Suni & Ralph


I was born in Kenya where my German father and my Scottish mother met, married and had two boys. My parents moved to Germany when I was 5 years old but continued to go back to Africa as often as they could. I loved Africa. My earliest memories of our safaris remain vivid. I spent all my summer holidays from the age of 14 either on game ranches in South Africa, helping set up Safari Camps in Tanzania or travelling with my parents through East Africa. After completing school I travelled for 9 months overland from Germany through central Sahara, West and East Africa and all the way to Namibia in a Peugeot 305. This trip inspired me to live in East Africa, the most magical part of the continent.

As part of my studies in Economics and Tropical Agriculture I spent 6 months on a game ranch in Namibia and on another occasion travelled through Western Sahara. We started in Germany and drove through Senegal ending in Niger where we sold our 20 year old Mercedes; that sale financed our entire trip. After completing my Master’s thesis in Microfinance in Vietnam, I first worked in a GIZ (German International Development Cooperation formerly GTZ) conservation project in Tanzania for 7 months and then came to Uganda in 2000 where I also worked for GIZ. For two years I was involved in the Murchison Falls National Park Rehabilitation and Community Conservation Project which was a great experience and opened my eyes to the tourism potential in Uganda.

In June 2000 I met Suni in Kampala and we quickly became a couple sharing a passion for the African bush. As my dream was always to set up a safari lodge, we started looking for a suitable location and found the Mihingo rocks in 2001. Before we could start building Mihingo I worked for the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation certifying local tea and coffee farmers in Uganda, flower farms in Kenya and fruit farms in South Africa. In this period we also opened two more Banana Boat shops; a craft business that Suni had started. We finally began to build Mihingo in June 2005 but did not really get going until the September. Mihingo opened on 6th February 2007.


I was born in Kenya in 1971. My British mother, Sarah, was an artist. My Hungarian father Joska Magyar, was a hunter. Sadly we had to leave Kenya in 1977 due a bad car accident, after which my mother decided that we should move to England where she could get proper medical care. We left my father who ended up living the rest of his life in Tanzania.

In 1984 my mother re-married a lovely Scotsman called Ewan Graham who had two sons of his own. As Ewan was an Argyll and Sutherland Highlander in the British army we lived all over the world: Scotland, Germany, Belize, Turkey, Zimbabwe, England and finally Uganda.

Ever since I was little I had dreamed of living in the bush. We often used to go back to Kenya to see friends and in 1985 we stayed with Mum’s very good friends Sue and Willy Roberts in the Mara at one of their first camps. I will never forget how amazing it was. They had a tented camp on the edge of the Mara river. The bath was a free standing old fashioned bath on the top of the river bank. You sat in the dark with candles burning, listening to the night sounds. It was the most magical time ever and I have never forgotten it. They now own Sirikoi which is an incredible lodge in the beautiful Lewa Conservancy.

1992 was exciting for us all because Ewan was posted to Kampala as the Defence Adviser in the British High Commission. I was at Newcastle University at the time studying combined honours in Ancient History and History of Art.

We spent magical family holidays exploring Uganda’s beautiful national parks. It was then I realised how different Uganda is from its East African neighbours. The national parks are so unspoilt and you often feel as though you are the only person in the whole park. It is also lush and tropical.

Not only does Uganda have over 300 species of mammals, but the bird life is incredible with over a 1000 species of birds. The people make Uganda very special; they are so friendly and warm. The weather is perfect: not too hot, not too cold and Uganda has an unrivalled 19 different species of primates including the magnificent mountain gorilla which roams the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

It was sad to leave Uganda in 1995, but I was sure that one day I would return. I moved to London and got a job working for Union Castle Travel. I was the booking agent for Mala Mala in South Africa and Mashatu in Botswana. It was an interesting job but I realized that I spent all my time sending people to Africa, when in fact all I wanted to do was to live there myself. So in 1996 I went back to Uganda and I ended up staying. I have been here ever since!

While I was at school I always loved going to see my cousins and visiting their wonderful shop in Hampshire called ‘Broughton Crafts’. It was full of wonderful treasures and I had thought it would be great fun to have a shop. So in November 1996 I opened my first tiny shop in Kampala on Buganda Road. It was 2m x 3m and sold modern art prints, various imported gifts from the U.K, beaded sandals and assorted African crafts.

I met Ralph in Kampala in 2000. Ralph started to help me with Banana Boat and loved going on adventures looking for new and different products to sell while also working for the Fair Trade labelling organisation. We opened Banana Boat Garden City in 2002 and Banana Boat Lugogo in 2004. At the same time we had two boys, Debasien and Fergus.

Ralph had always dreamed of opening a lodge and I had always dreamed of living in the bush, so in 2001 we decided it was time to look for a piece of land to build our own lodge. We decided that Lake Mburo would be the best park because it is so beautiful. It is the closest park to Kampala and half way to the Gorillas. So on 1st October 2001 we set off to Lake Mburo National Park in search of land. The rest of our adventure can be found under the MIHINGO STORY section of this website.