 1899 – 1905, President of Busoga 1906 -1913. Died 24th 11 1928”

His grave is surrounded by his tools of work that include spears that he used to take on his battle fronts. Each spear or tool there has its own meaning according to Steve.

SEMEI KAKUNGULU ANCIENT HOUSE

Darius – Show Host and Steve – Kakungulu Safaris standing infront of Semei Kakungulu House

VISIT ABAYUDAYA COMMUNITY

Under pressure from the British who wished to limit his holdings, in 1917 moved his residence a short distance further from Mbale town into a short distance in the foothills of MT elgon to a place called Gangama. It was there that he started a separatist sect initially called Ekibiina Kya Abayudaya abesiga Katonda (the community of Jews who trust in omnipotent God) which is made up of mostly Kakungulu’s Baganda following as told to us by Steve. When I visited the site, I could easily tell the difference with rest of the community.

In 1922, at Gangama, Kakungulu published a 90-page book of rules and prayers as a guide book for his Jewish community. “The book set fourth Jewish laws and practices as Kakungulu found them in the old testament as well” Says Rabbi Garshom Wambede who is the current Mbale Jewish community leader or teacher. I found out that despite this interest in Jewish practices, there does not appear to have any contact between Kakungulu and the Jewish practices before 1925.

According to Steve, many European engineers and mechanics who were employed by the British had a chance of meeting the Christian-Jewish community in Mbale in what appears to be chance encounters and then out of this Kakungulu was told about Orthodox Judaism. As a result his other Cristian values and customs were dropped and he adopted Judaism including practices of baptism.

From these encounters the community learned of citing Hebrew prayers, observing Sabbath on Saturday, slaughter meet in Kosher manner and also speak some Hebrew.

After Kakungulu death local sources say, the Abayudaya community was divided into those wishing to retain a toehold within Christianity and those wanting to break it completely. The Bayudaya remained a mixture of both Christianity and Judaism, with faith in Christ remaining in Kakungulu’s faith and beliefs.

Some of the young Abayudaya community members performing local dance for Darius

SEMEI KAKUNGULU UNFINISHED PALACE

Just few meters Steve leads me through a maize plantation walking through a small footpath with visible stones across on the same hill. “This man was ambitious, both in wars and establishing his dynasty” Says Steve as he looks at me firmly on the face. I nodded in agreement. I tasked Steve if he knew some of Semei daughters or sisters surviving and he told me there is one sister who stays near former president of Uganda Amin’s ware house in Lunguja, Rubaga Division, Kampala but they seem to have lost touch. If one of his children were still alive probably he would have finished this palace and ascend on the throne of Bamasaba, Steve re-affirmed me.

SEMEI KAKUNGULU COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

A kid traverses through Semei Kakungulu road that goes to the community school.

Some Baganda chauvinists believe and think Kakungulu was a great philanthropist who took religion and education in that area. They sometimes go as far as saying he took civilization in the area…………………. To be continued in the next episode

 

Please note that all views expressed in this blog are my own and from my experience. They not the views of my sponsors or my partners.

Feel free to share this and follow us on social media for more insights of Darius travel experience.

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HOTEL REVIEW: Mbale Resort Hotel Limited | The Natural Comfort in A Gem of Eastern Uganda

Having decided to have a full Eastern Uganda retreat, I set about deciding where I wanted to stay. Mbale Resort hotel in the slopes of Mt. Elgon was calling, well on the outskirts of Bugisu region it seemed like an obvious choice for a number of reasons. Find out below what we thought.

Of course the holidays for children are getting closer to the end and am one of the most optimistic parents to see them go back. Am a traveler and then think about noise around you, breaking glasses at home, writing on cars. You know better than me. Am talking to seniors in parenting. Am a single parent so where you stop is where I start from.

So what comes to my mind is my next holiday and really needed a place where I will hike more, eat more, sleep more and kick out the stress I have been through the whole month. You know what I mean. On my mind is the Eastern Uganda circuit and what comes to me is Mbale Resort Hotel. I always mind much on the price but whatever the case Comfort also comes handy. So when I read their slogan “The Natural Comfort” all my nightmares were solved.

Mbale Resort Hotel Limited | Your Natural Comfort in Eastern Uganda

Established in 2002, Mbale Resort Hotel is berthed in the tranquil town of Mbale on the slopes of Mt. Elgon National Park.  It’s a private run business which was the realization of a dream that started long time ago combining touristic and urban life facility in the whole of Eastern Uganda circuit. The unique elegant facility is the first of its kind and the only five star rated Hotel in the whole of Eastern Uganda.

The first structures Mbale Resort Hotel started with a magnificent view of the pool and southern part of Mt. Elgon Ranges.

While looking at Mbale Resort trip advisor review page i could tell this is metaphorically what I have been yearning for. What a coincidence? I go hike Elgon and come back to the hotel with ease, go to Sipi Falls Uganda in 20 minutes or less am back at the hotel. That sounds good already. I came up with my 6 days itinerary of adrenaline rush adventure without my usual habits of meeting locals and we dance.

Ohhh yes do you remember Mbale is home to Bamasababa who have the strongest initiation cultural event in the whole of Uganda? Its in high gear and now I can’t miss. I hope they don’t do that to me unwillingly. Am from the West of Uganda where everyone does it willingly but here it’s by force. Lol

The Road To Mbale Resort Hotel Limited | Your Natural Comfort

It’s just a short 10 minute drive from Mbale Town the centre of Bugisu and close to five hours of average speed from Kampala to Mbale town. To be honest there are so many obstructions from Kampala to Mbale. It’s a route that’s has many street food stop overs like Namawojolo inside Mabira Forest, the source of the Nile and much more that are always yearning for you to stop.

While looking at Mbale Resort trip advisor review page i could tell this is metaphorically what I have been yearning for. What a coincidence? I go hike Elgon and come back to the hotel with ease, go to Sipi Falls Uganda in 20 minutes or less am back at the hotel. That sounds good already. I came up with my 6 days itinerary of adrenaline rush adventure without my usual habits of meeting locals and we dance.

