Safari from the Swahili word “Journey” has always been a long-held dream of mine. Having been to Uganda before, I never had the opportunity to do a Safari and thus I was not going to miss it this time.
The morning after my photography training for the girls ended through our non-profit side Cameras For Girls, we were up early and driving to Lake Mburo – a few hours outside of Kampala. On the way, we also stopped for the obligatory photo at the Equator. My driver was haphazardly taking my photo by just hitting the shutter button and not looking at the screen, so my head was cut off in most of the photos. I stopped somebody else to take my photo, which turned out much better 🙂
LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK IS THE ONLY WALKABLE SAFARI PARK IN ALL OF AFRICA
Lake Mburo is the third-largest national park in Uganda, offering Zebra’s, Rothchild Giraffe, Eland, Impala, or Uganda Cob and Warthogs just to name a few. I also saw the very rare Reedbuck, which is extremely shy and managed to capture the Grey Crested Crane, which is the national symbol on Uganda’s flag. Lake Mburo National Park is also the only walkable safari park in all of Africa. The lions and leopards disappeared many decades ago so it since has become a park you can comfortably and easily walk through, sighting and coming near the wildlife in the park, however always remember to please respect the habitat and the animals.
It was amazing to stand less than 100 feet away from the Zebra’s and walk through the tall grasses, trying to avoid the animal manure that was everywhere. After our encounter with the first herd of Zebra, we saw them everywhere and thus my interest switched to the Giraffe, which other than Murchison Falls, is the only other park to see these beautiful creatures.
WE ALMOST GAVE UP ON SEEING THE GIRAFFE’S BUT THEN FINALLY WE SAW THEM
We took over 3 hours trekking the Giraffe and finally my friend and guide Venex of Rwenzori Safaris spotted them far away in the back fields so we were able to exit the car (only park you can do this at) and walk slowly towards them. There were parents and two youngsters. Each parent was with a young giraffe, so we had to walk very slowly. I was able to get within 150 yards with her eyes on my every move. I was hoping to get them back-facing to the sun but the sun was setting behind me so it was not going to be possible, but the sight of these tall creatures in the wild made my heart thump thump with so much happiness and I had to pinch myself a few times as I could not believe I was finally on Safari.
We were rushing to get out of the park as we had extended our stay when we came upon the most beautiful sight – a mother zebra feeding her foal. I took my photos and then we just sat there for a few minutes marvelling at nature unfolding before us. They were in no rush to move and neither were we.
After our long day in Lake Mburo, we retired for the night in Mbarara (pronounced Barara) and I fell asleep with visions of wild animals in my head, having my African safari dreams finally come true.
Check out https://www.triplefphototours.ca for more information.
About the Author
"Amina Mohamed has always had a passion for photography, travel and philanthropy.
In 2018 Amina returned to photography full-time combining her two greatest passions - photography and philanthropy. Through her for-profit company, Triple F Photo Tours, Amina takes travellers from Canada the U.S., and Europe on an 18-day photo-tour to Uganda. While in Uganda, they not only get to improve their photography skills while on an excursion, but they get to see the direct impact their dollars make, through Amina’s non-profit Cameras For Girls. Three days are carved out from the itinerary, to teach photography to 15 girls endeavouring to become journalists. The help they receive gives them the opportunity to not only explore photography, but also get paid as a journalist. The travellers lives are also changed as they see the profound work being done to help the local community."