Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
80Trip End Apr 14, 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Sunday was pretty uneventful too- I was going to do some washing,but a girl from the huts opposite us came and asked ifshe could do it for us. She knows how to wash,so they got a lot cleaner than my feeble attempts.We hung it up onthe wall outside to dry while we went off to church(by theway sorry for the lackof spaces the space button onthis pc isa bit tempremental)
Monday morning we got picked up in a 6-seater 4WD (I sat in the front) by Asio, our guide for the next 3 days. He was 40 minutes late (to be expected) so we stood in the rain. I read my book. Had my umbrella though, which was lucky. It was a long 7 hour drive to Queen Elizabeth, driving through maize fields, with people cutting down bits at the roadside with scythes. Yet again it reminded me of Fiji. Before we knew it, we were at the equator- just a random line across the road, with 2 posts saying 'Uganda Equator'. We stopped for the obligitary photos and brought a postcard. Something really cool though- there were 3 identical basins, one on either side of the line, and one on the line, filled with water
As we were just driving along, we spied a zebra far in the distant plains, some Ugandan kob (very common- kind of like gazelles) and a group of Baboons sitting on the road, who proceeded to jump on the car in search of food! They look a bit scary, we were very glad we were safely inside the car. We stopped for lunch in Mbarara, in a hotel and then continued our journey through enormous tea fields (which looked like grass until he pointed out the tiny dots that were people's hats poking up between the plants) and past some great scenery over Queen Elizabeth National Park. THere were some kids who noticed my camera when we stopped for photos and said 'you give me camera' of course I refused, so they then continued to demand money, the newspaper, biscuits- anything they thought we had! I just laughed- they werent really asking, rather telling me to give it to them, so we got back in the car and drove off, while they grinned and waved madly.
We drove to Kasisi, the town where we would be staying for the next 2 nights, and checked into our hotel
We had an early start on Tuesday to go for a game drive- unfortunately we didnt see the sunrise because it was so cloudy, but the sun came out for a bit in the afternoon while we were on the boat which was good. We saw so so many animals, it was great- we hardly had five minutes go before seeing more animals. I sat on the windowsill of the car, so got good views all around. The most common animals we saw were the Ugandan kobs, who seemed to be everywhere, Waterbucks, warthogs and buffalos, and tons and tons of birds. Unfortunately I didnt really know what half the birds were and whether they were rare of anything, but we wrote a list of everything we saw so I'll just write that up! Half way through the morning we went to order lunch from this restaurant so it would be ready when we returned, and had pancakes overlooking the Kazinga channel (that links the 2 lakes in the park). We then went off on an elephant drive into this crater where you can apparently spot elephants quite often
Lunch was nice- we had to wait another half our despite arriving half an hour after they said it would be ready anyway, but you get used to it after a while. There were lots of bright yellow birds about- I think they were beeeaters? and a warthog family with 2 cute little ones (well- cuter than their parents at least. Warthogs are ugly.) We drove down the Kazinga Channel for our boat trip
Here's the list of all the animals we saw in the game drive and on the boat trip- are you ready?! Ugandan kob, waterbuck, warthog, buffalo, bee eaters, black shouldered kites, snake eagle, giant forest hog (apparently very rare- looks like a warthog but hairier), fish eagles, vulture, mongoose (mongeese?), a monitor lizard, long claw shrike, black headed shrike, grey backed shrike, yellow wagtail, red fire finch, pelicans, hippos, bison, a bird that looked like yazoo from the lion king, great white egret, african chookana, palman vulture, goliath heron (the biggest in the world apparently), red spotted bee eagle, batwing eagle, baby crocoldile, great cormorants and of course the elephants! Whoo reminds me of my list of food at the Bellagio! There were lots of other birds too that I didnt bother to write down- as they say, there are lots and lots of birds in Uganda!
Anyway this boat trip lasted about 2 hours or so, during which we drifted past hippos, coming within about 2m of some of them, watched the bufallos cool off, and saw a flock of great cormorants all standing with their wings out in the same direction- exactly the same direction
We all sat on the roof in the sun, and got talking to an American, who talked a lot about politics, so most of us just smiled and nodded to whatever he said. THere were germans on the boat too, who really reminded me of a couple of the germans in NZ. No comment about why. We got off the boat and drove back to our hotel, on the way spotting a hippo that had wandered all the way up the hill and was just in the grasslands- probably got a bit lost we reckoned
Yet another early start on Wednesday- and I had the old dilemma about whether to use the earplugs or not. I decided I would, and as a result, slept through my alarm, waking up one minute after we were meant to leave. Doh. Reminds me of a certain Grand Canyon trip... Luckily all I had to do was chuck stuff in a bag, so I was outside in 5 minutes. We were going Chimpanzee tracking today! Despite asking repeatedly for NO EGG in our sandwiches, having seen how undercooked they were the day before, we all picked up our packed breakfasts to find a fried egg sandwich and a bag (yes, a bag) of juice. I put up with the sandwich until I found some shell, and I poured my juice into a bottle to take tracking since we had no water given to us. We missed the sunrise because of the clouds yet again, but when we arrived at the Chambura Gorge the sky was making pretty colours at least. We waited half an hour for our guide to be ready, before driving to the starting point with our walking sticks we had been given (literally sticks). The Gorge is 100m deep at 50m wide at its deepest and widest, and we climbed down a very steep slope to get to the bottom! It wasnt exactly muddy, but the soil was quite easy to slip in, so I was glad I had my walking boots. Anyway we walked through this rainforest that looked quite similar to the rainforest in Cairns, with big tall trees and thick undergrowth (kind of wished I hadnt worn a skirt), clambering over tree roots and ducking under vines. We saw 2 Black headed colombus monkeys sitting high up in the trees- the same one Ross has in friends I think. It was cool to see them in the wild- they were just happily sitting up there, watching us.
After about a 10 mnute walk we came to this river, with a tree trunk that had fallen over it
I didnt really do that much on Thursday other than read my book, recover, and go to the supermarket in Nansana. On the boda boda coming back he asked where I wanted to go- and the only place I can say is 'our house'! There isnt really a name for where we were going, but most drivers know where it is. Mine didnt, but he managed to follow the others so all was OK. We did have one big event of the day though *vegitarians look away now*: we brought a chicken for dinner. Chicken here doesnt come in a nice package in the supermarket, you buy them live in the market, and do everything yourself. I was quite looking forward to having a chicken running around our back yard until we decided to eat it (!) but unfortunately Karen was holding it rather tight on the boda boda back up to the house, and she thinks she might have strangled it by accident