NU members during a naturewalk at NaCCRI

Embracing the Wonders of Nature: My First Nature Walk Experience at NaCCRI

On Saturday, 26th August 2023, I arrived at the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCCRI) for my first nature walk organized by NatureUganda. Despite the cold and misty weather that embraced us, the excitement of exploring the institute’s diverse landscapes and learning about the wonders of nature was palpable.

On arrival, we immediately strapped on our powerful Binoculars (provided by NatureUganda) ready for the exploration. NaCRRI’s Farm Manager, Jude Abitegeka, briefed us about the composition of the institute, what to expect, and how we were to move in the fields.  Melodies from a pair of Hadada Ibis that was perched on the tree where we had converged kept us company throughout the briefing.

NaCCRI, with its conceivable size and structure, is a haven for nature enthusiasts and researchers alike. As we embarked on our nature walk, Jude enlightened us about the botanical gardens, experimental farms, and diverse crop varieties. As we ventured deeper into the fields, our senses were heightened at the sight of two beautiful Great Blue Turacos perched on a tree a few metres from where we were. As we observed the various crops flourishing, the harmonious melodies of birds created a captivating symphony of nature.

The bird watching experience, led by Robert Bahindi, an experienced birding enthusiast was truly fascinating. Robert’s keen sense of hearing allowed him to identify various bird species by their calls. Our species list included Black-headed Heron, Broad-billed Roller, Woodland Kingfisher, and Splendid Starlings among others. In total, we spotted 36 different species. Adding to the excitement, Sarah Nassunna, a knowledgeable botanist, enlightened us about the trees we encountered and their medicinal properties. Our nature exploration also offered delightful encounters with Velvet monkeys, squirrels, and the beautiful fluttering of butterflies.

Being part of the NU-organized nature walks demonstrated the strength of unity and shared passion for nature. Interacting with fellow participants who shared a common goal of appreciating and preserving the environment fostered a sense of camaraderie. The exchange of ideas and experiences enriched the journey, leaving us inspired to play our part in protecting our natural heritage.

I thank NatureUganda and NaCCRI for the unforgettable adventure that allowed me to reconnect with the beauty and wonders of nature.

Story by Ahabwe Percy, Volunteer at NatureUganda