Saturday, December 29, 2012

everything but the lion

We woke up at 5:50am to go on our safari at 6:30.  We had breakfast then met our guide, Drago.  He showed us around the African savannah and we were pleased to see elephants, hippos, wart hogs, giraffes, kobs (like a deer, one of Ugandans symbols), hartebeasts (like another kind of deer but with a horse like face), african buffalo and cranes.  We were also on the hunt for lions.  Though we didn't find any, we did see some fresh tracks.  We tried to read the tracks to figure out where they were but alas no lions were spotted. 

We were able to lounge by the pool after our morning drive. What a treat this was.  Deacon does not like the pool yet but he will learn by next summer to love it.  Then we headed out on a boat tour of the Victoria Nile.  This part of the nile was full of hippos. Everywhere you looked there was a cluster of hippos. Man, are the huge. There were old hippos, mama hippos and even baby hippos.  They were every where you looked.  We also spotted a couple of nile alligators. Our boat got so close to one that he could have jumped on board if he wanted too.  We saw so many birds as well, beautifully colored and in their natural habitat.

One thing that Ryan and I both commented on is how the safari and boat ride are within the animals natural habitat. There were not fences or gates or concrete barriers keeping them in. We were in their home.  We are fond of zoos and it made us hurt for those animals in captivity.   Though most of those animals have never known anything different it is a reality check to see what they come from and how freely they roam on the vast african plain.

After our morning and afternoon fun, we set out to our next destination, Choebe Safari Lodge.  Since the royals were coming to Paraa there was no room for us at the inn.  On that note, we heard it was Charles and Camilla but we didn't see them.  It ended up being the Queen's brother here for the Ugandan Jubilee celebration. 

The road to Choebe was dark.  We traveled through the park and I just knew a lioness was going to jump through my window and eat me.  After 2 hours on a dark savannah dirt road, we finally hit pavement.  Another hour of driving in darkness and we arrived at 9:30. I have never been so happy to arrive some where. I don't like driving at night and add in the fact that there were absolutely no street lights or other car lights around it made for an interesting drive.

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