Ohhh yes do you remember Mbale is home to Bamasababa who have the strongest initiation cultural event in the whole of Uganda? Its in high gear and now I can’t miss. I hope they don’t do that to me unwillingly. Am from the West of Uganda where everyone does it willingly but here it’s by force. Lol

The Road To Mbale Resort Hotel Limited | Your Natural Comfort

It’s just a short 10 minute drive from Mbale Town the centre of Bugisu and close to five hours of average speed from Kampala to Mbale town. To be honest there are so many obstructions from Kampala to Mbale. It’s a route that’s has many street food stop overs like Namawojolo inside Mabira Forest, the source of the Nile and much more that are always yearning for you to stop.

Darius is swarmed by a group of food venders on his road trip to Mbale inside Mabira forest.

It’s also a major route to Kenya so expect many trucks and buses on the road. Without forgetting stressing endless “STOP POLICE CHECK” points. These one agrrrrrrrr I don’t recount how many they are. Everyone knows the performance of a Toyota Harrier 3000 CC. So to be brief I was skipping some towns like a drone. But stopped a million times too. Don’t try that.

Accommodation at Mbale Resort Hotel

Luxury business suite with a luxury bed that has music, Kitchen area, mordant elegant bathroom, balcony and big seating room.

Time check 15:30 GMT and am received by fresh enchanting environment in the slopes of Wanale Mountain and in the middle of nature at its best. Mbale resort has for the last 16 years developed from a small sized hotel resort of 19 rooms in the old wing to a whooping 93 rooms after adding 74 rooms in.

But I wondered from the reviews how they have made a leap from the few rooms they had.  The baby of all is the biggest or call it the newest complex that houses 2 restaurants, two conference rooms, bars, a mega reception and a tune of 70  plus luxury rooms that include 3 luxury suites. My suite had an almost 360 degrees round bed, wide sitting room, balcony and balcony to enable me have a clear view of the Elgon ranges in the south.

Time check 15:30 GMT and am received by fresh enchanting environment in the slopes of Wanale Mountain and in the middle of nature at its best. Mbale resort has for the last 16 years developed from a small sized hotel resort of 19 rooms in the old wing to a whooping 93 rooms after adding 74 rooms in.

But I wondered from the reviews how they have made a leap from the few rooms they had.  The baby of all is the biggest or call it the newest complex that houses 2 restaurants, two conference rooms, bars, a mega reception and a tune of 70  plus luxury rooms that include 3 luxury suites. My suite had an almost 360 degrees round bed, wide sitting room, balcony and balcony to enable me have a clear view of the Elgon ranges in the south.

The new Mbale Resort Hotel complex that houses most of the conference rooms, suites and other luxury rooms.

And now forget about that other story and I begin the Mbale story now. It was my first time to have a bed that has music in it. Okay! It was my first time to have a shower singing for me. Okay ! It was my first time to have a shower that does massage for you, has various taps, one for the ear, another one for legs, another one for the stomach and another one and another one. Basically each part of the body has its own tap in Mbale resort shower for the Suite. Call me a village man or whatever I don’t care but I have never been in a shower bathtub that massages and soothes me . Okay. Period! It’s a story I will live to tell my grand and grand for good. If you disagree the pack your bags now and go then ask for an executive Business suite. You will come back with a different version of the story like politicians of these days.  Of course they have other suites like the Genius suite under executive B and Presidential Suite. I slept in one these hahaha but I lived all my life in Mbale and now living a bonus. Put jokes aside.

This shower massages sings for you and has over 6 showers for you all in one.

The Facilities at Mbale Resort Hotel

Gym at Mbale resort hotel.

Mbale Resort Hotel has a modern state of the art gym and sauna for in-house guests. To my surprise they even allow Mbale residents to enjoy the facility at the most affordable price. For residents its part of the package but for outsiders you have to part with a small budget to enter.

The things i loved were the playground, the swimming pool, and the large safe grounds to run around for some of you who have kids.

Magical swimming pool for you water lovers.

Mbale Resort Compound in a natural form with added acacia for fresh air.

Within minutes of us arriving at Mbale Resort Hotel I could feel the awe of freshness in Mt. Elgon ranges on this lower side of Wanale Mountain.

Food at Mbale Resort Hotel

Am a fan of food. From street food to posh and luxury restaurants. But I was blown off by one item I found on Mbale resort menu. Its called smoked bamboo shoots. Did you know bamboo shoots are eaten? At first I thought they are just teasing me or some comedy somewhere. Until I hit the kitchen and saw them bring real bamboo. OMG!!! Never in life and never in a five star luxury hotel resort like Mbale Resort Hotel. What a hell!! I said it and I mean it. To go on the menu expecting chicken and pizza and then find these wild plants my granny has been cutting in our backyard for manure and goats to feed on. And now you tell me it’s a high end meal in a five star hotel?

Bambo shoots meal is served with Bananas from the hills of Bugisu.

It’s still hard for me to believe and feel like going back to eat those bamboo shoots. Seems they come from another type not the ones we have at our backyard. Buffets and breakfasts are not only good but a must do for everyone. Don’t remember to have a taste of Bamboo shoots. Sounds funny ,yes  but it’s true!!

Adventure while at Mbale Resort Hotel

Being at the centre of Bugisu region is so far the most reason that made me book there. I  LOVED it. Sleeping and waking up to such incredible fable mountains of Wanale was such a lovely experience and set off my 6 days trip to Mbale in an incredible way. I will share with you some of the places you should never miss especially if you are visiting Mbale for the first time you may want to explore other places of historical interest around the Bugisu, sub region

 GANGAMA  HILL
Gangama hill is to the West of Mbale Town. It is where the late Semei Kakungulu, the veteran Buganda imperialist chief of the 1890’s established his residence in 1917. Astonishing, his residencestill stands.

Kakungulu moved his residence here under duress from the British.  Photo credit: Semei Kakungulu Country Lodge.

The British were intent on reducing his powers after he fell out with them. Kakungulu apparently wanted the British to allow him rule and become King of Bukedi and Busoga.

The British took exception, instead using civil servants to govern the above areas.
Bugisu then was part of Bukedi region.

