I’m still elated from the Tulambule Northern Uganda tour, so elated in fact that I doubt the experiences will fit in just one blog post. So here goes Part One…
We set off from Kampala early Friday afternoon for Murchison Falls National Park. I’d been to the park before but it felt likes ages ago, hence I was really looking forward to this particular trip. Most of day one was spent on the road with an exciting stop at Luweero Market. Ugandan kickboxing champion and entertainer, Golola Moses (who was part of the trip) caused quite a stir and literally left the crowds hysterical. Large numbers gathered all around him. Next thing I knew, there was free gonja and muchomo passing round the bus. What a way to kick off the trip!
After what I’d call a smooth ride with lots of laughter and banter on the bus, we eventually made it to Murchison Falls National Park. Driving into the park was an experience on its own as we drove past Karuma falls, lush landscapes and various wildlife. In fact, two large elephants were so close to our Uganda Wildlife Authority bus at one point that we parked for a while and gazed at the giant creatures, taking pictures and videos of the elephants and listening to each other’s tales. I particularly remember Patrick Salvado (another celebrity on the trip) proudly explaining to everyone why elephants won’t attack the bus in spite of it being so close. If I got his explanation right, it’s because the bus is larger than the elephant and so the elephant feels intimated. However, if you step out of the bus as an individual you’ll have a different story to tell (if you live to tell it).
Fatigued, we arrived at Pakuba Safari Lodge at nightfall and pitched tents for the night. Getting lost contributed to the fatigue. We lost about two hours or more as our driver tried to navigate Murchison Falls National Park at night. Nonetheless and despite all of this, most of us gathered round the swimming pool after dinner for drinks, stories and recollections from the day as well an electric silent disco that went on well into the night.
I made it to bed at about 2am. It wasn’t my first time camping and so I knew what to expect. Also, there was the fact that I was laying my head down for not more than three hours. We were up before 6am for an early morning Game Drive. I remember getting on the bus and shutting my eyes to pitch blackness and then being woken up by the morning sunrise and the possibility of sighting a lion. We saw a lioness and cubs in the distance. We also spotted more elephants, buffalos, antelopes and plenty of giraffes.
Aside from the Game Drive on day two, we visited Paraa Safari Lodge to wind down before heading to Gulu to check into a hotel for the night and check out Gulu’s nightlife scene. Gulu town was exciting and probably the highlight of the entire trip for me. I’ll save the rest for Part Two.
PS: Some of the pictures in this post were taken by the talented photographers on the trip i.e. Tweny Benjain (@twenymoments), Mudo Eve (@NzeEve), Joel Jemba and Stuart Tibs.
PPS: “Tulambule” is a local Luganda word meaning “Let Us Tour” and is the name of a campaign by the Uganda Tourism Board, targeting domestic tourism.
Have you visited Murchison Falls National Park before? Which animals did you see? What are your thoughts on the Tulambule Northern Uganda tour? Let me know in the comments below.