Saturday April 5 2014

Simba Safari Camp, where the wild and calm meet


By Jonathan Adengo

At 3pm my colleagues and I began an eight-hour- journey to Simba Safari Camp in Kasese District located on the outskirts of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Bob, our steady driver, raced against forests, swamps and round the hills with the sun occasionally shifting sides from left to right before being swallowed by the hills as our journey in to the wild drew nearer, the sun setting over a darker arising.

At about 11pm, we arrived at Simba Safari Camp one of the places two lucky families will be treated to this Easter season for four days and three nights as part of Life magazine and KFM’s Easter promotion 4days3nights.

Simba Safari Camp
A warm cup of tea set the preamble for what was set to be the perfect adventure. The stone floor of our Chui lodge smelled of the wild breeze. Apart from the animal cries, the night was dead silent.
At about 6am, we were awoken for our first activity of the day, the game drive on the vast Kasenyi plains.
Bosco Musinguzi, a tour guide, led us to the tour van whose roof he had already opened. In our walking shoes, we boarded and the adventure started. We drove past the Equator crossing in the Kasenyi plains. Then, an elephant in its mighty strides crossed the road. We slowed down and waited for it to pass. Musinguzi, the granary of wildlife knowledge quickly said,“Elephants have a memory for things that happened 50 years ago.” “It’s the most destructive animal,” he added, pointing at a big tree it had just uprooted.

A pack of lions lay in their might, unbothered about the Kobs that were grazing a few metres away. Our tour guide explained that that usually happens when lions are satisfied.

Deeper in the game park, were herds of buffaloes, antelopes, and different bird species. I bet they would make a lovely sight for the children of the winning families this Easter. We came across another pack of lions, a rare sight, few tourists get to see.

The greenery calms the nerves and you want to stay forever. As we drove further to the border, Lake Katwe lies in the middle of the savannah. While there, we got to learn about salt mining activities. This lasted about five hours.

We drove back to the camp for lunch. I discovered that its location is near the Mweya Peninsula and while there, the intertwining sight of Lake George and Kazinga Channel was irresistible. Meanwhile the staff swiftly served us; I asked for a salami sandwich which was served with fruit salad for dessert. I could not wait for the next activity, the boat cruise along the Kazinga channel.

Boat cruise
From Mweya Safari lodge we launched into the unchartered waters. Aboard was an instructor who told us about the different bird species like the African kingfisher, the shoebill while we got the opportunity to see herds of buffaloes, hippopotamus, and crocodiles at a close range, plus the cool breeze made the boat cruise exciting.

On return, we had three- course dinner and later enjoyed story time by the bonfire as we washed down the dinner with drinks.
Getting in touch with nature felt satisfying. At the end of my three days and two nights, I did not want to leave.