After his death in 1928, Kakungulu was laid to rest in a mausoleum. To all appearances, the Mausoleum looks far much better than his old residence, which currently is occupied by his great great grand children.

Semei Kakungulu’s Grave in a mausoleumon Gangama Hill Mbale. Photo credit Semei Kakungulu Country Lodge.

Kakungulu’s huge grave inside the mausoleum is a marvel in itself. The grave has the Star of David engraved on it, perhaps a testament to his inclination towards Judaism.

“Kakungulu’s inclination towards Judaism was so strong that in the years following 1917, he started the separatist Kibiina bya Abayudaya or Jewish community in this very place. In the subsequent years, he also wrote and published his 90 page Bayudaya book of rules and prayers,” Explains site caretaker Kakungulu Nambali.

On his grave too is a small basket placed conveniently for visitors who wish to leave a token.
There are 3 spears firmly placed in the ground just in front of the grave, perhaps pointing to his militaristic past.

Just outside the mausoleum, there are a myriad of graves, all belonging to Kakungulu’s kinfolk.

“Contrary to what historians or what other people may say, Kakungulu was given this grant of land on Gangama hill in recognition of his services to the protectorate government. Kakungulu and his 5,500 followers built their first houses not only on Gangama hill but around the surrounding villages. It is from this hill that Kakungulu led his operations against revolting Gisu clans like the Bawalasi and Bafumbo to the north of Bugisu. It was also a tactical center for conquest operations in areas south of Bugisu like Busoba, Bubulo, Bubuda and Magale,” Nambali says.

Gangama hill  Hikers I found at the site  from Semei Kakungulu Country Lodge Mbale.

Gangama hill top is accessible whether you are driving or riding on a boda boda. A car or a boda boda can ably reach the hill top whether you are coming from Mbale town or whether you are passing through Nabweya village.

From town, it will take you roughly 20 minutes to reach the hill apex.

MPUMUDE FORT, NABUMALI
Mpumude is a place closely associated with Kakungulu as well. Kakungulu apparently decided to build a fort at Mpumude, Nabumali to act as his resting place, hence the Luganda name, Mpumude, which in English translates to, I have rested.

“It is from Mpumude that Kakungulu conducted forays into the mountainous far flung areas of south Bugisu like Busoba, Bubulo, Magale and Bududa. He created Bubulo County in 1901 whilst he was here. He however encountered resistance in Bududa. The British however helped him quell the rebellion. Kakungulu later on planted all the Eucalyptus trees from Nabumali corner to Nyondo to Khatwelatwela as you head up to Busano. He also planted many of them in present day senior quarters in Mbale town,” Nambali says.

Though vestiges of the fort have slowly dwindled through the years, therein still lies a small mold of soil from one side of the fort’s wall that in a way preserves the place’s legacy.

What remains of Semei Kakungulu’s fort at Mpumude Nabumali behind are the molds of soil left from the fort’s walls.

Possibly as a measure to further conserve the place’s legacy, a memory stone was erected just in front of what remains of the fort in 2001 by the then arch Bishop of the Church of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo.

As it seems however, Mpumude is at a risk. Somebody needs to rein in on the locals who are still using the site for subsistence farming. In my reckoning, what remains of the fort will soon be destroyed if nothing is done.

Mpumude is also where an entourage from the church missionary society rested after their Gospel preaching expeditions in South Bugisu.

They built a Protestant church here, on top of a heap of rocks. The church still stands.

LUKONGO LWA WANALE OR MOUNT WANALE
Kakungulu had called this Mount Nkonkojeru. Bamasaba elders then however took exception and renamed it after one of Masaba’s sons.

Masaba is the eponymous ancestor from which the Bagisu claim descent. “Masaba had 3 three sons, Mwambu, Mubuya and Wanale. The elders resolved to rename the mountain after Wanale, the ancestor of all Bamasaba living in central Bugisu,” explains local historian Peter Wangota.

Mountain Wanale is the most westward extension of Mount Elgon or mount Masaba. Standing at a height of 6,864 ft, its precipitous cliffs dominate the landscape of Central Bugisu. Wanale’s cascading waterfalls are a sight to behold.

Mt Wanale in the foreground. Its the spur of Mt Elgon and is the most westward extension of Mt Elgon. Its height lets one command a panaromic view of Mbale and other areas of Bugisu.

Namatsyo water falls behind one of the Tourist we found at the site from Semei Kakungulu country Lodge.

Namatsyo water falls for example, fall two miles down from the mountain top and submerges into rocky tunnels deep. The waterfall disappears down in the rocks under. The water reemerges and hits the surface from its underground pathway in villages like Bumboi and Mooni, just near Mbale town.

On the mountain top, one can have a commanding view over the western plains, reaching as far as Lake Kyoga, 50 meters away.

On the mountain top, you will also have a nice panoramic view of the metropolis of Mbale and the homesteads below stretching down the hillsides, out into the valleys and across the irregular countryside of the lower foothills and plains.

To get to Wanale with a special hire car or a personal car, brace yourself for a 30-40 minute road ride.

Take a left turn road after the Mbale high court and follow the road that goes down to Busamaga.

On reaching Busamaga Primary School, take a right turn and follow Bumboi road.
Follow Bumboi road, until you reach the mountain top.

MOUNT MASABA/ MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Just a few miles drive north of Mbale town, and straddling the Uganda Kenya border, lies the fascinating and magnificent scenery of Mount Masaba (Elgon) national park.

Elevated to a park in 1993, this place has many attractions. As you make the rounds on your expedition, you will bear witness to some unique flora and fauna (plants and animals) and some hot springs bubbling up to 480 degrees centigrade.

As you read your way further, you can view the highest point on the mountain’s ranges (Wagagai). It apparently goes as high as 8000ft. Wagagai is the second highest peak in Uganda.

For you the first time traveler, I advise you seek help first from the Park’s information office, just before Fairway Primary school in Mbale’s senior quarters, before you embark on your expedition. They will advise on what designated routes are suitable for you.

The Sasa trail which begins from Budadiri town and leads up to a large crater on the mountain top, is easily the most easily accessible and direct route for those seeking a worthwhile sightseeing trip.

