Sunday, December 04, 2016

Game Driving and a Boat

We got up very early, 5:30, as Kazeem wanted to do an early morning game drive.

We heard a party/music all night from the town close by, and I heard hippos all night long. The sleeping mats are crap and neither of us really slept very good. Well, only one more night, then no more camping.

Nothing very exciting during the game drive. I think we totally got spoiled from the Serengeti. One lion, quite a number of Ugandan Kobs (antelope), warthogs and other antelope. Not nearly the numbers in Serengeti.

Then we headed back to the camp for lunch, then at 12:30 left for our boat cruise along the channel that runs between George Lake and Edward Lake. We first stopped at a super high-end resort, Mewai. Swimming pool, overlooking the lake, super nice cabins, full restaurant/bar, super nice premises. We were allowed to walk around for a while. We got the price list. The starting price for the basic accomodation, including breakfast, was $205 USD/night. The Queen room was over $1000 USD/night. And that price doesn't include any activities. Mom, would definitely enjoy it.

At 2:00 we went to the jetty and boarded a nice double-decker boat for a boat cruise. The cruise went along the shoreline and there were tons of animals along the shoreline, drinking and cooling off in the water. Buffalo, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, baboons and tons of various birds. The crocodiles live right along with the other animals, which surprised me a bit. But I guess the crocs live on a diet of fish and don't try to take down any animals, so they live alongside each other. We saw a couple of hippo fights as well, which are apparently common. We also floated along by a village, where the villagers live alongside the channel, with the local fauna. The villagers can fish the lakes, but can't fish in the channel, as it's a national park. There was also a small fish market.

After the cruise, we did an evening game drive, and we went back to the same lion we saw yesterday. He was lounging in the sun, then moved along and climbed up in a tree. So, we got to see a tree climbing in the end, one of the last hurrahs of game driving. We were spoiled by the Serengeti, the game driving here wasn't all that grand. In retrospect, instead of doing a day of game drive, we should have went to the chimp trekking here (in addition to the gorillas). Oh well, we didn't know.

We got back to camp quite late, it was already dark. We had supper, then around 9:30 Tracy and I headed to the tent. We got to the tent and there was an awful manure like stench by our tent. We wondered what had taken a dump in the vicinity. We walked over the toilet and there was an awful reek. We kinda heard strange noises coming from other side of the hedge, so Tracy went into the bathroom, and I shined my light over the hedge to try and see. I saw this large gray mass. Is that an elephant? I wasn't sure and didn't believe it, so I looked again, and saw it again, then it turned towards me and I saw the massive tusks and it's eyes reflecting back at me. YIKES! I'm like less than 10 feet from an massive elephant, with only a bush in between us. The elephant was feeding on trees behind one of the cabins, right beside the washroom building. We weren't sure if this was "normal" or not, so I went back to the dining area, fortunately our guide was still there (the staff don't really speak english), and I told them there was an elephant right near our tent. They look surprised and confused, like they didn't quite know what to do. They talked for a bit, then our guide said they would build a campfire. The guide and me headed back to the elephant, and a while later, some of the staff came with firewood, and they started a campfire by our tent. Animals are afraid of fire and will stay away instinctively (so we're told). As they were building the fire, one of the other staff decided to go around the building to check on the elephant. He disappeared around the hedge, then we heard a blood curdling scream and running, and a door slam shut. Hahaha. Our guide started laughing. The elephants had startled this poor guy and he screamed and ran away.

Once the fire was going, they took a hot piece of wood from the fire and a few of the staff went to try and scare the elephant away. Our guide said he thought those guys were crazy. They did successfully get the elephant to leave, but a while later we heard an elephant trumpet a bit in the distance and someone blowing a whistle. The poor elephant was now in another camp and they were trying to scare it away.

With that excitement done, we headed to bed.

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