Monday, 7 May 2012

A Piece of Heaven in Mabira: Griffin Falls

If you like a green, quiet place to unwind then Griffin Falls Campsite could be your option. It is not your fancy campsite but offers an out-of-town feeling- somewhere in Mabira Forest where birds sing, it rains any time any day.

There are some few permanent housing facilities at the Griffin Falls Resort but that will not stop visiting tourists from pitching their tents or hire some during their stay.  One of the things on the to-do list here is sleep and get to enjoy the feeling of waking up to singing birds or playful monkeys like the red-tailed, velvet and the grey-cheeked Mangabeys in the campsite compound.

Forest walks are the other adventure which, I must say, is not for the faint-hearted. It starts right at the campsite and will lead you through the thick shrubbery and all the way down to the little known Griffin Falls. The proprietors of this campsite, the Mabira Forest Community Organisation, made it easy for the adventurers. There are guides painted in blue on different trees to lead you on until you reach the Griffin Falls.

It is a bit of a sweat out and if you are walking in a group you will consider taking it slow and easy in order to take care not to leave the unfit behind. Even the physically fit will lose copious amounts of sweat, not from the sunshine but the walk, which is an exercise on its own. The forest paths are clear as they are frequently used. You would do well with gumboots or strong footwear especially given the ground is sometimes slippery when it rains.

There is normally a guide willing to walk you through the forest as they explain to you about different trees which are also medicinally rich. There are also butterflies in various types and colours that show for their beauty.  Facts show that the forest is home to nature’s best trees such as musanga, the Prunut Africana tree, which is said to be used in treatment of prostate cancer and Kigelia Africana among other types. One will also find primates, butterflies, birds and insects among other ecology.

It will take approximately one hour or so walking through the forest and to the Griffin Falls which Hebert Kyabasinga Mutyaba one of the regulars says should have a local name. But rather than simply walk through you can spend a night in the forest or spend a night at the campsite where campfires are lit in a traditional African way.

At the falls, one is bound to feel relaxed and alive. A swift wind blows from one end of thick forest and to the rocks from which one can see falls violently hitting against the rocks to create a brown colour therein. This is at a raised ground but then it pours into a peaceful bed of water where it runs through to two different raised levels and to the most peaceful part which can be viewed through leaves of trees.  At this point there is a wooden bridge which is not inviting because it almost giving way. You would not like to falls into these fast waters. The rocks are strong though not well tended. Here you can find a place to sit, read a book, chat with friends or as a couple as you watch the falls and enjoy the scenery. Griffin Falls resort is located right in the middle of the forest and flow through it.

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