Chirping monkeys, musical birds and gentle waves all assemble in nature’s jingle that implores you to detox your mind. It’s your moment to blossom in the countryside’s marvel, safely away from the digital pollution that is ‘rumoured’ to have enslaved your lifestyle.
That escape from urban indulgencies is your ticket to commune with nature, in its greenery that offers emotional health. Instead of a soap opera or blasting away to cranky music or any favourite genres, sail your mind to smooth thoughts or flip through pages of some fine literature.
Lakeside Adventure Park is as simple as can be but with facilities that could get your ears sweaty. It is inviting for relaxed stay but as you ascent into more trees, and to the beach line of semi-white sands, you will realise a set up for you to have fun.
The experience with high ropes and car tyres is not as obvious as it looks. There are rope courses and climbing challenges that will bring your emotional battles alive just as much as fortifying teamwork and bonding.
Imagine yourself semi-suspended, walking on ropes. You need to have good balance and tickle your determination while at it. The wind will be blowing from Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest fresh water body, but if brevity and strength desert you, you might be streaming with some beads of sweat.
My tip; do not be afraid and give yourself up to the fun in the adventure. That way you will be able to do the zip line run and hold up halfway for the cameraman to freeze a photographic moment. Have someone, a colleague, friend, spouse to capture you in action. Make sure you’re not crying or making sad faces!
I have ticked these off my bucket list. The reward would be the satisfying adrenaline rush while your mind whirls at every step. Don’t hold back if your mind, body, soul and spirit send you screaming in joy or fear. Feel free, Lakeside’s proprietor Eugenie Windt Nsubuga built an adventure park well knowing what she was going to offer.
Bearing the dream
In the 1970s, Nsubuga went to an outbound mountain school to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro. At the base of the mountain, was a setting of an adventure park where they trained for seven days to be fit for the altitude.
She liked the experience. “I believe it taught me perseverance and determination which were the basis of the training. The adventure park became a dream I wanted to actualise,” She attests.
Fate had its course and in 2004 when Nsubuga felt she needed a breather from Kampala, some Ghanaians came looking for a buyer for a piece of land that belonged to a friend who had passed on. They urgently needed money to repatriate his body.
“I didn’t have money at the time so I talked to my bank manager with urgency about borrowing money to buy the land. He knew about the area and immediately referred me to the credit department. I got Shs9m and immediately bought the land,” she recalls.
That year, she went for Ugandan North American Association (UNAA) during which she interacted with parents who expressed their desire to come to Uganda with their children but were unsure of leisure and bonding activities here. They wanted a safe and clean place where their children would relax. Her interaction with the parents built her zeal to put up the park.
Making it happen
Nsubuga started harbouring the idea of hosting students and young people so she set up a dormitory. A few nearby schools would visit. Then came the demand for activities. Her mind raced back to Kilimanjaro as she wondered on how she could put it all together, an Israeli friend to her father visited her at office. As they chatted, he asked to visit her home where she told him about her dream to put up an adventure park. Amazed, he shared with her contact of a Polish friend, one Mark who asked for a proposal.
“I didn’t believe he would but he did it. It took him about four months to build the adventure park,” she recounts.
Her first clients were expatriates but she wondered about how she could attract Ugandans to the facility so she started marketing the park in international and local schools. Seven years on, her efforts have paid off and Ugandans top the visitors’ list to the park.