Tales of Bule Island

Most Ugandans only take their vacations at the end of the year. But 12 months is a very long time to wait, right

Well, recently a group of friends and I decided to make use of a mid-year public holiday that – lucky for us – fell on a Monday making the weekend longer. Though in dire need to unwind, our wallets were only semi smiling. We agreed and made plans to spend two days and one night at Lake Side Adventure Park on Bule Island, Lake Victoria. Seeing as we were not spending too much on the trip, we didn’t expect it to be a lot of fun. The excitement was initially because we would be altogether and out of town. But we were wrong. The activities tired us to the bone.

Getting there.
Bule Island is located somewhere in Mukono, you can get there by road, driving all the way from Kampala. Or you can get there by water, setting off at Ggaba then a brief road drive.
The complete road trip is longer and costlier thou. We opted to go by water. This required us to be at KK beach Ggaba at an agreed time from where we were picked up. If you are planning to spend the night on Bule Island, you can leave your car parked at KK Beach Ggaba overnight. Prior to the trip, we were told it would cost us Shs5,000 ($1.5) per night but when we talked to the guards and we parked there free of charge. We travelled on boat for less than 20 minutes and then into a car to Lake Side Adventure Park.
Transport is about Shs20,000 ($5.5) to and from. It is less if you are many. And you don’t have to spend the night. If you decide to, that will cost Shs30,000 ($8) in the dormitory. The cottages are a little more expensive. We didn’t need to sleep in them to enjoy ourselves anyway.

The vacation mood starts the moment you get onto the boat thanks to the vast fields of vegetation surrounding the place. It is serene, the air so fresh that you wish you could bag some of it. These are the things that make you appreciate conservation and keeping the environment safe.

We were told that the network is poor for all telecom companies once you get on water. We whined at first but we later felt grateful for that. You know, it helped us relax more because we paid attention to each other and our natural surroundings instead of being on phone most of the time. It was a change of environment. Change of the general feeling. And a change for the better.

The activities
At the park are two main activities, the obstacle course which is Shs10,000 ($3) per person and the high rope which has two levels each costing Shs30,000 ($8). Involving running up and down, jumping and all kind of things, the obstacle course seemed so easy to do. We were divided into two groups and told to compete away and repeat as many
times as we wanted.

We thought we would compete one on one after the group competition. But when we finished, competing as groups once, with a few bruises, sweaty bodies, exhausted, we walked back to our rooms quietly.

Word of advice: don’t go for this activity after a heavy meal. The high rope is also a mixture of challenges divided into two levels. The second is obviously more challenging than the first. It is almost as daring as bungee jumping and ends on a cool note of a zip slide at all levels.

These activities are suitable for company staff retreats or groups of friends. When counting them they seem few but they are so draining, you couldn’t go for a second round even if you didn’t have to pay. You can take children as well if aged eight and above. After this sleeping, card and board games is all you will be able to do. A friend and I decided to play Twister to help stretch our muscles, that didn’t go to well.

In the end we were glad to have come to Bule Island. It showed us how we tend to waste our bodies in concrete jungles yet the natural jungle is always calling, and it is the freshest and best place to be – anytime.

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