Paula hit me up during the week about this place she’d heard about in Hoima. She suggested we go check it out over the weekend to which I obliged. I really enjoy her company and it sounded all so organized. Saturday came and off went bright and early on the 3 hour drive to get there.
I’d never been to this part of the country. It’s incredibly hot this time of year and most people we passed looked absolutely cooked! There was definitely a tan in my immediate future. Also lots of hills and cows. We got to Hoima town in record time where P whipped out trusty old Google maps for directions. We ended taking an almost 70 km detour down one of the Great Rift Valley escarpments. We were totally lost but not particularly bothered P& I as this patch of earth is incredibly beautiful, I saw the Eastern Rift valley in Kenya as a kid and loved it, so this really was an unexpected treat for me. The escarpment on the left is lush and green but its signature waterfall had dried up from the dry season. The valley is dry and flat, in the distance you can see mini dust whirls and the Lake Albert merging with the sky, its impossible to separate the two. As mesmerized as we were, our driver was having none of it! He didn’t share our sentiments and was completely pissed off by the detour. His frustration was understandable at first but he just took it to a whole other level, talking about how if he’d known this is where we were going he wouldn’t have come and a whole other tirade of comments, P tried to explain we too didn’t know this is what would happen but truly, he was more interested in fighting. In times like these its best to ignore such negative nancies and let them quiet down when they are ready. Sure enough, after 15 minutes of unwanted commentary in our Instagram videos, he piped down to a low murmur.
Eventually we hit the main road passing some kobs wallowing in a drinking pool and got to the Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve where a very friendly guy gave us directions, driver dearest who’d walked off in huff came back to get directions and after getting a few more snide remarks towards us set off. I don’t think the service industry is where it’s at for him honestly, if you’re going to be interacting with tourists, you best leave that behavior in your bed or someplace. We drove on for a bit in silence as he’d finally realized we would not be fighting and answering back and eventually got to Lake Albert Safari Lodge, our abode for the day.
We were greeted with some welcome juice.(passion fruit my least favorite but it’s the thought the counts) and shown to our cottage. This place is gorgeous! It’s on a cliff overlooking the wondrous blue waters of Lake Albert. I’d seen this lake before and I must say from that vantage point it wasn’t stunning at all. If I’d never come here I could have gone my whole life believing this lake to be lackluster and mediocre, the horror at being so wrong! The cottage is just how I like my spaces, inviting, dark moody colors, low lighting with African décor. My only issue was with the plumbing, there was hardly any cold water which was much needed with this type of heat.
After ordering lunch, we got our bathing suits on and went exploring the cliff and the rest of the lodge. I really liked it here. After a nice fish and chips lunch, it was into the pool drinking beer, shots of gin, singing along to an appropriate playlist (lots of Rihanna) for the next 3 hours. We even made friends with a lizard aka Lizzo.This.Is.The.Life.
We got back to the cottage at about 5 to nap and get ready for our bush dinner. At about 6 onwards the sunset was looking particularly picturesque so I spent a bit of time taking pictures and watching it. We set off for our dinner just after 7. In what was a mini evening drive, we saw some waterbucks, warthogs, lots of kobs and some Kingfisher birds. The only predators out here are leopards but those are pretty elusive so we didn’t see any.
The spot for out bush dinner is amazing, a small clearing overlooking the lake. In the distance fishing boats take up positions for night fishing, to our right a fire was lit and as night fell I settled into my chair thinking of how I could definitely get used to this. We had a three course dinner and wine; Pumpkin soup to start, pork chops and herbed potatoes for the main and an incredibly dry pecan pie, a little whipped cream or ice cream would have done wonders but in all, it was really delicious. We stayed there a while chatting and watching the boat lights, listening to what I imagined were oil rigs in the distance.
We got back at about 9ish and bee lined for the cottage. There aren’t any outside lights so lounging outside isn’t an option. We turned on the light which revealed a bat fluttering about, it was small, probably a baby. We must have startled the poor thing. It settled in and so did we, this is the wild people; such things are to be expected. The cottage doors don’t have locks by the way, it’s pretty safe though, at least I felt so. There was talk of waking up to catch the sunrise at 5 am but I wasn’t feeling it. it had taken me forever to go to sleep, I sat up drinking wine and staring at the boats in the distance Burna Boy crooning On the low in my ear. I was happy.
The next morning after a pretty good breakfast we set off for Kampala at about 11am.If you’re out here and have time, you could do a game drive, go bird watching, visit the fishing villages or check out the oil pipelines. There’s a lot to see and do. Lake Albert Safari Lodge is must stay, very beautiful location with great friendly staff. Hoima it was great. You did not disappoint. X