It is a honeymoon? Is it love you want to celebrate? What better way to express this than by taking a boat cruise? Uganda’s lakes and rivers are more than just waters, they come with sceneries to die for. Tranquility takes center, the breeze is soothing, the beauty simply out of this world and the experience sticks to mind. But the wild is magical too. Join the View Uganda team on a five-spot boat cruise.
1. A dreamy Lake Albert awaits.
When the boat docks, we guarantee you will be smiling. For emphasis, we shall repeat: By the end of this two-hour trip, the memories you would have collected will leave you smiling. It starts with encountering of plenty wildlife whilst still ashore; reptiles, birds, you name them, exciting! But that you will soon learn is just a teaser; this entire experience is capped with thought-inducing sunsets and pure relief. A tangle with nature, a sun so soothing you wander into the what-ifs of life. You live and let live whilst on the waters of Lake Albert.
It remains one of the most informative sightseeing tours in Western Uganda. Offering a relaxing way to learn about puzzling tectonic earth movements that led to the formation of the Albertine rift valley. It takes place aboard a wooden boat powered by twin-turbo engines. What a gentle experience this boat, managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, provides. Arguably the most stable boats on Ugandan waters that boast of comfort so fulfilling it allows for dreams.
The adventure is fun and exciting, but also informative. The guides on site know so much about the area. You will be impressed by how they value the environment, and the special role that each animal in Semuliki National Park has in sustaining its eco-system.
The cruise unfolds at a gentle pace, allowing you to see all types of birds that prey on fish possible. The biggest highlight is spotting Uganda’s most sought-after species, the shoebill. Imagine encountering a pre-historic bird that has defied odds and outlived extinction since the time dinosaurs still walked the earth.
The longevity of the tour is perfect. It is long enough to allow you to see all the animals on your bucket list but also short enough not to make you bored.
Cost: The tour costs roughly 50,000 UGX and can be booked through the luxury lodges in the park. One such lodge is Ntoroko Game Lodge.
It continues tomorrow… who wants to go Sports Fishing on Lake Victoria
2. Canoe cruise on Lake Mulehe, so picturesque!
It captures your heart with intriguing sights and sounds of Lake Mulehe. Found in Kisoro District(South-Western Uganda), it is a scenic crater lake that has a healing effect on the mind, body, and soul.
You will have a calm paddle aboard a dug-out canoe that is small and made for an intimate connection. Be prepared to get award-winning pictures of green hilly landscapes with plantations of Irish potatoes on their faces. The bonus is a mix of dormant and active volcanoes that perfected the beauty of the Virunga region with their sky-hugging summits. In their shadows are well-organized villages of locals, most of whom hail from the Bafumbira tribe.
As the sun rises gloriously, it creates clear blue skies which are beautifully reflected in this lake. This creates a powerful and energizing environment for adventure and re-discovery of one another.
As you ride on, you will encounter lots of birds with soothing music for your soul, like the malachite kingfisher. But that’s half the story. The trip is just what you need to cool off and reflect on how far your relationship has come. Why? As opposed to being powered by a motorized engine which would disturb your peace, the canoe is steered by paddles.
The Kayaking option is equally so much fun, a great physical workout too! There is enough paddling to do. Throughout, you will be in the company of an extremely enthusiastic guide who is knowledgeable about the area.
If you love swimming, you can take advantage of the lake’s bilharzia free state and jump in for a refreshing dip. The fish are quite curious and swim right up to yoo- so cute! You’ll have absolute peace of mind considering lake Mulehe doesn’t have any hippo or crocodile.
Cost: The adventure costs roughly 50,000UGX per person and can be booked through the various safari lodges in Kisoro.
3. The wild Murchison Falls National Park boat ride
Take a boat cruise in Murchison falls National Park, we dare you! Not that it is a bad dare, the thing is, this is more of an exploration of the wild life of this park, and thus more than just a tour. It is no wonder it attracts over 200,000 tourists annually! The cruise takes place on River Nile aboard a big boat with a lower and upper deck. Imagine how electrifying it would be to cruise on the world’s longest river? Yes, a wonder that that started flowing even before Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Imagine that!
This beautiful biodiversity hot-spot is home to tons of birds, reptiles, aquatic species, and mammals like buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs, and giraffes. All these can be easily spotted this a sightseeing boat cruise destined for the mouth of the river. During this two-hour experience, you will ride past small swamps systems with schools of hippos cooling of the heat with a swim.
