Here nature blossoms, lets birds be

A white egret feeds after scooping a snack from the waters. Uganda is home to more than a thousand bird species. PHOTO | EDGAR R. BATTE. 

What you need to know:

  • Then, raindrops fell as the midnight hour struck. The nocturnal wildlife could still be heard, perhaps happy to have a shower as their swampy homes got a fresher refill and flow.

One night, I found myself in an enclave of springs, swamps and on shorelines of Lake Victoria. I happily surrendered.

Frogs rule the night and an ensemble of other amphibians and insects as they voluntarily lull visitors to sleep.

Then, raindrops fell as the midnight hour struck. The nocturnal wildlife could still be heard, perhaps happy to have a shower as their swampy homes got a fresher refill and flow.

For a moment, one could not resist the sounds until the mind chose to shut down to a good night’s sleep.

At 5.30am, the rooster crowed and that was the beginning of the eventful stay at Yellow Haven Lodge in Ggaba.

Nature

Eid-al -fitr, when Muslim friends and families gathered to celebrate successfully completing 30 days of fasting, happened.

I had wanted to stay in bed longer but a bird kept singing and pecking at the windowpane at dawn changed my plans.

The friendly call was for me to wake up to the beauty of the skies as the golden sun started infecting the skies and lake. It was a feast for the eyes, more in a corruptive manner to the idea that God might be Ugandan because the sun’s yellow eye caught the wavy dark water expanse.

In a split second, three little birds flew through the sunrise, completing the Uganda flag colour scheme of black, yellow, and red in the wild.

Birding

For two days, Yellow Haven Lodge was our home. The boutique facility is a little-known attraction that enjoys a lake view and the perks of conservation and preservation, birding being one of the prime activities that should draw in a nature lover.

A white egret feeds after scooping a snack from the waters. Uganda is home to more than a thousand bird species. PhotoS by EDGAR R. BATTE. 

The lodge ashore Lake Victoria is a great birding space.  Just in case you are short of hobbies, birding is one hobby worth adding to your list. For its uniqueness in learning about birds, character traits such as sounds and colour or other physical differences.

Back in the day 

My interest in birding  started on a 2019 trip with international birders whose passion and attention on the flight species drew my curiosity to learn more. Birding attracts approximately three million trips every year, according to Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI).

Fast forward, on my first morning at the haven’s dock, I sighted several Pied Kingfishers with their distinctively black and white feathers and on to the common blue Rüppell’s long-tailed starling which is common in urban centres. And so for the long-beaked and quite noisy hadada ibis that kept feeding from the murky waters covered by water hyacinth on the shore.

Then,  African jacana effortlessly walked on water as it searched for its meal. It perfectly befits its nickname- the Jesus Bird- for taking after Jesus whose earthly journey included the miracle of walking on water.

On the hanging woodlands, came the little beautiful woodland kingfisher neatly and stunningly covered in white, blue, black, and grey feathers with a red beak which could pass for similarity to lipstick in the corporate world.

Dream comes true

And as each of the birds took time to show off their beauty, the fishermen were occupied with casting and collecting their fish nets from the calm waters of Lake Victoria.  The facility proprietor, Joan Kelly, says they aim to make every guest feel special and at home. The facility’s manager, Peter Wacha, fondly known as Dings, lets my wish of staying in the popular ‘tree house’ come to life.

In there, tranquility and comfort were defined in addition to a sizable bird’s view of the lake and the property. Being woken up by bright rays of the sun was tickling the eyelids was a good idea in the corner where nature happily blossoms.

It is indeed a place where friends from around the world can experience the magic of nature while living in luxury, and enjoying great service - and great food.

At glance

Yellow Haven is a one-of-a-kind Dutch-style Lodge is a place to unwind and enjoy the quite surroundings, special sunsets on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Designer-architect Dutch national Ronald Scheer and his wife Joan Kelly, dreamed of such a facility in Africa where people could experience the magic of nature.

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