Fun activities for your first Christmas as a married couple 

Above: The beach will provide a cool and relaxing environment allowing you to talk about your journey. Below: There is an option of zip lining together as a couple and creating memories together.   PHOTOs/internet

What you need to know:

If you are newly engaged or married, there is even more to be thankful for this holiday season than usual. To make your first Christmas as a couple truly magical, here are some activities to engage in

Christmas time is family time. It is that time of year when you get together with your closest friends and family, often in the village, for prayers, food and celebration of life in general. But what if you want to spend this particular Christmas with your new spouse? Here are some ways you can bond with the love of your life over Christmas.

Adrenaline-boosting activities

About 46 kilometres from Kampala is Griffin Falls Camp, a place with multiple adventure activities. Located in Mabira Forest, 10 kilometres from Lugazi Town, you can engage in activities such as zip lining, hiking, nature walks, camping, birding and mountain biking.

You can zip line at Shs60,000, have a forest walk at Shs10,000, do archery at Shs50,000, track mangabey monkeys at Shs70,000 and partake in bird watching at Shs100,000. Camping will cost you Shs15,000, but indoor accommodation is also available at Shs100,000 per night.

By far the most thrilling aspect about Griffin Falls is the zip line, befittingly called Mabira Forest Canopy Super Skyway. The Mabira Skyway is a system of zip lines that takes you between six tree-top platforms while sending you soaring above the highest trees in the forest, over the Musamya River, and among the birds.

There is also an option of zip lining together as a couple.

Julius Serubambula, a tour operator with Smile Tours and Travel, says the clothes recommended to wear are trousers and boots or closed shoes.

Bungee jumping

Almost an hour’s drive from Griffin Camp, you can also engage in bungee jumping although it is rather costly. Bungee Uganda is located three kilometres from Jinja Town and has other activities including quad biking, horseback riding and camping.

 For a standard 160-foot leap, a solo bungee costs about Shs200,000 while you will part with She 400,000 for the 300-foot mega jump.

As a couple, you can opt for a tandem bungee, where two people are strapped together. This costs anywhere between Shs600,000 and Shs800,000.

In case you are not keen on the very thrilling, and sometimes scary experiences, then Ssezibwa falls is an option for you. Before arriving in Lugazi Town, 30 kilometres from Kampala, is the road to Ssezibwa. With options such as camping, bird watching, rock climbing, culture and nature walks, you can enjoy Christmas in a serene environment.

You only need to pay an entrance fee of Shs20,000 if you intend to camp and Shs5,000 if you do not. James Murungi, a tour operator with Zion Adventures, advises that you carry warm clothing if you intend to camp at Ssezibwa since it gets very cold at night and early in the morning. There is no permanent accommodation option available, so you must keep that in mind.

The beach

If you are interested in the serenity that canopies and water give, but are for any reason not interested in travelling to Jinja, then try Entebbe Botanical Gardens. With a technically free entrance policy, unless you are carrying a camera to capture your memories, in which case you will have to pay Shs5,000 only at the gate, the place is such an underrated travel escape. It offers you a beach ambiance without the congestion that comes with other Ugandan beaches, and also has lots of flora and fauna for your exploration.

Food was initially a problem, but there has been substantial development and a restaurant is now open with food prices starting from Shs10,000. You can get a whole tilapia, fresh from Lake Victoria, fried to your taste at Shs30,000 with chips.

Try out exotic restaurants

This might sound counterproductive, given that the whole idea is to escape from the city. But the many people going away is the reason the city is much less crowded on Christmas Day. Use this opportunity to try out exotic meals such as sushi or chicken teriyaki. It is an amazing experience to learn to use chopsticks while enjoying seafood or honeyed chicken steak.

Yujo Izakaya on Kyaddondo Road, Nakasero, Yamasen on Tank Hill road, Muyenga, Tamarai on Lower Kololo Terrace Road and Izumi on Upper Kololo Terrace, are great options to choose from.

TIP

Post-wedding blues are totally normal. After all the excitement of the wedding, it is natural to feel a dip in your mood.

But how can you keep that excitement in a marriage?

Continue to have adventures with your spouse. Anthropologist and relationship expert Helen Fisher put it best when she wrote that “research shows that novelty, taking risks or trying something new, can trigger the release of dopa­mine in the brain.

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