When we were forced to stay indoors a few months ago, I couldn’t help but think about the beautiful outdoors of Uganda. I often dreamt about the time we would be let to roam this stunning country freely again.
Fast forward, here we are allowed to move freely as long as we obey the guidelines passed on by the President and boy oh boy, the magnitude of travel trips I have seen on my Facebook timeline made me feel like a kid in a candy store.
Travel Neza has had several awesome packages but being a person who wanted something a little bit extreme which involved hiking for a whole day, I patiently waited for the Mountain Slayers trip to Lake Albert, and to my shock, the trip was booked out within three days of the announcement.
Having set up camp at Lake Albert Guest House, Tonya which is near Kyehoro Landing site, it kinda set the mood for what was about to come.
There is something so soothing about waking up in a tent to a chilly lake breeze and the sound of birds chirping nearby, it’s like it was preparing us for what we about to endure.
We started the hike a few minutes after 10 am and a few meters from our start point was Mputta 2, an oil well which was drilled in 2006 and tested the same year. The fascinating thing about it is, its 1700 meters vertically drilled (yes, let that sink in for a minute) and the mere fact that it’s within Kabwoya game reserve, it had to be environmentally friendly. And that’s something they managed to pull off because apart from the oil well which is fenced off, it’s easy to see the restoration of the vegetation around it.
Looking at Lake Albert, it almost lay flat with small waves in its silver-blue waters, as if it was whispering John Muir’s words, “In every walk of nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
Walking through the communities at the Lake Albert shoreline brought me so much joy, they were not only friendly but the willingness of some to go an extra mile to greet us while others took photos with us was only proof that Ugandans are one of the most friendly people in the world as it was once reported.
The hike was mostly on flat ground as we made our way through Kabwoya Game Reserve and with no kobs to distract us, nothing could have prepared us enough for the scorching sun.
At one point, the heat got so bad that I noticed my fingers were a little bit swollen and thankfully, I wasn’t the only victim because paranoia would have kicked in full gear :). But luckily for us (the sloth team), we made it to Kabalega hydropower plant where we managed to cool off for a few minutes and also took a tour around the plant.
And as fate would have it, that was last stop for several people, and for those of us who still had extra energy, we had to conquer 3 kilometers of an uphill winding road before we could make it to the final destination. As much I enjoyed the views uphill, I seriously questioned my choice of hiking boots because they got pretty uncomfortable, I guess that’s what I get for not using them in 6 months.
Like a well-kept secret, little did we know that there was a swimming pool at the final destination, and as much as I would have wanted to soak my whole body in water, I wasn’t prepared for it so I just dipped my feet in and watched my friends swim.
The thrill of being out of Kampala and being one with nature, was literally what my body, mind, and soul needed.
Do check out the video of this experience below.