The trail crosses the park’s largest area of the bamboo forest and passes the fabulous Jackson’s pool, on the way to wagagai peak.

Tourists cheer up at Wagagi Peak one of the many attractions around the park.

Along the way, you will stand a treat of the beautiful lush montane forest, tacazze sunbird, the mountain’s awesome gorges, small crater lakes, fascinating heath and moorland hyrachs. The moorland hyrachs contain some of the most endemic plant species, unique to Africa like the giant phillipea excelsia.

If you choose to use the Piswa trail, you will be a witness to a variety of the park’s rare wildlife species. To wit-monkeys, buffalos, antelopes, duiker, elephants, defassa’s water bucks, leopards and spotted hyenas.

Reports from the park’s information office, however show that most of the above species, as is the case with creatures, in other forest environments, are far to seek.

If you come during the drier seasons, chances of catching a glimpse of some of the above animals are minimal. Milder seasons like June and August are the best time to visit if you want to catch a glimpse of some of the park’s animals.

KADODI DANCE

While at Mbale resort hotel I spent most of my afternoons chasing community activities and seeing the way people live in society. Bamasaba have the strongest culture in the whole of Bugisu sub region in Uganda. Remember this is the place that has the most cruel male circumcision method of initiating their young males into adulthood. The same region is known for female genital mutilation although am not sure if the latter still exists. Kadodi is a word used to describe the cultural dance within Bamasaba.Its a dance that is used in a cultural ceremony of imbalu (Male circumcision) while initiating them as adults in society. Its more like chest and legs shaking for men and then waist and bums shaking for women. Trust me the fun you get out of the dance will leave you with unequalled memories of a lifetime about Mbale.

Darius enjoys Kadodi Dance.

Darius enjoys Kadodi Dance.

MINGLING WITH LOCALS ON A MARWA POT

Darius hits a snag on his first search for an open Malwa bar.

Darius hits a snag on his first search for an open Malwa bar.

Its 17:50 GMT and am told there is a warm feeling somewhere. My guide decided to lead me to a place near Soroti Sironko junction. From the look of things my guide didn’t have a good idea of which bar was lit at the moment. As we popped in the mean looking bars, life seemed to be boring here. My guide opted we change to a new location that was even much better. This time we were luckier and found a good spot.  A pot of Malwa costs around 10,000 Ugandan shillings and before you push in your almost half a mile straw you must buy one pot or assure them that when theirs gets finished you are adding more or not taking off. Just like a local East African rhythm song from Bebecool and Sauti soul Embozi Zamalwa says, I have never heard the best stories more than the ones I heard that very evening. Ugandans are known to be the most friendly people in the whole world but this very day I endorsed the saying. Anybody who came close to us could tell we have been friends with these people for more than decades at minimal.

Darius having fun with locals in Bugisu on a Malwa/local beer pot.

SERVICE AT MBALE RESORT HOTEL

Mr. Joseph Ndunda the General managerof Mbale resort hotel tells Darius what makes it a tick.

Joseph Ndunda the man in the picture is an exceptional man of all times. I have never seen a general manager who keeps leaving the comfort of his office and keeps checking on his guests. The first time I met him on the reception lobby I saw a young man with a charming smile and inside me my soul was singing Haleluyah you are in the right place. At first I thought he was either supervisor who has no particular shift because he was there all the time. Being a Vlogger who wanted to know the magic of the man or woman behind the incomparable service, I was led to a general manager’s office by one Dickson and to my surprise I found the same man I have been meeting in all corners and corridors talking to sweepers, chefs and security guards.

Darius pictured with Mr. Joseph Ndunda GM Of Mbale Resort Hotel.

The man of Kenyan origin says he has a vast experience for more than 23 years in the tourism industry as a senior manager of big Hotel Brands across the region and on International scene.

Catch up with my interview with Mr. Joseph Ndunda the G.M of Mbale Resort hotel here: Travel with Darius TV meets GM Mbale Resort Hotel.

Mbale resort has the best room service I have got on my motherland. Wait don’t worry about your car. Just go, roll the car and get it much dirty as you want and then they will wash it for you every time you come back to the hotel yard. Okay. To be sincere it was my first time to see my car looking brand new, forget about banana peels I normally forget on the carpets when am on road trips.

Do you want to be at Mbale resort hotel for imbalu festival? If yes, I will tell you briefly about this cultural norm as told by locals

As Bagisu boys grow, they are told by their parents, peers and other influential community members that they will have to pay a cultural debt.

“Bamasaba become men through Masaba’s spirit or what we refer to in the Lumasaba language as “Kumusambwa Kwe Masaba”. Bamasaba boys are expected to execute Masaba’s covenant by losing blood to the land, Masaba gave his children. Imbalu is one way in which Bamasaba express pride in their ancestry and its distinctiveness,” Poi Khaukha, a clan elder in Bungokho explains.

In the past, the Bamasaba took exception to any ethnic labels as a form of identification, preferring instead to be identified by the more honorific term-Basani or men

Our story will continue after Imbalu festival this July to August. Start packing your bags and w meet at Mbale Resort Hotel. Its one of the luxury experiences locals and foreigners can get in Uganda.

I was facilitated for my stay at Mbale Resort Hotel Limited and Entrance to Mt. Elgon National park by Mbale Resort Hotel Limited and Uganda Wildlife Authority BUT all opinions expressed here are mine as the author of Travel With Darius TV Documentaries, Vlogs and Blog.

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HOTEL REVIEW: A Billion Views and Stay at Kyaninga Royal Cottages

My name is Darius. Am the Host of Travel With Darius TV Show. Unlike many of my peers who have no other aspiration than to draw their salary, raise a family and ensure that they keep out of any kind of trouble, I have always had a curious desire to explore my world. For this part of the world rewards travellers with fascinating cultural encounters with the numerous tribes that call this region home. Toro as known by many is home to the Rwenzori ranges

Darius pictured near Kyaninga Royal cottages in the Western region of Uganda.

My most recent trip to Toro, an archipelago that introduced me to the fascinating world of beautiful crater lakes, smart place and service beyond doubt.

