Last month, I travelled to Lake Mburo National Park with my travel buddy, Karen from Chocolaty Prints. I got the call from Karen on a Thursday evening to go and check out Mburo Safari Lodge as she needed a travel photographer for the trip. Of course I said yes, because that is generally my standard answer when someone poses a yes or no question with the word travel somewhere in there. The answer is always YES.
We were to travel Friday evening and return on Sunday. Since I had to work on Friday, as soon as I got the call from Karen, I charged my camera batteries and threw a few things in an overnight bag that I carried with me to work the next day. Friday evening came and we were on our way.
Arriving at Mburo Safari Lodge, I was captivated by its simplicity and beauty. It’s located right inside the National Park and I loved how the structural design purposefully doesn’t obstruct the natural environment. It’s very Eco-friendly and beautiful. I couldn’t help but think about how every other day I discover stunning places around this country that I didn’t know existed. So many, so stunning and yet so unknown to most.
After dinner and settling in, we planned out what we would do the next day. As expected, there was the option to take a morning game drive as well as a night safari. What we pleasantly discovered though was that there was another option to go on a walking safari, which would allow us to get up close and personal with the animals…can you guess my answer?
However, I should mention that I didn’t exactly pack for a walking safari experience as I hadn’t even considered it an option until it was mentioned to us. I had no gumboots or sneakers or even canvas shoes. The only shoes I’d packed were slippers and the pair of ballet flats that I wore on Friday. So ballet flats it was, I was thoroughly excited nonetheless.
As we set off on the walking safari, I remember asking the park ranger if there are any Lions in the park. He said yes, there is just one and if we were lucky, we would see it (Lucky??). We were already on our way and I figured there was no use panicking. He warned us though, to stay away from isolated Buffaloes, as those are the dangerous ones. He proceeded to let us know that if the worst came to the worst, he would fire warning shots with his riffle to scare away any threats to our lives (gulp). I did my best to keep close to him the entire time (this was a bit tricky as the park ranger had gumboots and I had ballet flats while navigating the tall, wet grass and sections of muddy terrain).
We saw lots of animals. Mostly antelopes, zebras and giraffes. My favorite were the giraffes. They were so calm and elegant and allowed us to get pretty close to them. It was surreal, standing there, right in the middle of a National Park and surrounded by giraffes. The weather was perfect too, it wasn’t hot and it wasn’t cold either. We spent most of the time just staring in awe at these majestic creatures. I’d never been that close to so many of them. The zebras and antelopes were shyer and would gallop away as soon as they spotted us approaching.
A few useful things I learnt about taking a walking safari
- By now I should know that I should always have a pair of canvas shoes on me, no matter where I’m travelling to!
- Wear clothes that camouflage with the natural environment, that way the animals don’t spot you so easily and you can get closer to them
- It’s a very thrilling safari experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone over the traditional game drive
- Animals are scared of humans, as long as you don’t threaten them they are unlikely to attack you. Stay calm, admire their grace and beauty and enjoy the experience 🙂