Kampala doesn’t lack for much but it has needed a quality, affordable, and fun park for the family. Now it has one. Lakeside Adventure Park is unique in Uganda and opened its beachside camp in Kyaggwe in September, 2011 with a whole host of activities to keep even the most high-energy visitors occupied.
It is possible to drive to Lakeside but that takes just under an hour and the boat ride is much more enjoyable. The park has two boats, one of which can shuttle up to 25 people across from the KK Beach Resort in Gabba in about 45 minutes and another, smaller boat which can seat eight and makes the crossing in about 10 minutes. If you arrive by small boat drivers meet you to take you the 5 minute drive to the park. All the boats are equipped with life preservers.
The ropes course is the real draw and why many people have heard of the park. It consists of two courses – the low and high course – and each take between 20-40 minutes to complete depending on the person. The courses are for both the young, and young at heart some as young as four and as old as 73 having completed the courses. Groups of 10 people can be climbing the course at any given time.
The courses involve climbing, clambering, balancing and swinging on and over swaying wooden stumps, ropes, and bridges from a height varying between 3m and 9m in height. There’s some physical acumen necessary but surprisingly little. As long as you’re not afraid of heights you can probably finish and if you are afraid of heights this is a great, and safe, way of confronting that head on.
No climbing experience is necessary and safety needn’t be a concern as the course was built by professionals using the highest quality mountaineering gear. Each climber is given a helmet and safety training on how to clip into the safety lines everyone is safe throughout the course. Those who fall, or simply can’t go on, are lowered by their harnesses safely to the ground.
If you’re not interested in climbing there are comfy couches, and chairs from which you watch the action while enjoying a drink from the ‘La Fiesta’ bar. Or, you can take a stroll down the grassy lawns (where those who can’t sit still can play some Frisbee or football) past the bouncy castles to the beach and sit by the lake. There you’ll also find a sand volleyball court, a dock from which you can fish, and a campfire.
The instructors and staff are friendly, fun-loving and conscientious – watching carefully as each person makes their way around the ropes course and shouting up helpful tips when necessary.
The experience is fun and safe – start to finish. And there is more to come with paintball, a climbing wall, climbing lessons and a night course all being planned. If you’re interested in having a group stay overnight there is a dormitory and 4 bandas but you should make sure to call ahead for a reservation.
Lakeside Adventure Park is ideal for a fun afternoon with just about any group – some friends, the family, school outings, birthday parties, youth groups or team building events. They do group catering and one teacher commented that he’d never seen finicky teenagers so happy about the food served before.
Remember to bring sunscreen, any sports equipment you’re interested in playing, and wear sports clothes – including trainers. If you’re not ordering ahead for their group catering you should bring snacks/lunch and a few thousand UGX for drinks from the bar.
The ropes course costs 50,000 UGX per person with transportation and food being extra and dependent on the group. Lakeside Adventure Park is open 9am-6pm. Visit their website here: http://www.lakeside.ug/. Or find them on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/LSAPUGANDA. If you’d like to email: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone is: 0393264433 Mobile: 0784047604 / 0756528583