Tucked away in close to the Rwenzori, Fort portal is 295 kilometers away from the Uganda’s main city Kampala. My recent stories gave me all the illusions to get on the road and go see this nature’s hidden paradise. As their slogan says, while at this eco retreat you will always enjoy and celebrate the gift of life amidst nature at its best.

A four to five hour drive is worth it as you go enjoying the magnificent views of Mityana tea estates, Mubende rolling hills among many other districts. But the sweetest of all is the Tea estates of Kyenjojo District that will look like Many Old Trafford stadiums put together before premiership games. Wait a minute, as we rolled near a small string of Kibale forest reserve you will always find friends waiting for you on the roadside for a piece of banana and then welcome you to Fort portal.

An 8 km turn from Kitumba town will take you to the magnificent Kyaninga Royal cottage Or call it a place with a billionaire view. What do I mean?

A billionaire’s Views
Ever been in your room and you are have views of a crater lake, Mt Rwenzori ranges or call it Mt. Stanley, and the beautiful plain of Kijura all in one package? I guess you are saying Never. It’s your turn to go and have the best taste of Toro at Kyaninga Royal Cottage. We left the Billionaire’s View and headed for a n quick lapse of some of attractions in the hood.

Darius pictured in one of the Kyaninga Royal Cottages. A good view of the crater lake.

Activities 
Community walks, canoeing on Kyaninga Lake, and cycling on the lake side, nature walks are among the activities most tourists enjoy in while at Kyaninga. Evening sunsets are beautiful after your day to relax and feel the enchanting sounds of nature.

Staff
Ohhh my ohhhh my God don’t mention Joseph, Kharim, Isaac, Solomon and Abwoli as she prefers to be called. A young lady smiling all the time and quick to fix anything that goes wrong in your stay. I breathed a sigh of relief as I approached the parking lane and saw people coming running to meet and welcome me at Kyaninga Royal cottage after whole 5 and so hours on the road. Euchiiiii go check for yourself. My description is just an under description. You will come back with a better version than mine. To me it was warm and engaging and I took it personal.

Food
Okay. This one is so personal. Every place I go to as a TV host I hit Kitchens to film. Ohhh dear the boy challenged me. At first looking at his age reminded me of my other boy at home who doesn’t know how to cut onions. In less than two minutes I had asked him all his CV because of the Thomas in me. Isaac you are such genius. Had he not told me his education level, before starting cooking sessions, I would have asked him how his Chef course ended in some of the world renown universities that train high end chefs. Never seen a local who understands everything intercontinental and local dishes like Isaac

Rooms
On front of each room is the beautiful looking garden, crater lake and some fresh looking trees that attract birds for your nature diet. Each room is served with big windows overlooking either the crater or Mt. Stanley or sorry. Lol call it Rwenzori a name used by everyone. Rooms are big enough for you and trust me whether you are old or young you will enjoy your hide and seek game properly. The room where I slept had a big King size bed more than the one I have at home. Guess what they were two. Meaning I can use one during the day and another one at night or one half a day and the other half a day. It’s my choice, it’s my room. A family room is also available for people with a bigger family.

Kyaninga Royal Cottages – twin rooms.

Kyaninga Royal Cottages – rooms.

Getting there

DISTANCE: Approximately 295KM from Kampala to Fort Portal and 8KM from Fort Portal to Kyaninga Royal Cottage.

PUBLIC
There are many buses leaving every one hour from Kampala to Fort portal and the Most prominent ones being

LINK BUS SERVICES and KALITA BUS SERVICES
Fare is between 25,000 UGX to 30,000 UGX. Private transport can be arranged from any Tour operator of choice.

TIME
Estimated time is from 4:30 Minutes on the fastest speed and 5:00 hours when you make a lot of stop over for food and photography.

PRICE
From USD$100 you celebrate the whole night with breakfast included.

Go have a life, Go celebrate the gift of life at Kyaninga Royal cottage!!!

Check out the review video: KYANINGA ROYAL COTTAGES

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HOTEL REVIEW: Getting Cozy With Bunyonyi Safaris Resort, the Perfect Countryside Retreats

Time check its 7:00 am Rwandan time and I receive a call from one of the world’s best Universities in the U.S.A with an office in Rwanda as Kepler University/Generation Rwanda.

Jane is their administrator who says that her asset is her job and I can choose to make it better or worse if she trusts me. We met and finished the whole plan of Transporting their staff to any cozy place good their team building and end of year retreat. Early morning a look at her face would tell me she waited for so long to get to this day. Seeing me was another promising thing that we have a deal.

Most of their staff are people who have travelled a lot from the States and Europe but when we reached at the boarder in Gatuna-the side of Rwanda, I would tell that everyone had questions. We made all immigration processes and everyone was ready and back on the bus. To cut the long story short we ended at this cozy place. Bunyonyi Safaris Resort.

he Lake Bunyonyi.

Hidden on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi its natures hidden paradise. A look on the lake itself and the many God crafted islands from the furthest point on the hill near Acadia cottages is an assurance that the fun is guaranteed. Before getting to the lake, you will ascend the meandering hills of Kabale on a 10 miles dusty road connecting Kabale town and this nature’s hidden paradise.

A traveler with Travel With Darius TV relaxing near Lake Bunyonyi.

Its exactly 1 pm Ugandan time and we are on what we can’t believe our eyes are seeing. And what’s that? Of course, the massive water body and the sound birds singing for us. Bunyonyi is a local name in the hills of Kabale language Rukiga meaning birds. Basically, this lake was called Bunyonyi meaning many small birds. A look in the neighborhood will give you an impression and all the answers why this lake is called so.

Darius (Red Hat) with a travel guest walking towards their rooms.

Arriving at the hotel we are welcomed by a beautiful looking lady with a glass of Juice made from passion fruits harvested in their own garden in the hills of Kigezi. Sounds sweet already. Isn’t it?

First thing that comes to your mind is the magnificent hotel structure touching the lake shores.

Bunyonyi Safaris Resort has one of the most luxurious rooms and cottages we have never seen in life from any of these places we have always roamed.

To Sandrine it was her first time to encounter even this luxury.

Their cottages are spacious enough that you may think it’s a whole house and to them it’s a room. Wowwwww what a big night we are waiting for !!!

