Murchison Falls National Park

This year I took two trips to Uganda's most popular national park - Murchison Falls National Park. We took a group of 30, who came for The Unity Initiative, on safari and I had to take an earlier trip to the park to hash out logistics for the group, so we made it into a family weekend.

This park remains one of the most popular game parks because the delta attracts animals, so you don't have to drive long to find good game sightings. We also managed to snag the best park ranger, who spotted a leopard hanging in a tree from an unimaginable distance.

I've been on safari more times than I can count now, but it never gets old and has become a favorite way for our family to get out of the city. There is always something about the wild that will beckon us. Here is a collection of some of my favorite photos of those two trips.

The wilderness of Kidepo

We lucked out with a trip over New Years a couple years ago to Uganda's most remote and highly-lauded game park, Kidepo National Park.  Situated in the corner of the country between Kenya and South Sudan, Kidepo Valley required either a couple days' drive from Kampala or a flight.  Part of our lucking-out included a stunning flight over the country.  When we landed, we were escorted to Apoka lodge where the remoteness of the landscape met luxury.  We had bathtubs overlooking the savannah and an infinity pool overlooking a watering hole.

Kidepo is a place where the most well-safari-ed come to safari, and with good reason.  Each day, we came across a pride of lions, once just after they had killed a water buffalo for breakfast.  The park also has all the other big game, along with one of the best variety of birds in Africa.  Our time at Apoka was my favorite Ugandan get-away so far, and that's saying a lot!

Unwinding in Lake Mburo

Uganda has taught me how ridiculous we Americans are when we glorify being busy.  Over the past few years, while living in Uganda, I've reveled in living a life balanced between work, play, and rest, trying to avoid my culture's tendency toward workaholism.  But then I had a baby and started a new business in my "free time," besides continuing to work my other job.  For better or for worse, busy has been the word of the season for me.  Between the new business (stay tuned for details on that), Eric's PhD, our jobs, and our baby, there has been little time for rest and play in the last few months.

So when Eric's sister and her fiance (also named Eric!) came to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday, we were grateful for the opportunity to unplug with them for just a day and half at Lake Mburo National Park.  This park is often overlooked on the tourist circuit, but it is a fantastic place for a quick get-away from Kampala.  The last time I was there, I took a weekend of solitude after another busy period of life to contemplate my pregnancy.  This time, we took our 6-month old baby on his first safari.

We were spoiled during our stay at Mihingo Lodge, certainly the most luxurious in the park.  We enjoyed the incredible food in the lodge decked out in Swahili chic decor - my favorite style.  There was an infinity pool overlooking a watering hole and we had coffee on our cabin's porch while watching the sun rise over Lake Mburo (well, Eric watched the sunrise.  I slept!)  We even saw bush babies, a nocturnal primate, at Mihingo Lodge's deck they have built for them to come and snag a few snacks.

We were so grateful for the time away, even just a day and a half, to unwind and enjoy the company of family in this serene environment.