KALANGALA – I was fortunate to have been invited to attend a four-day media training workshop in Kalangala district last month.
Since I had never been to the Island district, I was ecstatic; my mind brimmed with fantasies of what I expected from this expedition.
This voyage started off at the National Theatre in Kampala on a pleasant Tuesday morning where the rest of the team I was to travel with had convened in a Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) branded bus.
We set off at exactly 10:35 am after a roll-call confirmation that everyone was actually on board. We headed out to Entebbe where we were to board our next means of travel to cross the lake Victoria.
MV Vanessa a high-end water vessel, was waiting for us by the lake shore to take us across this perilous water body that I was going to cross for the very first time in my entire life.
I stepped aboard this beautiful boat, I was amazed at its aesthetics, complete with a 32-inch LED television screen and very comfortable seats that carried all the 56 occupants on board plus the boat’s crew.
We were ushered into the hi-tech boat by a very warm-spirited and passenger-friendly stewardess, who instructed each of us to wear a life-jacket and how to manoeuvre in case of an emergency like if the boat suddenly capsized.
We then set off with the water waves roaring as MV Vanessa sped off at break-neck speed across the wide lake, sights and sounds of birds and fish on the water surface were all the eyes could see for several minutes of this aquatic journey.
After an hour or so, we could see the natural beauty of an island –Kalangala – beckoning us as we alighted from the flashy boat and made our way to the sandy beaches of the Island, opening us to a whole new world of lush vegetation, tall palm trees and a breezy tropical climate whose fresh air I could feel blowing through my hair.
A minibus and coaster picked us up and drove us through a dense minuscule forest with plenty of sights and sounds along the way to our final destination –the Brovad Sands Resort – which accommodated us for the next three nights.
Here, I saw beautiful cottages with a dual marriage of both ancient and modern architectural designs that combined a grass-thatched roof with a cleverly woven contemporary look – I enjoyed a hot shower to counter the cold temperature of the Breezy island district – though stingingly cold at night, it sure felt like home to me.
We were all treated to a three-course meal for dinner which lasted for about an hour and then several personal activities took over for the rest of the night.
Couples cuddled in dim-lit corners of the bar lounge as other singles; mostly male groups drunk the night away to spectacular sights of the Kalangala night feasting on the abundant fish that’s readily available.
At dawn, the distinct sound of various birds could be heard chirping in the distance. Such a sweet melody to my ears, I woke up, stretching my arms with a yawn- still drunk with sleep – and lazily walked to the balcony to have a closer view of this new territory that I had for long yearned to experience – It was delightful to say the least.
Other common activities on this Island include; swimming, fishing, forest and nature walks plus boat cruises and sun-bathing to mention but a few. There are enormous investment opportunities in Kalangala especially in the transport and accommodation sectors and many more that can be fully exploited given available resources.
I enjoyed every minute of my stay on this abundantly-blessed island and I still look forward to my next opportunity to this moment.