5 Cozy boat adventures that will easily charm your valentine
Love brings out the best in us! It fills us with happiness and uplifts us when we are having low moments. For that, it deserves to be celebrated everyday of our lives. However if that isn't doable, there is that one day when it doesn't deserve to be compromised, Valentine's day.
What better way to toast to it than by treating your loved one(s) to a boat adventure--that takes place in a vivid blue water sanctuary that is surrounding by a dramatic landscape of soaring peaks. Here are some of the options in our enchanting Uganda--that will give you a sensational valentine to remember. Writes Solomon Oleny
Canoe cruise on Lake Mulehe, highly recommendable if you love photography tours
This experience will capture your heart with intriguing sights and sounds of Lake Mulehe. Found in Kisoro District(South-Western Uganda), it is a scenic crater lake that has a healing effect on the mind, body and soul.
You will have a calm paddle aboard a dug out canoe that is small and made for an intimate connections. Be prepared to get award wining pictures of green hilly landscapes with plantations of irish potatoes on their faces. The bonus is a mix of dormant and active volcanoes that perfected the beauty of Virunga region with their sky hugging summits. In their shadows are well organized villages of locals, most of whom hail from Bafumbira tribe.
As the sun rises gloriously, it creates clear blue skies which is beautifully reflected in this lake. This creates a powerful and energizing environment for adventure and re-discovery of one another.
As you ride on, you will encounter lots of birds with soothing music for your soul, like the malachite kingfisher. But that's half the story. The trip is just what you need to cool off and reflect on how far your relationship has come. Why? As opposed to being powered by a motorized engine which would disturb your peace, the canoe is steered by paddles.
The Kayaking option is equally so much fun, a great physical workout too! There is enough paddling to do. Throughout, you will be in the company of an extremely enthusiastic guide who is knowledgeable about the area.
If you love swimming, you can take advantage of the lake's bilharzia free state and jump in for a refreshing dip. The fish are quite curious and swim right up to yoo- so cute! You'll have absolute peace of mind considering lake Mulehe doesn't have any hippo or crocodile.
Cost:The adventure costs roughly 50,000UGX per person and can be booked through the various safari lodges in Kisoro.
Murchison falls boat cruise, a must do for the wildlife enthusiast
A boat cruise in Murchison falls National Park has all it takes to enchant all your senses, that is why it attracts over 200,000 tourists annually. It takes place on River Nile aboard a big boat with a lower and upper deck. Imagine how electrifying it would be to cruise on the world's longest river, a wonder that that started flowing even before Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. This beautiful biodiversity hotspot is home to tons of birds, reptiles, aquatic species and mammals like buffaloes, elephants, Uganda kobs and giraffes. All these can be easily spotted this a sightseeing boat cruise destined for the mouth of the river.
During this two hours experience, you will ride past small swamps systems with schools of hippos cooling of the heat with a swim. If you look keenly in the water, you will see gigantic crocodiles camouflaging with surrounding rocks. Their eyes are always glued to the shoreline to stalk prey that has come to quench its thirst.
They guide who will be entrusted with looking after you speaks so much about conservation and sustainable tourism. Their love for the park will make you want to stay there forever.
Smoking isn't allowed in the boat. As such, you are assured of having a lovely romantic cruise.
Cost: In short, the tour is good value for money and thus highly recommendable. Costs between 30,000 -120,000 UGX depending on whether you are an East African, Foreign Resident or Foreign tourist.
Lake Albert boat tour, hard to miss if you love glorious sunsets
By the end of this two hour trip, you will leave with memories of encountering lots of wildlife at the shores, reptiles, birds. The experience is crowned with sunsets that are thought provoking and inevitably lead to a great emotional release.
It is one of the most informative sightseeing tours of Western Uganda. It offers a relaxing way to learn about puzzling tectonic earth movements that led to the formation of the Albertine rift valley. It takes place aboard a wooden boat powered by twin turbo engines. Managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, the boats are very stable and quite comfortable.
The adventure is fun and exciting, but also informative. The guides on site know so much about the area. You will be impressed by how they value the environment, and the special role that each animal in Semuliki National Park has in sustaining its eco-system.
