Sunday, January 10, 2016

Uganda - Sipi Falls to Chobe

We got up early today and hiked to the middle Sipi Falls, which were the falls right outside the window of our private bungalow.

The back view of our bungalow. the shower is in the window on the right (a little spooky when showering at night).

The hike wasn't too long and I believe that we were on the trail by about 7:00 AM.

This cave sits behind the waterfall. It is believed that Ebola originated from the bats in this cave. You can imagine my mother yelling at me to not go into the cave as I was walking here.

This is the view of the backside of our bungalow from the base of the falls.

In the depression behind the falls.

Similar photo, but without our smiling mugs.

The Ebola bat cave. I should mention, that we visited Uganda during the whole Ebola scare that was going on in Western Africa.  Uganda is quite a distance from the countries where Ebola was most present, but we did have to get a health screening done before we were allowed into the country.

One last view of the falls from our resort.

All that hiking in the morning made somebody hungry. Alison and my mom in the background are thinking: "Oh Kim."

Busy ants crossing the path.

Marching across the river.

After our short little hike we returned to the lodge for breakfast before we made our way across the Northern part of Uganda from east to west.

We made a short stop in Lira to drop off some donations for an orphanage (we left them with the  missionaries in the city to take later), then we were back on our way to the Chobe Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park.

We knew we were getting close to the park when our car was swarmed by baboons. These guys made me nervous, so I made sure my window was rolled up when they got close.

It's pretty expensive to get into the parks, so while we were paying our entrance fee, we were on the lookout for the baboon troop (there are a bunch in the photo above, even thought hey blend in).

The entrance to the resort/lodge.

We were on the lookout for animals on the way into the park.  The first few animals that we saw got a lot of attention from us.  We were never sure if we were going to see any of their type again, ya know?

This lodge was originally built in the 1950's but was abandoned for a time.  The current lodge seemed to be fairly new and was in good shape.

Waiting at the entrance gate.

 This is our view as we walked into the lodge.

Walk through the lobby and out onto the deck and this is the view that we were greeted with.

To the left is the Nile River.  There were loads of hippos in the water and other animals that frequent the area for water. I don't think any hippos have gotten into their pool though.

Our first order of business was to get some lunch.  We ate out on a patio overlooking the Nile and these two elephants came to join us at the river's edge.  It was surreal to be sitting on a deck watching elephants play in the mud of the Nile River.

This was my lunch.  Some kind of stew with vegetables and posho, which is a creation of maize flour with the consistency of a solidified jello and is tasteless and disgusting (but is a staple in much of Africa).

I couldn't get enough of the views of this pool and the Nile.

From the pool looking up at the Lodge.

A closer view of one of the elephants that came to visit us during lunch.



Elephant friends in the mud.


Trying posho.

So, what is a safari anyways? I always envisioned that you get into an open air jeep with some ranger driving you around. That's still a valid definition, but for us a safari was jumping in the truck and going on s drive looking for game to photograph.  During the afternoon we took a couple of drives, neither longer than about an hour looking for wildlife.  From the 400+ photos, I've trimmed them down to these.


Deer/Antelope like creatures (There were a bunch of these guys.  I don't remember what they were all called).



Antelope-like guy.

Tyler and Alison in Uganda.

Sunset over the Nile River.  There are a bunch of hippos in the river.  Once the sun goes down they start to get restless to get out of the water and go eat throughout the night.

A hippo yawn.

Sunset photo #1.

Sunset photo #2.

Dinner time.  Wi-fi was available in the dining areas, so we took advantage of the chance to catch up with our online lives and life back home.

While waiting for dinner the power went out for a few minutes until the generator kicked on. Not terribly uncommon in Uganda (or other developing countries).

This was dinner.  I don't remember if it was any good...

While waiting for our dessert, we asked the guards if there was anywhere that we could see hippos out of the water.  After looking for a while, he decided to take us here to the employees housing complex.  This hippo eats the grass inside the gated employee housing complex.  He drove us there on a golf cart, and took us in.  This hippo has been coming here ever since it was a wee baby and is used to the presence of humans.  Now that the hippo is large, he can barely fit through the gate into the complex.  There are scratch marks on both sides and the metal is slightly bowed from the hippo squeezing in each night.  Each hippo goes out on their own to find food each night, with some walking more than 20 km during the night before returning to the river when the sun comes up.

Once night hit, there were frogs croaking all over the place.  This one made his way into the hotel and was considered a delicacy by this lucky traveler.

The Chobe Safari Lodge in Uganda was superb and we had the huge place all to ourselves.  As far as we could tell, there were three people who ate lunch at the lodge with us today, but only one other tourist spent the night at the lodge (and he arrived late at night and was gone before we got up the next morning).  We felt like we were royalty with how we were treated and watched over.  It was pretty spectacular!

Tomorrow, we move from the Chobe Safari Lodge to the Paraa Safari Lodge.

No comments: