I’m currently travelling in Uganda. I’ve been here for almost two weeks. Our group generally stays in dumps and eats on the cheap. We do this to minimize expenses. But last week, I hit the wall.
We had just entered Murchison Falls National Park and were taking 24 hours off to check out some of the Ugandan wildlife: antelope, lions, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, cape buffalo, and a wide variety of birds.
But I was in a daze. Instead of staying with the group, I decided to rest a few hours in a high-end safari lodge (Paraa Safari Lodge) near where we were staying the night (a backpacker campground).
At the lodge, I stumbled upstairs to the restaurant and decided to eat on the balcony which overlooked the Nile River.
The menu was interesting and I had my very own attentive waiter. Four courses for $20 (which included VAT and service charge), what a deal. I chose the following:
- Crispy Baby Lettuce Salad with Curry Mayonnaise
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Vegetable Stuffed Crepes with Gratinated Cheese and Tomato Salsa
- Chocolate and Coconut Paste with Chocolate Sauce
The meal was great. The salad was serviceable (I enjoyed the salad dressing) and the soup was largely a chicken broth (few noodles and no chicken). The crepes were enjoyable (stuffed with eggplant, cabbage, peppers, and mushrooms) and the dessert was terrific. A great deal of effort went into how the food was displayed on the plate.
I enjoyed being alone. I enjoyed the view over the Nile River. I particularly enjoyed the cool breeze. But the whole experience was very surreal compared to what I had experienced over the previous 10 days. Here was a little bit of Europe situated in the midst of central Africa. Here was a place where westerners can escape and see the animals and beautiful scenery with having to experience the poverty that surrounds the park and engulfs Uganda.
After I had spent a few hours in the lodge, I headed across the Albert Nile to the Red Chili camp, where I spent the night in a small circular hut with a share bathroom.
In case you are interested, the safari lodge has doubles for $220/night, and is probably worth it.