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Steve and Emma's Travel Tales

Relaxing on the Rock at Lake Mburu

UGANDA | Sunday, 22 June 2014 | Views [422]

Sunset over Lake Mburu National Park.

Sunset over Lake Mburu National Park.

With my birthday landing on the last teaching day of the academic year it seemed only fitting that we should go away for a treat weekend.  Luckily on the last day of term school finishes at noon so I dashed home as soon as the children had been passed over to parents.  It took us about 4 ½ hours to reach our destination where the staff greeted us with warmth and efficiency.  Rwakobo Rock is an excellently run place and they’ve tried to think of everything including torch key fobs so you can find your way back to your room.  Despite being totally solar powered the beer is cold and the food is delicious and all very reasonably priced (especially by Ugandan standards).

We’d stayed in Rwakobo Rock back in February when our parents were here but we only stayed in a tent so this time we splashed out for a room.  This 9 room lodge is perched upon a rock over-looking Lake Mburo National Park and the surrounding cattle farming area.  Each chalet has its own private location and we were lucky enough to get one on the front with splendid views looking over the plains towards the hills.  A cracking spot for me to open my cards and pressies whilst supping a glass of fizz.

We had planned to cycle down to the lake for picnic lunch but decided that wouldn’t leave us enough time to enjoy the lodge.  The view from ‘The Top of the Rock’ is well worth while and in fact pottering around the grounds enables you to see a whole host of birds and some animals too.  The beauty of the park is that you can see many of the animals in the buffer zone without ever forking out the $35 dollar entrance fee.  However, we have a special pass so can enter the parks as much as we like within a 12 month period.  Following our leisurely breakfast we did indeed potter around the grounds and were lucky enough to spot dwarf mongoose one morning and bushbuck the following day.  We had hoped to spot the resident rock python and tree hyraxes but neither of them put in an appearance.

We still fancied picnic by the lake so hopped in the car and slowly drove down the track through the park.  It wasn’t until we reached the lake that we actually encountered another person or vehicle – that’s another great thing about this park.  An absence of elephants and lions might not sound good to everyone but no jeep jams is great.  Along the way we spotted the usual impala, waterbuck, warthogs and zebra plus managed to find the eland again.  We’re getting to know the park so well that we pretty much know where to drive to try to find the elusive eland.  A bonus was spying a reedbuck too.  It wasn’t until we were driving out that we managed to find one lonely buffalo bull.

With all the likely candidates ticked off the list it was time to go and sit by the lake.  Usually the hippos are around the corner but today a couple was near the jetty so we had picnic whilst watching hippos bobbing up and down.  They must have known it was my birthday!  Steve definitely knew it was as he’d brought provisions for a posh picnic.  That pretty much sums up the weekend as other than driving back to enjoy; our room, the fabulously located restaurant, hunting for the python, pottering around trying to identify birds and relishing the peaceful environment we did do anything!

It’s a difficult place to drag yourself away from but luckily the room was booked again for Sunday night so we needed to check out.  Should you find yourself in the area we can’t recommend visiting the national park enough and certainly suggest you book yourself into a room on the rock.  A wonderful end of term / birthday treat but here’s the best bit – we can go back if we want.  We will!



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