At that moment I was mesmerized by the loneliness of the lake; it was gentle, yet wild, stormy yet somehow so serene. I knew at any moment it would get dark and moody, and yet in all its moods, I could see myself. With each raging wave, my heart kept throbbing against my chest, I could feel my limbs grow light. The voices of the air kept singing to me, as the sounds of the waves kept crashing on the side of our boat, I felt completely one with nature. The earth seemed so far away and little; somehow I could touch the clouds, it was as if they were above my head, and I could stretch my arms to them. The wings of the rushing wind kept bearing me onwards; like a compass I waited on them to direct me. “What was this sensation that came with cruising around the lake? Why did the loneliness of the lake manage to mesmerize me so much? How did I end up here captivated and taken by the lake’s expressive features?”
After an eventful week in Kampala, my friends and I decided to slow it down. Before heading back to Nairobi we decided to explore the hidden gems that Uganda had to offer. The short but very knowledgeable drive, thanks to the lovely, soft spoken Doreen, the sales executive at the resort was quite enlightening. We finally arrived at our destination, And there it was; beyond the shores of Lake Victoria, a beautiful setting that completely took our breath away.
Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort and Spa located on the shores of Lake Victoria is what I imagined a slice of paradise to be. Probably it was the lush green lawns surrounded by beautiful Rose flower gardens all around, trickling down to the shores of Lake Victoria, as it sparkled in the background, that somehow had a way of making one’s anxieties slowly ebb away.
Something about the décor inside the hotel caught my eye; from the intricate mosaic paintings, and soft pastel colors, the building echoes the architecture of a classic Roman villa, yet at the same time it had a way of bringing you back to Africa with the rustic pool terrace and studded acacia trees all around. Wandering toward the terrace area, there was so much to soak in on the unique architecture all around, but the view in front of me completely took my breath away.
The water cascades and charms of the waterfalls, sandwiched between beautiful green lawns felt like I was gazing through a painting, yet I was still part of the canvas with all its strokes and pastels. The water fountains created an illusion, which almost sweeps down to the shores of Lake Victoria, enhancing the tranquility and charm of the resort.
The hunger pangs from admiring the textures, and paintings around the hotel, started kicking in fast. Among a few things I love about Serena is their buffet, which always includes the local cuisines of the place; this gave us a chance to indulge in all the Ugandan culinary delights our appetites were able to handle. Doreen and the ever hospitable Shabiba managed to convince us, that there was no better way for us to unwind and take it easy after such a hearty meal, than to take a cruise along Lake Victoria. I figured since I live in the oceanic city of Mombasa, surrounded by water all around, there was nothing really special about taking a cruise around Lake Victoria. Clearly Lake Victoria was about to prove me wrong.
We headed to the Boating Marina from the hotel in high spirits (pun intended). I was curious to find out whether a cruise around Lake Victoria is as enchanting as everyone says it is. It wasn’t too long before the panoramic view of the Lake from the Marina managed to captivate my attention with its tranquility. There’s a certain sparkle Lake Victoria has, which somehow seduces your gaze like a moth to a flame.
Fully strapped with our life jackets and stocked on a few bottles of wine, we were ready for a late afternoon cruise around Lake Victoria.
Patrick, our Captain for the cruise welcomed us aboard while Blondie’s The Tide Is High played in the background. It was probably the corniness of the song, which managed to ignite some excitement in me. The cruise started off quite calm and easy, which gave us a chance to enjoy our bottles of wine, while soaking in the sun. It probably could have been the long distance that lay in front of us, but there’s something about going out on the water on a calm day, from the beautiful shores of Lake Victoria, which makes you feel the creases of nature smiling down on you.
Never have I seen such a delightful view, as when the sun was brightly reflected by the water, while the waves gently ripped on the boat. From far away, I could occasionally spot a few row-boats and the quieter motion of a few vessels. The Marina was still well in sight, but slowly it began fading away from the horizon as we headed deep in the waters.
The waves no longer teased our boat, rather they began raging and their fury was thrilling, yet intense at the same time. I tried capturing a few shots from my camera, but the strokes kept getting stronger by the minute, forcing me to take as many shots as I possibly could.
About thirty minutes quietly gazing at the horizon, we spotted a few surrounding islands around the Lake, such as the Mulungu landing site, and I kept wondering to myself, whether one could ever get enough of the enchanting view Lake Victoria had.
Our captain managed to slow down a bit, for us to absorb the view as much as possible before heading back to the Marina.
The cruise back was quite tumultuous; the saying time and tide never wait for man, felt so true at that point in time. With each crushing wave, I was torn between what to save; my glass of wine or cover my camera making sure it didn’t get wet. Each crashing wave, felt like an electric rush through my veins: I never felt so alive than at that very moment. The Lake had a way of deceiving us that it was calm and gentle on the surface, yet it managed to falter its mood before we had time to embrace it. Eventually, the waters became calm; we could see the Marina on the horizon, as our captain decided to mellow it down with some slow tunes. The kind of tunes that made you think about life, love and everything in between.
Taking a cruise around Lake Victoria is an experience one never forgets easily. I lingered back, envious of the couple who were just about to enjoy their sundowner cruise along Lake Victoria. I felt like I had gone on a voyage of discovery, not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. It was an experience that words can’t truly begin to describe; one needs to experience it, to truly grasp the beauty that Lake Victoria has. The cruise had left me speechless;but after coming back to reality, I realized there was still so much we were yet to discover about Lake Victoria Serena.