The cruise unfolds at a gentle pace, allowing you to see all types of birds that prey on fish possible. The biggest highlight is spotting Uganda's most sought species, the shoebill. Imagine encountering a pre-historic bird that has defied odds and outlived extinction since the time dinosaurs still walked the earth.
The longevity of the tour is perfect. It is long enough to allow you see all the animals on your bucket list but also short enough not to make you bored.
Cost: The tour costs roughly 50,000 UGX and can be booked through the luxury lodges in the park. One such is Ntoroko Game Lodge
Rafting river nile, a terrific dose of adrenaline rush
If you are feeling plain old stuck, in a relationship, this adventure is worth a special place on your bucket list for valentine. It entails overriding 8 major rapids of river that are well spaced over a scenic 24 kilometer stretch. This pushes you to the limits thereby enabling you re-discover how good you are at maneuvering over challenges that initially seem impossible to conquer. This goes along way in making you realize that solving the problems in your relationship is not as hard as it looks, as long as you are determined.
Regardless of whether you chose the half day or full day excursion, you will leave with both physical and emotional rewards.
Over 1,000 who don’t know how to swim have successfully and safely rocked the adventure since it began taking place over 20 years back. This is partly because safety is the main concern of the rafting agencies and standards of their equipment is second to none.
To start the day, you will served breakfast to fill you with sufficient energy ahead of your expedition. You will then be split into groups of six people each with similar appetites for adrenaline. Each will be led by a coach who has been rafting for over 10 years. He will ensure you are comfortable but most of all confident to rock the day. Shortly after boarding the raft boat at a calm stretch of the river, he will give you a safety briefing—purposed to enlighten you on how to have a trip that is free of regret and fear.
Having rafted countless times before, our safety crew know the river very well and will keep you safe throughout. You will swiftly come to your rescue just in case you fall out of your boat after it has hit a high wave. The rapids you will counter are on the bigger side but prior to confronting each, the raft will be consulted as to determine which line to pass take through. This will limit the number of times your boat will flip upside down. The beauty with rafting the Nile unlike an ocean or sea is that its water is not salty, it is fresh. As such, neither your eyes nor skin will be damaged. On the contrary, they will look exquisite and renewed in the end due to the healing effect of the mineral-rich water.
Our photography crew will be stationed at different strategic parts of the river to get highlights of your excursion.
Half way into your adventure, you will have a lunch stopover at one of the islands surrounding by exhilarating rapids and a rich concentration of beautiful birds
Costs: The average cost for a full day raft is $125
Sports fishing on Lake Victoria,
The entire excursion is well-organized and executed with good attention to safety. This lake is one of the very few fresh water bodies in the world that are still lonely save for a lone canoe in a distance. This allows you to rediscover what you like about each other without feeling like your privacy is compromised.
The temperatures in and around the lake is friendly all year around. Listening to the calm waves gently splashing the side of the boat will heal your mind and soul of whatsoever is troubling it.
If sport fishing with Wild Frontiers, your trip will be guided by a two man team that had done this over 200 time now. They will make sure you are well taken care of from start to finish. Even better, the boat is well suited for deep lake trolling.
The adventure starts with a briefing about the rules and regulations. Once versed in safety and operations of the boat you will get into the nuts and bolts of your mission. To go fishing!
The activity is easy as there are not many Dos and Don’ts. The artificial lures are designed in the shape of prey that are a delicacy for giant tilapias and nile perch. The guides are really patient instructors. This makes the activity doable even for first timers.
Throughout the excursion, there is no rush to get you back to shore, you will fish until you are were happy to pull in the lines.
The crew’s knowledge for the lake is hard to beat. They know where, when and how to hook the biggest catch. It might take lots of minutes before landing on a good catch, this makes the victory worth a huge celebration like a lottery win. Luckily, there are lots of beer on board. Did I say there was lunch too? Yes, there was.
The day will end with a brief visit to an Island in the Lake where the Equator passes.
Costs: An average of $125 with Wild Frontiers, a sports fishing agency based in Entebbe.