Your evening will never be the same at Bunyonyi Safaris resort. You feel the wind, you hear the sound of enchanting nature. We love life and good life. But most importantly we love good food.

At Bunyonyi Safaris Resort it’s a guarantee not a choice. Their chef will prepare it in the most fastest speed possible

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5 Days with Darius’ Trip to Iliza in Rwanda. Heaven on the Lake!!! Cont….

Iliza House Boat on the docking station at night

Its day four of my 5 Days with Darius’ Trip to Iliza in Rwanda. Heaven on the Lake!!! trip. Well, am finally obsessed by Kibuye archipelago and don’t feel like leaving. Even if it were you, I guess you would be the one doing this testimony. From the food to the enchanting water waves around Iliza, it becomes a police case to leave this nature’s hidden paradise.

I and my twins decide to go on an early morning sail on the lake and have a photo shoot in one of Lake Kivu’s islands and maybe enjoy nature, sunsets and the awe of the rolling hills of Kibuye and Eastern DRC I can’t deny the fact that Rwanda is blessed with such unique tourist destination.

Ngabo Darius Neumann and Ntwali Darius Young on Iliza. Dressed by Top Kids Kigali Store

Few meters from the docking site we landed on the first island that is more and best fit for honeymooners who want to pop the big question from the middle of nowhere. Ever travelled alone and you reach on some place then wonder why you didn’t tag someone along? I guess you understand what am meaning here. Never mind, its language for adults. But to be honest if you are an adult then get it from me and you will thank me later.

Some of the beautiful Islands where you can pop the question.

I mean its paradise for everyone. Even my twins reached there and connected to the world as I meditated watching over them. The island is safe for camping according to Captain Alphonse who doubles as my guide. “Many people come with tents and their food, they camp here for weeks and we keep moving them around touring” Says Alphonse.

 

The same was echoed by Aimable who is the manager for Iliza expeditions of which Iliza boat is part of. We have never gotten any single accident while on the island or on the boat. Safety of our clients is the key. Says Aimable. Meanwhile I came to learn that they actually don’t offer the boat experience but rather many other tour packages that include a 14 days itinerary for touring along Lake Kivu towards Democratic Republic of Congo.

You can Tour on Iliza boat even close to DRC boarder across Lake Kivu

Leaving Lake Kivu without enjoying the sundowners is as dangerous as touching the Leopard’s anus. I mean you would rather face a den of lions than leaving Kibuye without sailing in the evening. Since we were leaving the next day I could not risk sealing my Iliza boat experience with a sundowner. I know most of you are now imagining how you can get drunk on a boat rooftop bar while on water. Yes you are right I also had the same feeling until I found out its even safer to drink from the boat than an urban 4 storied bar. It’s even cleaner as you breathe fresh. It’s actually safer to sail on the boat than driving along Africa’s highways.

Darius enjoying sundowners on Iliza House boat

Kibuye ghost keeps haunting me to go back. Yes I just said so. You will want to pack your bags and go have a taste of this. It’s no longer a secret by the way! See you in the next destination

Ngabo Darius Neuman- Planner and Ntwali Darius Young- Social Affairs, enjoying the Bilharzia free lake Kivu with Darius Dos Santos – Implementer

Please note that all views expressed in this blog are my own and from my experience. They not the views of my sponsors or my partners. Images maybe subject to copyright. #twdtvshow.

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DARIUS’ SEMEI KAKUNGULU HERITAGE EXPERIENCE part 1

There are some things we take for granted when we are still in college or high school only to find it’s actually where our career and passion belongs. Little did I know at one particular moment, I will pack my bags, fuel the car and take a long trek to the land of Bamasaba and Sebei.
After close to 4 hours of a busy highway drive, am ushered into the old historical town of Mbale. By look of things this ancient majorly inhabited by Indians and people of Asian origin, is getting back on its feet in terms of hygiene. Clean and new roads can be seen everywhere with new paintings on buildings and so on. I called Steve who will be my guide on the Semei Kakungulu Heritage trip. From now onwards you will hear more of this name coming back.

Who is Steve?

Steve Posses for a picture with Darius.

Steve as I prefer to call him is a soft spoken young man in his early 40’s or late 30’s by my eyes judgment. Apart from being the proprietor of Semei Kakungulu country lodge he is also married to the great granddaughter of the Mighty Kakungulu, Rachael Kakungulu who also double as co-shareholder of all Kakungulu establishments including the famous Kakungulu Safaris and Semei Kakungulu Country lodge.

Rachael Kakungungulu. The grand grand daughter of Semei Kakungulu

 

It’s hard to talk about the history of British imperialism and imposition in East Africa without the mention of Kakungulu. He was a mercenary that the British used to impose their rule in major parts of Uganda but especially in what was referred to as Bukedi (East and North East Uganda). From my early years in primary, his collaboration with the British is not contestable but his role as a person is something am yet to know.

Who is Semei Lwakirenzi Kakungulu?

Semei Kakungulu. Internet Picture

 

Semei Lwakirenzi, who was later awarded the honorary tittle Kakungulu, was a son of a muganda called Semuwamba who was originally from Kazinga village near Seguku in current Busiro County. At an early age Semuwamba left Busiro for the Kingdom of Koki. There he joined the service of the Omukama of Koki, rising to the high post of katikiro. He had seven children one of whom Semei Lwakirenzi. Semuwamba later fell in disfavor and was executed together with his wife.

How did Semei rise to fame?

Kakungulu fled to Buddu in Buganda where he became friend with, and became blood brother of Yusuf Bijakuno, the son of the Pokino (county chief of Buddu). It was around this time that Semei on his old career of elephant hunting. Then early in kabaka Mwanga’s reign he became the mutongole chief of Kirumba in Buddu.
In 1893, when Colonel Henry Colville made a punitive attack on Bunyoro, Kakungulu commanded a force of 1,500 Baganda men who went with Colville and this enhanced Kakungulu’s reputation. In April 1895 Kakungulu was sent to capture two Kings in Lango sub region, this mission failed but he managed to get a lot of booty for himself and other 500 men. He was a man of missions and winning says Steve the proprietor of Semei Kakungulu country lodge and doubles as a guide for the Semei Kakungulu tour.

