For my last weekend in Uganda, I wanted to do something special. So I decided to venture west to Lake Mburo National Park with my aunt, uncle, and two of our friends.
Lake Mburo is six hours from Kampala, deep in Ankole Country.
Everyone recommended we stay at Rwakobo Rock, and as soon as we arrived, I could see why – it's idyllic. Rwakobo Rock is a thatched roof lodge perched above Lake Mburo National Park.
Once we settled in, I beelined for the hammock. I spent a deliciously lazy afternoon reading, and occasionally dipping my toes in the pool. It was blissful.
At one point I did put down my book to enjoy the sunset, my favorite time of day in Uganda. I loved watching the sun set over the sprawling, verdant park, dotted with cows and other animals.
When most people think of Uganda, I doubt that ‘complete and utter tranquility’ is what comes to mind. But it turns out, that’s what Lake Mburo National Park does best.
Once the sky set, we headed inside to enjoy a three-course dinner of pumpkin soup, steak and mashed potatoes, and ginger cake. After dinner we played Balderdash, which I love so much I brought on the trip.
In need of more players, we invited a family at the next table to join us. They turned out to be my dream family – a British diplomat wife, a Russian father, and multilingual sons. I had intense linguaphile envy hearing them swap between English, French, and Russian.
In the morning, we got up bright and early for the coolest reason ever – to mountain-bike with ZEBRAS.
Once we kitted up, we rode our bikes down the red dirt road. Soon we started to see zebras, antelopes, and Ankole cattle, basically the African version of the Texas Longhorn.
Surprisingly, this was my first time mountain-biking, despite living in Colorado for two years. I enjoyed it, but enjoyed it even more due to the herd of zebras grazing nearby, who occasionally galloped on the road in front of us.
A few other highlights: hiking up to the top of Rwakobo Rock to see the views. I was scared the entire time because our guide warned us about the pythons hidden in the rocks. Fortunately, I made it out just fine.
We also saw two crested cranes, Uganda's national bird. It's rare to see them in the wild as they're endangered, so it felt pretty special (and fitting) to see them on my last weekend in Uganda.
After we cleaned up post-mountain biking, it was time to hit the road and begin the long drive back to Kampala.
On the way home, I was kicking myself for spending almost a year in Uganda and not seeing more of the country. But luckily, what I did see was pretty extraordinary, Lake Mburo included.
Have you ever visited Lake Mburo? Would you want to mountain-bike with zebras?
If Rwakobo Rock is booked, I've heard great things about nearby Mihingo Lodge. Plus, they offer horseback riding in the park (with zebras!).
If you're going to Uganda, you need an International Certification of Vaccination, proving that you have a yellow fever vaccine. Here's more information.
Make sure to purchase travel insurance before your trip to Uganda, especially if you'll be doing adventure activities. I've used World Nomads for years and highly recommend it.
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