Game Drive and Boat Trip on the Channel in QE NP

Trip Start Jul 23, 2010
Trip End Apr 17, 2011

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Flag of Uganda  ,
Friday, January 21, 2011

Nasser got us up early this morning for a game drive in the National Park. Since the heat of the day pushes the wild animals into the shade/hiding, the best sightings are early morning after sunrise or evening before sundown. Because the drive to the park is so far, we took along packed breakfast and lunch, which worked out to our advantage, since we would have been heading back to the lodge for breakfast about the time we saw a herd of 30 elephants with babies on the savannah.

The elephant moms are very protective of their babies, as are most mammals, I guess, but we were still able to get some good shots of them, including one nursing (you should see this in the photos).

We also saw a lot of Uganda Kob, African Cape Buffalo, Hippopotamus, and a variety of birds.

We visited another beautiful lodge, the Mweya Lodge, and enjoyed a scenic view from their outdoor deck, where we had our lunch, overlooking the Kazinga Channel that joins Lake Edward and Lake George.  From our vantage point, we could see elephants, buffaloes and hippos bathing in the water across the channel. 

Our afternoon itinerary included a boat ride along the channel, which is within the protected area of Queen Elizabeth National Park.  We left from the Mweya Lodge area, and went across the channel to see the animals we were looking at from the lodge.  Among the herd of elephants was a very young baby.  We were stationed at this point about 20 minutes, before the elephants stampeded out of the water, which was quite a sight (see the video attached). 

As we worked our way up the channel, we saw a beautiful variety of birds, from kingfishers to eagles.  At one point, we pulled up along the shoreline for a close-up of some wildlife, as a floating bog moved our way and firmly sandwiched the boat between it and the shoreline.  It took a good 15 minutes to figure out how to get out of this predicament.  The boat driver and guide lifted the prop and actually tried to push the bog off the boat, but it was clearly too large to be budged.  We started unloading (not me… afraid of the Nile crocodile), when we realized that if we shifted us all to the front of the boat, we could float our way forward and be freed… it worked! 

Near the end of the trip, we saw a leopard in the distance… not long enough to get a good view of with binoculars, or to get photos.  No matter, we had a very enjoyable trip with lots to see.
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