May 1, 2016
Morning came early today- we had to rise at about 5:30am to get ready for our early morning game drive. We were all surprised at how cold it was when we started out. This was especially so because not only was the weather cool, but the top of the Safari jeep was open and the wind whipped through the vehicle. But as soon as we started seeing the animals, the cold was less prominent on our minds.
We saw tons of the Ugandan Kob, an antelope which is also the National amimal. We saw Forest and Cape buffalo, many birds, and LIONS!! The first group of lions we saw was way in the distance and then we saw another group a tad bit closer. Both those groups could be seen only with the ranger guide’s binoculars. But then we saw lions up in a Cactus tree!! I couldn’t get a good picture but we could see them with our own eyes, especially the tails hanging down and wagging. Then one of the further group of lions ambled over to the ones in the tree and climbed up to join them!
Later we were able to see another group of 3 lions up really close. It was close enough to get a decent picture with my iPhone. I have some even better ones, though, with my camera. When we got back we had a huge “American” type breakfast. The food is great here. After only a couple of hours of free time, which I used to re-pack my suitcases for the flight tomorrow, we ate another up yummy meal- lunch. I was hardly hungry enough to eat it, but of course I did.
In the afternoon we took a double-decker boat ride on the Kazinga Chanel, a natural body of water than connects 2 lakes, Lake George and Lake Edward. We hit the jackpot on the boat ride in terms of Amimal sightings. We saw many, many Cape Buffalo in the water surrounded by numerous species of birds, and even more hippos all over the place. We saw 2 crocodile and a huge old elephant that let us take his picture from many angles for about 15 – 20 minutes before he decided to go on the land and we had to head back. Most of the hippos were in the water laying on top of each other but we also saw some on land- how huge they are! We even saw adorable baby hippos. It’s hard to think about how dangerous they are when they look so cute. We passed by a native fishing village and were horrified to see 2 teenage boys swimming in the water where we had just seen crocodiles and hippos. When I asked the ranger guide about how safe this was he said that he didn’t recommend it and it was 10% safe. We all took this to mean a 90% chance of a bad outcome. We agreed those weren’t good odds. The fishermen were getting their boats ready to go out for the night. Apparently their routine is to fish all night long and come back in the morning. They have long narrow wooden boats and I don’t know how they would be able to see, but I suppose they fish by moonlight. Tilapia and catfish are the main fish they catch.
Now we are back at the beautiful lodge relaxing and some are swimming in the pool. Tomorrow morning we head to Lake Mboro National Park for another game drive then onto the airport for our flight home.