What you need to know:
- Walking safaris, offered by Buffalo Safiri Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, can be a truly unique and rewarding experience for anyone looking to explore the natural world.
- Unlike a traditional game drive, a walking safari allows you to immerse yourself in the environment and connect with nature on a deeper level.
A walking safari is an adventurous excursion that lets guests travel through the bush on foot, guided by experienced and knowledgeable safari guides rather than driving.
"So, unlike a traditional game drive, where you sit in a vehicle and observe animals from a distance, a walking safari allows you to explore the African bush on foot,” our guide tells us before we headed off to the wild surrounding Buffalo Safari Lodge.
The lodge, an ideal place for wildlife enthusiasts who want to enjoy the park’s natural beauty and its diverse flora and fauna, is located on the periphery of Queen Elizabeth National Park, near the famous Kazinga Channel, and provides guests with an excellent view of the park’s wildlife.
Kazinga Channel is home to some of the park’s most incredible wildlife, such as hippos, crocodiles, and a wide range of birds.
And off we went, to enjoy this unforgettable experience where we enjoyed being out in nature and got up close and personal with wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Walking safaris are typically conducted in remote and pristine wilderness areas, such as national parks and private game reserves. During the walk, one will have the opportunity to see a variety of animals.
The experience of being on foot in the bush is truly exhilarating. One is able to smell the earth and the plants, feel the sun on the skin, and hear the sounds of the animals around you.
On that day, during an Explore West excursion, the guides taught us about the flora and fauna of the park, pointed out tracks and signs of wildlife, and shared fascinating stories and insights.
According to Eric Samson Obuki, the Buffalo Safari Lodge manager, it’s important to note that walking safaris are not for everyone.
“It requires a certain level of fitness and a willingness to be out in the bush for an extended period of time. You will need to be prepared for the elements, as temperatures can fluctuate widely throughout the day. It’s also important to be respectful of the animals and follow your guide’s instructions at all times, to ensure your safety and the well-being of the wildlife,” he said.
This is one of the many activities that the lodge offers guests.
Two hours later, after sighting buffaloes, elephants and hippos, we returned to a glass of chilled juice at the lodge, an exceptional accommodation option that offers guests an unforgettable experience of the park’s wildlife and the magnificent scenery.
One walks through the wilderness observing wildlife up close. These typically take place in areas where the terrain is suitable for walking. Walking safaris offer a more intimate and immersive way to experience the natural world allowing one to appreciate Uganda in a way that is impossible from a vehicle.
The lodge has a total of 19 luxurious rooms that are tastefully furnished and fitted with modern amenities to ensure guests have a memorable stay.
Each cottage is spacious, and it comes with an en-suite bathroom and a private verandah that offers guests an excellent view of the park’s wildlife. The cottages are also fitted with mosquito nets and fans to keep guests comfortable throughout their stay.
Another feature that sets it apart is the dining experience. The lodge’s restaurant offers guests an array of local and international cuisine prepared by highly skilled chefs. Guests can enjoy their meals while taking in the magnificent views of the park’s wilderness.
The lodge’s bar also offers a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
The lodge also offers guests the opportunity to experience the local culture through a visit to the nearby Katwe Salt Lake.
The lake is a significant source of livelihood for the surrounding communities, and guests can witness how salt is extracted from the lake using traditional methods.
Guests can also interact with the locals, learn about their way of life and purchase handmade crafts as souvenirs.
The Buffalo Safari Lodge is also committed to sustainable tourism practices.
The lodge uses solar power as its primary source of energy and it has also implemented waste management practices to minimize its impact on the environment.
The lodge also supports the local community by providing employment opportunities and supporting various community development projects.