What do you see in the Semei Kakungulu Heritage Experience?

Me and Steve drove in Kakungulu Safaris Jeep for Just a 10 minutes or less from Mbale town rolling in the lower slopes of Mt. Elgon that ushered us into the home of the great statesman. A man who came from Buganda and conquered the East is none other than Semei Lwakirenzi Kakungulu. What welcomes you is a natural green acacia trees before you enter the magnificent eco-touristic country lodge . Reaching on top of Gangama hill, my soul had already been crippled not to wait for what to feed my eyes and camera on the hill.

Story continues in episode……. 2

Please note that all views expressed in this blog are my own and from my experience. They not the views of my sponsors or my partners.
Feel free to share this and follow us on social media for more insights of Darius travel experience.

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OFF THE BEATEN PARADISE IN SSESE ISLAND, KALANGALA

Today, Kalangala is one of the most popular destinations in Uganda for first-time safari-goers and safari aficionados alike. This is because it always delivers in terms of incredible nature viewing and wonderful scenery – and on Ssese Island, there’s bags of culture too! It really is a magical place to visit. However, travelers can be put off by how long it has taken anyone to discover this hidden Gem, most notably the famous Ssese Island the home of Ssese flies a notorious small insect that causes sleeping sickness.  Nevertheless, there are places in Kalangala  that get you off the beaten track for a more remote and less busy safari adventure – and there are a number of  favorite authentic Safaris I managed to put together while staying at Victoria Forest Resort.

But well let me disappoint you abit and first tell you about Victoria Forest Resort. Uganda’s Island paradise. Yes it is!!!

Victoria Forest Resort, Kalangala Uganda

A calling in the middle of nature – Uganda’s Island paradise

Just like a yawning man who has returned home from work only to meet a smiling lady is the same way Victoria forest receives you hundreds of meters away as you approach Lutoboka landing site. Infact it’s the most imminent structure you will see with a long stretch of white beach stretching across.  If you have been a  first time traveler to Kalangala you will also testify this.

The ever-expanding Heightsgroup has recently opened this new property and it is, without a doubt, one of the most architecturally outstanding buildings in the whole of Kalangala. Sharp lines and simplicity are at the design core of this hotel, along with a focus on luxury.

Endless views at Victoria Forest Resort, Kalangala

Getting there

When travelling to Kalangala, it is almost inevitable that you use MV Kalangala for about 3 or so hours. An alternative route can be found in Masaka for about 40 minutes on water but you will waste another 2 hours or so, on the road from Kampala to Masaka town, board a ferry and finally dock at Bukakata. But anyways, all you meet is water while In order to get there, one must travel through a float on water. Many travelers opt to use this remarkable ferry at Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe. Thanks to its unique interior and its staff who allowed me to go close to the captain and have a unique view of the lake and surrounding islands as I enjoyed chills from the wind of lake Victoria.

Green Belt around the hotel

One of the cottages entwined in the middle of nature.

Victoria forest resort is located in the valley is lush with vegetation, multicolored flowers bloom all year and a shy sun keeps the temperature mild. It is also home to a host of hundred of bird species, flora and fauna of all kinds which are all well worth exploring. After a busy few days haggling at the fish markets in Lutoboka or hiking though the forest, it is the perfect location to spend a night or two relaxing.

Food

Victoria Forest Resort has the best and perfect breakfast and buffet through the week for those of you who need something a little easier on the pocket. The buffet spread is smaller than that most other luxury hotels’, but there is more than enough variety to please the palate. Plus, you get a choice of one main course, too – all for less than $30.

The buffet section includes cut fruit, yogurt, hot crisp waffles, a good variety of viennoiserie such as Danishes and croissants, as well as bread with a selection of spreads from kaya to Vegemite. There are also cold cuts, smoked salmon, bacon, sausages and an Asian station with noodles and pau.. If you are a fun of evening lakeside or beach meals then it’s your best place. Setting up on a pawn, soft sand ground and hastaste freshness from the lake to the plate. It’s just unusual.

Accommodation

Immaculate gardens surround this authentic property, which is centrally located in the valley making it a great base from which to explore. The private cottages are spread out in the grounds, all offering supreme comfort, including hot showers with forest and lake views for the highest room category. Elsewhere, an extraordinary collection of artwork is on display in every  room, giving this hotel the edge when it comes to sheer style.

Luxurious room with Lake Views.

Swimming pool

If you still like to be close to small amounts of water in this part of the region, the grounds house a variety of stunning pool area. Personal, private attendants are provided for every guest, a long menu of activities is on offer and with all meals and activities included, there is little that guests will want for during a stay.

Swimming pool with Kids section too.

Sauna and Spa

There is a sauna, steam and spa available for guest use, the ideal place to have a therapy using locally sourced ingredients. Quirky, charming and unique, the Victoria Forest Resort property is certainly not to be overlooked. However by the time I checked in, the Steam wasn’t complete. But I guess it’s now fully fledged for the next guest.

What to see while at Victoria Forest Resort

My guide Lawrence and I on a boat adventure.

The friendly staffs are happy to help organize trips to the surrounding attractions, often giving advice on how best to spend your time. Excellent for families an couples alike, you to spend a splendid day of full board adventure.

Billionaire’s View 

At this point you can see endless views of Islands and play Omweso formerly a game for Jajjas

A few minutes later we drove off and went on a sight-seeing tour of Bugala Island, in the fiery glare of the sun. Our first stop was atop a hill whose name, according to Lawrence, is Billionaire’s View, located about two kilometres south of Kalangala town.

“Why Billionaire’s View?” I enquired. Lawrence didn’t know why, so I deduced that maybe it’s named so because of the great views I enjoyed while standing atop this hill, views of numerous islands – about a dozen or so of them – and the blue waters of Lake Victoria down the valley. But I didn’t have to be a billionaire to enjoy the view.

Kihumuro Cave

Jaja Muwanga the caretaker of Kihumuro cave with me at the entrance.

