Have you ever had the sudden urge to live your life with no excuses, or to travel with no regrets; get to explore what our beautiful continent has to offer? I’ve always yearned to discover and explore various rich cultures around our borders; to be spontaneous and be ready for any adventure that came my way.
We embarked on a random journey to Kampala by bus with a few friends; with the sole purpose of exploring the various attractions Kampala had to offer. The long journey by bus is quite draining, considering the extensive paperwork and security searches at the border; not to mention the police checks along the way. As tiring as the whole journey was, the scenery along the way was breathtaking; catching a glimpse of the River Nile in Jinja had me wishing we could stop for a few minutes just to capture a few photos. Getting lost in thought, while staring at the green, hilly pastures along the way, made the arduous trip quite bearable.
When we finally reached Kampala, almost 24 hours later, we decided to explore the city for a few days before heading to Kampala Serena Hotel for our stay. Maneuvering through the city, amidst the chaotic boda bodas and traffic proved to be such a daunting task in Kampala, but fortunately our Ugandan Ssebo Allan was there to save the day. Allan gave us a tour across the city for the next few days; we got to experience Uganda’s vibrant nightlife; which I might say, is quite different from our Kenyan mannerism of casually dressing up on a normal night out! The food in Kampala was something else as well; and it was only a matter of time before Allan got us addicted to Rolex and TV chicken in Wandegeya!
Our first few days in Kampala were quite adventurous and thrilling to say the least; we got to experience the Ugandan way of life from a local’s point of view, rather than we would have experienced it as tourists. As much as I enjoyed the spontaneity of our trip, I kept longing for some stability; a place that reminded me of home. Fortunately my traveling companions felt the same way too, and we all couldn’t wait to check in at The Kampala Serena Hotel.
The drive to the hotel had it’s fair share of adventures along the way, and as usual one Owaahh whom, we almost organized a search party for, after disappearing quite too often on us, had to keep us waiting before we finally arrived at the hotel. One thing I love about Serena, is the lovely hospitality one receives the moment you step into their hotels; and the warm reception we got as soon as we arrived at Kampala Serena, was nothing short of Serena’s way of making you feel like you’re home away from home.
I must admit, I’ve always had my reservations regarding city hotels, mainly because they always seem to have an aura of business or a transit place to them; which in turn, makes me feel quite uneasy when I’m on holiday. However my perception changed once we arrived at The Kampala Serena Hotel. The hotel felt like an oasis from the action packed week we all had; probably it was the lush acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens, or maybe how it was encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, which gave me a sense of tranquility; something I was longing to experience, the moment we left Nairobi.
After a lovely dinner hosted by Kampala Serena for bloggers and writers across East Africa, we had a chance to unwind and relate our stories, experiences and had a chance of networking with various bloggers across East Africa. Despite the vibrant energy across the room, I couldn’t wait to head back to my room and finally get some good night’s sleep, of which I hadn’t been able to, since we arrived in Kampala.
Despite waking up early from the rain pouring outside, I headed to the balcony overlooking the freshly lawn gardens; as I sat there, I kept wondering to myself: what was it about traveling, discovering new places, which always brought me some sort of fulfillment. I sat there for a few minutes, inhaling the fresh cool air, staring at the lovely water gardens and I finally realized one important thing; traveling had a way of making me get lost and found all at the same time.
Before heading over for breakfast, I decided to wander off, just to soak in the décor and familiarize myself with the place. What caught my eye was the hand carved panels and shimmering mosaics on the walls, which complimented the African decor around the lobby area.
There’s something about the outdoor décor that captured my attention though; the architecture surrounding the water gardens in some way felt like it was inspired by Lake Victoria itself, which somehow gave you an illusion of being in a resort more than a city hotel!
Since the boys were still sleeping, I got to enjoy some quiet time alone during breakfast and continued on with my little tour of the hotel, which led me to the pool terrace area.
The beautiful rock- sculptured pool terrace was such a beautiful sight to behold; I stood there for a while, soaking in the lovely view in front of me, wishing we could extend our stay at the hotel for a day or two.
In each and every Serena I have ever been to, the one place which always gives me some peace of mind has always been Maisha, Mind Body and Spirit Spa.
The palace design at the spa in Kampala Serena, resembled some sort of enchanting castle, in which you could get lost to, away from everyone else for a few hours and come out rejuvenated.
Traveling is never a matter of money but of courage, as I got to discover on our week long escapade in Kampala. In the midst of all the chaos we came across through out our trip, I’m glad I got to stumble upon Kampala Serena along the way. Yet, as I was soon about to discover, that wasn’t the only gem, we were going to come across. As soon as we left Kampala Serena, we headed over to Lake Victoria Serena in Entebbe, which was the perfect ending to our holiday in Kampala.