Saturday, December 03, 2016

Queen Elizabeth National Park

We left the gorilla trekking campground and we were able to watch the amazing landscapes, mountains and valleys as we headed north towards Queen Elizabeth National Park. Amazingly beautiful.

We descended into more plain like landscapes and arrived to a town just outside of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Kazeem had arranged to pick up a tent from a fellow in a town close the Queen Elizabeth National Park. We waited for about 10 minutes, then got the tent and continued on into the park, doing a game drive as we headed towards the camp. Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for tree climbing lions, and they are typically found in the southern part of the park, but we didn't see any on our drive up. We just saw two elephants.

When we got the campsite, Hippo Hill, it's a private run cabins area, and there was a lot of confusion. The people working here were confused because they thought we were going to be in a cabin, and weren't sure where the camping area was located on the premises (or that's what I gathered). Kazeem had to call and talk to the manager or someone to get things all sorted. Finally, the staff (who barely speak any english) took us to the camping area, that has its own bathroom/shower complex. One of the men got the lady to go clean the washrooms, while the men tried to setup the tent. Our guide has never set up a tent, so he was useless. The camp staff had an idea, but I had to step in take control, as I've set them up before. Well, the tent was in pretty bad shape. A huge hole in one side. No rods for the fly, and lots of other little holes all over. We couldn't properly secure the fly, so we covered the part of the tent that had the big hole with the fly and then I used duct tape to try and hold the fly in place and to cover all the holes. And there was only one sleeping mat included. There was also a lot of concern about hippos. They come out of the water at night, and we're fairly close to the lake (either Lake Edward or Lake George, I can't remember which). Our guide was concerned about us being in a tent with the hippos so close, but the staff said it was all good.

The washrooms were pretty hilarious as well. There were four toilet stalls and four shower stalls. I pooped in the first toilet stall only to discover that it didn't flush properly. So my poop just stayed there. The second had no toilet seat. The third seemed to work fine. The fourth was completely locked and you couldn't go in. I shudder to think what horrors may be in that one.

This Hippo Hill place is hilarious. They try to act all sophisticated, the waiters in tuxes, and they always greet you, three course meals, but they're failing miserably at it. I don't want someone doting on my all the time. The cabins themselves look quite nice, though. And the restaurant/bar eating area is very nice. The kitchen is a long walk from the eating area, so that's quite funny too, seeing them waiters come walking from probably 100 feet (or more) with a platter of food.

Kazeem also arranged to get us sleeping mats for the evening.

There was nothing more planned for the rest of the day, so we just sat around the restaurant area for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

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