Should you look keenly into the water, you will see gigantic crocodiles camouflaging with surrounding rocks. Their eyes are glued to the shoreline to stalk prey that has come to quench its thirst. The guide who will be entrusted with looking after you speaks so much about conservation and sustainable tourism. Their love for the park will make you want to stay there forever.
Like a true climax, the best part of this boat ride is watching the majesty of the Murchison Falls unveiling ever so thunderously in your eyes. This, on top of experiencing wildlife in its habitat, is what makes this boat ride one die for.
Cost: In short, the tour is good value for money and thus highly recommendable. Costs between Shs30,000 -120,000 depending on whether you are an East African, Foreign Resident, or Foreign tourist.
4. Time to go fishing on Lake Victoria
First of all, safety is germane! The entire excursion is a tale of a well-organized and executed affair, complete with attention to safety. Before we delve into it, not that Lake Victoria is one of the very few freshwater bodies in the world that are still lonely save for a lone canoe in a distance. This should allow you to rediscover what you like about each other without feeling like your privacy is compromised.
It helps that the temperature in and around the lake is friendly all year round. Listening to the calm waves gently splashing the side of the boat will heal your mind and soul of whatsoever is troubling it. If sportfishing with Wild Frontiers, your trip will be guided by a two-man team that had done this over 200 times now. They will make sure you are well taken care of from start to finish. Even better, the boat is well suited for deep lake trolling.
At the genesis of this adventure, a briefing about the rules and regulations must be held. This is to ensure that all are versed in the safety and operations of the boat and only then will you get into the nuts and bolts of your mission. To go fishing! The activity is easy as there are not many Dos and Don’ts. The artificial lures are designed in the shape of prey that is a delicacy for giant tilapias and Nile perch.
The ever-so-patient instructors make the activity doable even for a novice. Throughout the excursion, there is no rush to get you back to shore, you will fish until you are were happy to pull in the lines. The crew’s knowledge of the lake is hard to beat. They know where, when, and how to hook the biggest catch. It might take lots of minutes before landing on a good catch, this makes the victory worth a huge celebration like a lottery win. Luckily, there is lots of beer on board. Did I say there was lunch too? Well, you bet there is. The day will end with a brief visit to one of the many islands on the lake whereof the Equator passes. Imagine that!
Costs: An average of $125 with Wild Frontiers, a sports fishing agency based in Entebbe
5. An adrenaline dose from Rafting River Nile.
Are you feeling plain old? Did plain stick maybe? Or you are just bored of the relationship, then this adventure is exactly what you need. In fact, put it on your bucket list for valentine, you will not regret it! It entails overriding 8 major rapids of the river that are well spaced over a scenic 24-kilometer stretch. Imagine that!
This pushes you to the limits and enables you re-discover your strength, or just how good you are at maneuvering through challenges. All that initially seemed impossible will fizzle off. And dare we add, this could go a long way in trivializing all the hurdles that seemed unmovable. And oh, this is regardless of whether you chose the half-day or full-day excursion, you will leave with both physical and emotional rewards.
Over 1,000 who don’t know how to swim have successfully and safely rocked the adventure since its inception over 20 years back. This is partly because safety is the main concern of the rafting agencies and standards of their equipment are second to none.
Before the experience, a breakfast to fill you with sufficient energy ahead of your expedition is served. You will then be split into groups of six people each with similar appetites for adrenaline. Each will be led by a coach who has been rafting for over 10 years. He will ensure you are comfortable but most of all confident to rock the day. Shortly after boarding the raft boat at a calm stretch of the river, he will give you a safety briefing—purposed to enlighten you on how to have a trip that is free of regret and fear.
Having rafted countless times before, the safety crew knows the river very well and will keep you safe throughout. You will swiftly come to your rescue just in case you fall out of your boat after it has hit a high wave. The rapids you will counter are on the bigger side but prior to confronting each, the raft will be consulted to determine which line to pass.
This will limit the number of times your boat flips upside down. The beauty of rafting the Nile unlike an ocean or sea is that its water is not salty, it is fresh. As such, neither your eyes nor skin will be damaged. On the contrary, they will look exquisite and renewed in the end due to the healing effect of the mineral-rich water.
A photography crew will be stationed at different strategic parts of the river to get highlights of your excursion. Halfway into your adventure, you will have a lunch stopover at one of the islands surrounding by exhilarating rapids and a rich concentration of beautiful birds
Costs: The average cost for a full day raft is $125