Safari at Queen Elisabeth National Park

Wasuze otya nno?


Time flies quickly. In the twinkling of an eye, I’ve just realised that there are only 31 days out of total 70 that left till my flight back to the UK. And I still have so many things to tell you about Uganda!

On the way to Mbarara.


I had exciting and busy 5-day holidays in Uganda last week. ICS volunteering programmes are characterised by a so-called Mid-Term Review which is the only opportunity to reflect on what has been done and what are the challenges working in our business setting. This time is crucial for all volunteers as it allows us to rest a bit and prepare for the next month of work. Our group was very lucky. We were sent for 4 nights to Mbarara, a town in western Uganda, about 260km from Kampala.

Distances in Africa are different to Europe. The journey takes n-times more than in Europe. Depends on the infrastructure.  Kampala is in purple, our hotel in Mbarara in orange, the national park in red.


Mbarara is much calmer than the capital. Situated on picturesque hills of banana plantations, the town is a perfect hub to explore the western part of Uganda, in particular, to see one of the main attractions of the country – Queen Elisabeth National Park. This natural reserve is the second biggest in Uganda and attracts its visitors with a variety of species and an incredible savannah landscape.

The view over banana trees from our hotel. Bananas are the most basic food of Uganda.


My African dream came true and I went on a safari for the very first time to see the greatest African animals in the wild. A safari in Swahili means a journey and indeed it was a long journey from Kampala to get to Queen Elisabeth National Park. But the arduous way on a crowded bus and an expensive ticket were definitely worth it. It’s a truism to say but an experience even in the most amazing zoo is nothing compared to this…

Can you feel the love tonight? A lion with little simbas.


I’m allowing you to enjoy the beauty of safari in the photos below. This time I’m limiting myself to short comments about the photos instead of a long post.

We had to enter into a high grassland to meet these kitties. Lions are supposed to be very lazy. As our guide told us, they can lie for about 18hrs a day and remain active only at night. Perhaps because cats in general see better at dark.


 

We saw this amazing creature having breakfast in a bush.

…and another elephant with an offspring in the afternoon shade.


A herd of antelopes.

Male antelopes fight with each another to prove their dominance during mating time. A lady waiting for the result in the background.


Do you remember this funny warthog from ‘The Lion King’ singing ‘Hakuna matata’? These are two Pumbas.


Angrily-looking-at-me-and-chewing-grass buffalo;P


I don’t remember the name of this huge bird but it looks quite scary when you try to eat some food in a local restaurant and this creatures walks around the garden you eat in.


These mongooses were quite ridiculous eating food waste from a local bar.


Some baboon on the way back.


East African landscape.


Even though I haven’t seen giraffes (an extinct species in Uganda), zebras, and leopards (very rare to be seen), I definitely enjoyed this short safari in Uganda. It gave me a lot of incentive to come back to Africa for a longer experience. I heard that Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa are the best places for this type of activity. Who knows when will be my next time;).

My new friend.


You can find out more about Queen Elisabeth National Park here. If you want to explore more about national parks in Africa, I recommend the following places:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_parks_in_Africa

http://travel.cnn.com/africas-10-best-national-parks-218773

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/africa/places/africa-s-best-wildlife-parks

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