By Titus Kakembo
This is not a five–star hotel,” argued David Baker, the 73–year–old visiting great grandson of the 19th century explorer Sir Samuel Baker.
“It is the only place you can enjoy your braised assobucco (goat meat) while feasting your eyes on elephants, buffaloes and hedge hogs sunbathing.
The experience is made better by the ever smiling staff,” Baker says, as he pauses to sip a beer.
“Eating here is food for thought. It makes me wonder, what my great great granny Sir Samuel Baker had for lunch in 1865 when he was in the neighbourhood.”
Established in 1954, Paraa Safari Lodge is an ideal place to have lunch while touring Murchison National Park, just an hour’s drive from Hoima town.
If it was not for the table manners ingrained in me, I would have gone for a refill of tomato soup but I was in the company of Uganda Wildlife Authority executive director Andrew Seguya, journalists of repute and other dignitaries in the tour industry.
Time check 1:00pm. Not so far away by the pool bar, families were swimming and having a suntan on lie-back seats.
Suddenly, a waiter sidles with a tray of deep fried fish and chicken while another balances glasses of fruit juices and wine tumblers with expertise. This enticed me to shoot for the buffet.
I chose to wolf down steamed matooke, thick groundnut paste, pan seared Nile Perch white, braised assobucco and Missi Poli small chapatti made tastier by spices and pepper.
All was superb except, for the sh60,000 price tag. I felt cheated to find the bananas ripe. The fruit iuice was modestly priced at sh4,000.
The velvety fruit juice went softly down my throat like the River Nile does in older stages of its flow.
The waiters do not engage in conversation with diners but shuttle about like bullets to deliver orders. British royals, presidents and numerous big shots have been served here.
As you eat, a herd of elephants walk past.