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Posts tagged ‘Uganda’

deep in the woods

Flanking the busy road to Jinja, Mabira is a swath of dense rainforest that is not to be missed if one is a nature enthusiast. Hundreds of different bird species call this pristine corner of Uganda home, and Mabira is also one of the only places on Earth to see Old World mangabey monkeys.

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the zen of twitching

After a miserably wet but ultimately successful outing in Mabamba Swamp, D headed to nearby Mpanga Forest to dry out and stretch his legs.

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in pursuit of the Uganda special

Disjointed thoughts about life, passion, travel, and the pursuit of happiness crawled lethargically through D’s mind as he stood, shoulders hunched against the tempest, in the crudely constructed canoe. The murky waters of the Mabamba Swamp undulated languidly while the leaden skies above dumped sheets of water and lightning flashed ominously in the distance. Not for the first time since D first packed his backpack at the end of high school and set off to explore a new part of the world did the nagging thought, “What am I doing here and why?” cross his mind.

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pleasant surprises

Despite having a long weekend at our disposal, we did not venture far from the leafy confines of Mount Gahinga lodge, where we spent our New Year’s holiday. Even so, the visit was at once relaxing and quite memorable.

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village new year

Driving north to spend the New Year’s holiday weekend at Mount Gahinga, we had a slightly unsettling – and extremely claustrophobic – experience.

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boisterous holidays

Just north of the Rwanda-Uganda border, a mere couple of hours’ drive from Kigali, lies Lake Bunyoni. One of the continent’s deepest lakes, Bunyoni translates in the local language as “the place of many little birds.” What better place to spend a holiday weekend, we thought.

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new additions

From dazzling sunbirds to graceful flamingos and colorful bee-eaters, Africa’s birds are so varied and numerous as to offer seemingly endless possibilities of discovery with every safari. Moreover, many of them are so vibrant compared to their drab North American cousins that they almost seem impossible – fanciful imaginations of an experimental god that were released by mistake into our realm.

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cruising up and down the Nile

Hands down, the highlights of our stay in Murchison were the two boat trips we took up and down the Nile. The first was an early morning excursion downstream to the papyrus-lined delta where the Victoria Nile empties out into Lake Albert. The second was a late-afternoon trip upstream to see the waterfall that gives the park its name.

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Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park straddles a sizable portion of the Victoria Nile as it winds its way through northwest Uganda before emptying out into Lake Albert. We were a tiny bit skeptical that safari in Uganda would live up to the game parks we had experienced in Kenya, but several of our Kampala-based friends spoke highly of Murchison, and rightly so – with 450 bird species and 76 different kinds of mammals, the park has quite a lot to offer.

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safari with a toddler

We are far removed from our Kenya safari days when, unencumbered by a small child, we spent days on end jostling around the country’s many game parks. Our first road trip with Munchkin – when he was barely 3 months old and during which he slept peacefully so long as the car was in motion – is likewise far in our rearview. We were excited to take him on his first safari, to watch the emotions play out on his visage when he came face to face with the wild animals he had heretofore only seen in books. At the same time, we were apprehensive that he might not enjoy the experience, which would almost certainly mean that his screaming would ruin it for us as well.

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