Queen Elizabeth National Park

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
1
7
38
Trip End Dec 10, 2011


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Flag of Uganda  ,
Wednesday, November 9, 2011


The excitement this morning was the sighting and hearing of the hippo
last night.  Both Fiona and Mathieu heard it while they were up in the
night.  It was chomping on the grass right outside of Fiona's tent
platform.

We had something to drink and toast or cereal for breakfast and were off
for an early animal drive.  Of course, it got postponed because of the
wet roads.  Juliet and I did as much damage control as we could with all
of our wet stuff.  In case it rained again, we had to leave everything
to dry inside the tent.

The drive was kind of uneventful...Frederick had prepared us by explaining the history of
Queen Elizabeth National Park and the slaughter of the animals...thus
there are not so many to see.  But as we drove over the roads, we did
see fairly large herds of Ugandan cob, waterbuck, buffalo, some
elephants from a distance and some hippos in one of the lakes.  There
were some birds flying around but they were not identified except by
Juliet who called them prairie chickens.  We also noticed more of the euphorbia that I had seen as we came into the valley - prairie.The game drive lasted until about lunch.  We had to drive through the village again...which was a huge feat since the road was bumpy and very
muddy.  Of course lots of the village children waved as we bumped through town missing the chickens and goats by inches...I hope.

In the afternoon we went on a boat ride on Lake Edward (I think).  The other lake is named Lake George and is smaller.  There is a natural channel named Kazinga Channel that connects the two.  We had an extremely informative woman guide on the boat.  I mostly stayed on top and couldn't always hear her when she named all the birds that we saw.  I thought that I wrote the names down, but I think what happened was that Juliet wrote all the names down and I tried to help by remembering some of them.  In any case, I need help with identifying them now.  I tried to attach some names to the photos but they might very well be wrong and the most numerous birds are the ones I have absolutely no clue about. 

The boat motored along the shore where we saw lots of different kinds of birds...I see the larger ones best and usually it is only after I have zoomed in on the photos that I might be able to recognize them....otherwise they fall into the flying, swimming or walking bird varieties.  At one point we saw a group of buffalo in the water and on the shore.  Right next to them were a group of hippos in the water.  They would dive under the water and stay there for quite awhile sometimes.  But we did get to see at least one group of parents and babies that were playing around in the water.  There was at least one crocodile along the shore and the birds didn't seem to mind its being there with them.  As we headed back to our starting point, we sighted a lone elephant.  He seemed rather agitated, or hostile, and we knew why since Frederick told us the story.  We went beyond our starting point in the other direction and the storm clouds were gathering as we passed the fishing village on the lake shore.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the boat ride and wildlife viewing.  I think we were already beginning to savor the moments we spent out of the truck.

I am not sure I remember what, if anything,
happened after dinner.  It probably rained again.  But I think I remember putting the
last of the clothes in the tent a bit damp but not rained on.  We
talked a bit and finally got to sleep.  There were no more hippo reports
that I remember.
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