Tour de Ugandan Part 3
Second time at Queen Elizabeth National Park. My first visit to the park was in October exactly 9 months ago. Weather was a sunny 80F +/-. June to July is part of the dry season; although their dry season started on July 13th, the day I arrived.
Last time I stayed at Queen Elizabeth, I stayed at the Buffalo Lodge. This trip I and my safari partners, Tiwanah and Brian, stayed at Bush Lodge. Although, Bush Lodge and Buffalo Lodge were very close to each other, they might as well be miles apart. They were very different. Bush Lodge is next to the water and very bushy. Snakes were more common in the area. The staff said that green mambas were commonly seen there, but I think the snakes that we seen were Jameson's mambas. Ugandas do not know their reptiles and amphibians too well. Buffalo Lodge lives up to their name. Cape buffaloes hang out outside the lodge. You were allowed to walk around at night at Buffalo Lodge, but you were not allowed to walk around at night at Bush Lodge because hippos came to feed in the area at night.
As soon as we settled in the room, I saw a snake hanging on the bathroom door. Bush Lodge has bandas with an outside shower. Buffalo Lodge has rooms and is totally indoors. The bandas are not that secure, so you share your space with geckos and arthropods and an occasional snake. As soon as I saw the snake, it fell off the door and squirmed up the wall. The staff had to move us to another banda. This is Africa.
On our night drive, I immediately noticed that there weren't as much wildlife as there was in October. A local told me that July was a tough month to see wildlife and fall and winter were the best months to see wildlife. One thing that I noticed about July were the numerous white butterflies. They were in abundances and many birds and geckos were feeding upon them. Some of my photos have white spots on them, which are actually butterflies. During this drive, we saw the usual suspects: kobs, vervet monkeys, a few elephants in the distance, waterbucks, ground birds, etc. We did see one sickly lion (no photo) and a leopard before retiring for the night.
During the night, we heard hippos grunting and chopping away on vegetation outside our banda. The next morning we continue with our safari. We ran across 4 lions (3 females and one cub). We then did the boat cruise and where hippos, fish eagles, crocs, and elephants were commonly seen.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a must see. It's not the best African park to visit, but it's definitely a treat. Here are some final thoughts about Uganda and Africa in general:
1. Africans are better human beings in general. They are friendly and polite. They are simpler, humble, hard-working, and have an innocence about them that makes them more likeable.
2. Africans waste food like we do. I was taught to eat everything off your plate because there were people in Africa who were starving. Although, poverty is far worse than here, they rarely eat everything they're served.
3. After seeing African's megafauna and their exotic birds, it makes our wildlife less appealing.
4. Seeing the megafauna is humbling and makes me feel small in the larger scheme of things.
5. Food is different here. Not all of it is better. They don't know how to make pancakes and carrot juice, but their beef is superior to ours. I don't eat beef in the US anymore. I felt full and satisfied after eating their food.