Being Ugandan comes with many perks. My favorite are the infectious happiness and a constant supply of public holidays (those that fall over the weekends are still a trick). With International women’s day falling on a Friday, we had a long weekend on our hands. It only felt right to go check on the ladies of the wild. To many, these ladies are the tree climbing lionesses of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
We camped at Craters Camp Site in Rubirizi district, along the Mbarara-Ishaka-Kasese road. The journey typically lasts 5 hours, but we took 7 because of the periodic convenience stops. I’m sure no one got enough sleep that night, but by 6 am we were up and off for our game drive.
It wasn’t yet 7 am and were already driving through the park, enjoying the morning calmness of danger. Waiting for the lionesses to look down on us from their tree hide-outs. But 1 hour into the drive and still no lionesses. We were all impatient and hoped for reassurance from the guide. Oblivious of the gravity of the situation, she blandly informed us that we were in the “wrong” part of the park. You see, these lions reside in the Southern part of the park, and we were in the Northern part: SO UNCOOL!!! We missed what we had travelled for. Well, that dampened our excitement and literally put us to sleep. But on a whole, we enjoyed the overall camping experience and left no stone unturned:
- Wake up with the sun and chase the daylight.
2. Get cleared at the reception center.
3. Book mark the journey with a “single” as we call them here.
4. Hitch-hike, it’s the safest way to tour. Right?
5. Let the beautiful sunrise start your adventure.
6. Drive up to the salty Lake Katwe.
7. Enjoy the camp site, whichever you choose.
8. Rally the troops for a soccer game and don’t forget the beats.
9. Always get the fire burning early.
10. Enjoy the scenery in Rubirizi, as you head to the Kitagata hot springs. Get in on the action with a dose of that love portion water.