We left the Billionaire’s View and headed to Kihumuro, a 30-40-metre long cave with a wide entrance and tiny exit. Kihumuro means resting place, according to the Buganda culture aficionados we found here, a majority of them smoking pipes as they prayed to “JajjaMuwanga”, the traditional god of the people of Buganda in central Uganda.

This cave, tucked away in Kalaya village, is steeped in myth, tradition and history, and there are about nine caves of this nature on Bugala Island alone.

According to locals here, the man who first claimed ownership of this island was known as Ssenyondwe Lugamukiro Ssebugala, hence the name Bugala Island.

On his arrival at the island about 35 generations ago (the exact year of his arrival is unknown but locals say the current heir to the Ssebugala ‘empire’ is from the 35th generation), Ssebugala first rested in this cave, and he is the man who named it Kihumuro. His spirit, and the ones of his offsprings, visits this cave quite often, according to locals.

The floor is covered with grass and only the barefooted are allowed inside. We removed our shoes and proceeded to check out the contents of the cave: old spears, calabashes, some tattered pieces of backcloth, and baskets of coffee seeds…

Inside, the smell was close to that of a tobacco store, and I thought: is this a shrine?

“This is what you can call the traditional church of the Baganda,” said one of the ‘worshipers’, a pipe-smoking middle-aged man who had already scared the hell out of me, so much that I couldn’t even muster the courage to ask him to tell me his name.

Yet there were more frightening stuff in store for me: a few minutes later, the man began to breathe rapidly, his eyes wide open as if they were about to pop out of their shells.

My heart told me to sprint out of the cave, but the roof was just about 1.5 metres above the floor so I could only get out the same way I came in: crawling. But Lawrence had stayed put, so I decided to do the same.

But when the man began to speak like a demon-possessed 90-year-old, I felt like disappearing into thin air. Now, this was too much for adventure.

A peep into the caves of Jaja Kihumuro

The ‘possessed’ man now introduced himself as JajjaKiwanuka, greeted his “children” who were present in the cave, and then told me, the foreigner, the visitor, that I had his blessings, that I was going to earn a fortune from whatever kind of work I am currently doing!

I breathed a sigh of relief as I crawled out of the cave a few minutes later. And I was glad I left unscathed. As we left, Lawrence told me that many prominent Baganda come here for spiritual cleansing.

Following in the footsteps of John Speke

Group treks are the best in Kalangala. Darius poses for a photo with other adventurers.

Just few steps away from Victoria Forest Resort we parked at the start of a trail that snakes through the tropical Lutoboka Forest, and walked for about 30 minutes before we reached the dilapidated house that was constructed by John Speke, the famous European explorer whose expedition to this tsetse fly-infested forest was inspired by a burning desire to solve the biggest geographical enigma of the 19th Century: the source of River Nile, the world’s longest river.

John Speke’s house is one of the few relatively untouched treasures awaiting you on the Ssese Islands.

Speke constructed the house in 1863 using mud and stones with the help of locals, but it’s said that he abandoned it as soon as he discovered the source of the Nile in Jinja.

Nowadays within the ruins of his unfinished house, there is a big tree, estimated to be about 100 years old.

As we retraced John Speke’s footsteps, Lawrence told me that Lutoboka Forest is home to a couple of animal and bird species, and common sightings include safari cats, Uganda kob, leopards, monkeys, wild rabbits, snakes, a lone python, shoebills, flycatchers, white cranes, and many others.

I only saw a lone flycatcher.

Nightlife in Ssese Islands

When I returned to my cottage later in the evening a call inviting me to Island Club (this is not a nightclub but rather, a beach bar-cum-campsite) for a drink.

“Come in about an hour,” she said. It was a welcome idea, seeing that nightlife in the Ssese Islands is almost nonexistent. We sat in the gardens overlooking the lake and, between sips of Club Beer, swapped stories of our adventures.

Irish seems to be about 30 years old and she’s visiting Africa for the first time. During our short, yet staccato conversation, I learn that she’s already in love with Kalangala, and plans to visit Africa at least once a year for the next 50 years. What a grand plan, I think.

Unfortunately, our conversation is cut short by the barmaids just shortly after 11 pm. Enough is enough. They want to go to bed, a sign that visitors who fancy staying out late in the night are not-so-welcome to the Ssese Islands.

 Birder’s paradise.

All my friends and partners in this travel crime know am not that much a fun of birds. Actually birding is always the last option on my adventure menu.. So how did I fall in love with them this time? As you wake up early morning at Victoria forest resort its like these flying creatures have been hired to wake you up, sing for you and dance for you. So incredible !! who cannot fall in love with that?

Birding trips can be organised by Virgin Africa Safaris a sister company to Victoria Forest Resort

The Crocodile Island; Virgin Island

A crocodile sunbathing on the shores on Virgin Island.

This sounds like bringing chills down your spine and you are not alone. Much as I know crocodiles are sun lovers like any other reptile. Early morning Mr. Emma a manager at Victoria forest resort broke the news of this indigenous,ecological and cultural island located for about 1 hour ride on a small engine boat and 40 minutes on a speedboat. As usual my guide Lawrence was a man behind the engine boat. On the island we found two men who told us the countless generations they

Weekend sundowners on the beach.

I arrived late evening with MV Kalangala at around 5:30 pm or so. Looking across I would see the sun drowning deep in clouds.By the time I checked in my room, it was dark. Next day I could not make the same mistake. The feeling actually stayed on my mind and couldn’t wait for evening awe and have my own share. Being a weekend I spent most of the afternoon sipping on a glass of wine with the team I had pulled over with. Sunsets at Victoria forest resort at pricesless. You feel like it should stay forever

Incredible sunsets on Lake Victoria as seen from the resort.

Romantic dinners

From one of the hidings in long white powdered sand beach I just found a table set for me. The chef was on standby chopping some meat which I least expected. Being on the lake, I expected a fish related dish on the menu. But he did not disappoint, He gave us a variety instead from vegetarians, to meat lovers and Sea food lovers. It is hard to describe until you go and test your taste buds today.

Beach Life

Ohhhh, i had gone without mentioning beach life. Ohhh God. See this picture and help me caption it.

Please put your own caption

Views expressed in this blog are entirely out of my own experience and not of my sponsors or partners.

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