Tales & images from life as me…

Wag Hill Weekend


I am very lucky to have a few amazing African experiences coming up over the next couple of months, but this weekend set the ball rolling right on my own doorstep.

My apologies to those who usually read my blog over a Monday morning coffee in the office – I am late this week because I was away at a little eco-lodge just across the lake from us known as Wag Hill (so named due to the initials of the owner and the little Wag Tail bird which frequents the area).

It is hard to believe this magical little spot is so very close to the city: it rests on a peninsula all its own, giving it that island vibe of glorious isolation. Anyway, I thought I’d share my Wag Hill weekend – mostly in pictures – this week, just to show you why I love this spot so much.

It had been a busy week for both of us so we did have to drag ourselves into Damien’s little boat with all the food (we took the self-catering option) and clothes, torches (very limited electricity there) and swimming paraphernalia (great pool!) – but once we were gliding across the perfectly flat lake drinking a Kilimanjaro beer, we were already in holiday mode.

Although they’re quite a climb, the rooms at Wag Hill are magnificent – each one is perched jauntily on a high point of jungle-land with a view across the lake, each one affords a different combination of angles. The privacy is absolute and you can shower looking out at the sunset, before climbing back down for drinks by the pool.

We sat chatting, eating and catching up, the low murmur of our discussion combining sleepily with the sounds of crickets and the lapping of the lake water. Only out of the corner of my eye did I spot that we had charmed a wild Genet cat from its lair. Stranegly it was when we paused, the absence of our voices broke the spell and it skittered back into the rocks. This little cat is a regular visitor to the barbeque beside the Wag Hill bar so we knew it could be tempted down again with a few leftover treats from dinner. Our baiting worked out well and I finally captured a few shots of our little friend.

Meanwhile in the distance the distinct call of hyena drifted through the darkness. Hyena in the city?! ‘Oh yes,’ confirmed Mbula ‘near the university’. We really were in the wild.

Finally heading for bed we were presented with a spectacular light show. The tiny fishing vessels which float in the lake throughout the night are each lit by a lantern and it causes a sea of little star-like dots across the water, it looks as though there might be another city out there, but it is only temporary and by the morning they have all dispersed.

The following morning I woke to the sound of chirping birds and the haunting cry of a Fish Eagle and opened my eyes just long enough to see the joyful pinks and oranges of a stunning sunrise, with the little lights from the fishing boats still lit along the water, almost ready to end the night’s work and head home. I am ashamed to say I then conked out again instead of reaching for my camera!

But I did get the camera out immediately after breakfast when we headed out on a fishing expedition (although when there are no fish it perhaps ought to be referred to as just –ing!). So there we were –ing under the warmth of the sun and simply watching. There were otters playing in the water, monitor lizards catching the rays, Fish Eagles watching the waters and kingfishers diving and tantalizing us with glimpses of their beautiful colours. The bird life around the lake really is incredible – I’d never much cared for birds until I came here, but if you don’t find these little personalities intriguing you’d be missing out for sure.

We swam, we read, we cooked (and ate too much), we chased monkeys (to stop them eating too much!) we drank (too much) and absolutely loved this tranquil little escape. How can anyone complain there is nothing to do around here?!

That night we were joined by friends and sat around a fire chatting over wine and snacks, enjoying the sounds of the water and the insects, birds and the occasional plop or glug of something in the water. You really do feel you are surrounded by nature. Perfect.

If you’re reading from here and want to make the most of a weekend, feel free to email Robyn on waghill-admin@mwanza.org to find out about their special summer self-catering deals.

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One response

  1. Wow! Brilliant pictures!

    May 28, 2012 at 1:34 pm

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