Horsing Around

April 8, 2011

Back in November, I experienced an adventurous way of discovering wildlife in one of Uganda’s smallest and prettiest regions: Lake Mburo National Park. I’ve always been a fan of horse-riding and during my student days, I could often be found exploring the New Forest in Hampshire (UK) atop a horse. So, when given the opportunity to jump in the saddle to mingle with Zebras – in the middle of East Africa – you can imagine my delight.

The park itself is a pastel patchwork of acacia woodland and open savannah, dotted with the odd rocky outcrop (‘kopje’), and surrounded by rolling hills; Lake Mburo is the largest of five lakes within the park boundaries.

We set off in the early morning and almost immediately, we heard the cackle of a bunch of unruly baboons. Not long after, we spotted some Eland and Impala, who made a swift and sprightly exit. The Zebra, on the other hand, were keener to check out their stripe-less four-legged friends. Being able to get so close to wildlife in this way – with only the sounds of the birds and the crickets (i.e. away from noisy jeeps) – was truly special, simply unbeatable in fact.

Half-way through the ride, we stopped for a tasty bush picnic, along the Warukiri ridge, overlooking a waterhole. From here, we were able to view some Warthog and even a few Buffaloes cooling themselves off. Then it was back to base, for a splash in our lodge’s infinity pool and a soothing massage for what would undoubtedly be sore limbs on the ‘morrow!

Horseback safaris are run by Mihingo Lodge and can range from a one-hour ride to a full day or even an overnight stay in the bush. The lodge itself is spread out along a kopje on the edge of the park, with luxury cottages overlooking a nearby waterhole or the African plains… As well as the horseback safaris, guests staying at the lodge also have the choice a walking safari, day/night game drive, boat cruises on the lake, spotting one of the park’s six species of bush baby in the hide or visiting a local Bahima homestead.

I returned to the capital feeling fully refreshed. I would definitely recommend Lake Mburo and all it has to offer as a ‘must-do’ on your Uganda safari.

Nicola Swann


Posted by Anne-Marie Weeden


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