What you need to know:
- Stunning. Magical destination that Kabale is. Edgar R Batte explores the different outstanding features of the place.
Wakanda hangout is on one of the vantage points that allows patrons see a sizable part of Kabale Town at an eagle’s eye. An aerial expanse of brown iron sheets and rising modern architectural structures.
Actor Chadwick Boseman must have conceived the idea of what turned out to be an international movie titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the picturesque terrain from here. Most scenes in the movie are an inspiration of what he saw in the beautiful land that boasts of hills, valleys, and visually arty terraces as well as Kisiizi Falls which is on the border of Kabale and Rukungiri. The falls are approximately one and a half hours from Kabale Town.
Those with a knack for adventure take a hike and rush their adrenaline on a zipline expedition in an environment that is tranquil. Kabale is a tourism destination yoked between one of Africa’s second deepest lakes - Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda’s sought-after Mountain Gorilla and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Go sit by one of the facilities that line Lake Bunyonyi and have your eyes feast on the 29 beautiful islands dotted on the still waters along rich greenery and contours on either side.
You would be hard pressed not to give it to the people of this land - Bakiga who till the slopes for some of the tastiest Irish potatoes and vegetables. Like any community, the soul of Kabale are its people and what makes it different, is being closely knit in a way that almost everyone knows the other.
A story is shared by a friend from their childhood when one of them picked a bag with dollars in Kabale Town. They changed some of it, bought sweets, shumbusha (samosas) from the famous Paul Karecera’s Kabale Best Baker’s place and then more sweets.
Some elders were observing the spendthrifts and alerted their guardians to that effect. On getting home, each of the youngsters had some questions to answers, and in no time the bag had been reunited with its owners and apologies and compensation done.
The honesty and integrity among the Bakiga, is admirable. They are good storytellers, and I never went an evening without a share of the tales.
At the club
Meanwhile, Kabale Safari Club was the peaceful corner to listen in attentively as the waitresses observed the half- full beer and wine glasses to be refilled.
The club is one of the latest additions to Kabale’s hospitality facility profile. Concrete, plants, and trees beautifully share space in a location whose tranquility and neat rooms and common areas, with bespoke interior design and lighting, will set your mind at ease and let you sleep and probably dream in colour.
Facilities such as Kabale Safari Club point to the growing and increasing tourism potential of the southwestern Uganda town.
One of the places to look out for, is Bucuranuka Island, one of the 29 islands on Lake Bunyonyi. Paul Turyagumanawe, Kabale’s top tour guide and operator, says bucuranuka literary means upside down, so the story goes that a woman visited the island where she met men enjoying local brew.
She asked them for (just) a sip. They declined her request because she was a woman, and a stranger. She boarded a boat and left only for them to realise that she was a wizard.
To punish them, she turned the island upside down. That is one tale. There are more reasons that make people proud of Kigezi.
“Apart from some saying that Bakiga are rude which I do not think is an accurate description, they are very frank and limited vocabulary makes it sound rude, but they are not. Bakiga work ethic too is legendary. They are known to be hardworking and people of integrity. They will tell it to your face if something is working or not. If they like you or not, you will know it,” musician Joseph Kahirimbanyi explains.
As a fan, watching him dance tells of the energy from his fruit. In one of the performances at Kampala Serena Hotel, their dance was so strong and thundering that it broke the stage.
“We work and do things with all our energy, and we are generally hardworking people. I am also proud to be from a place that is one of the most beautiful in the world, almost naturally. The weather is good, Bakiga culture is very pragmatic, hospitable, welcoming, and adaptive as well as the diversity in beauty generally makes me proud of being from Kabale,” Kahirimbanyi relates.
Take a bus, take a taxi or your car and head to this place where you are sure to enjoy a good meal, sip on a potent drink, see some beautiful places and smell the freshness of the countryside.