Sunday, October 12, 2008
By Diane Helmbrecht
After a good nights rest, we headed out on SAFARI! We traveled about 2 hours to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Once we arrived, we boarded a boat, named Simba, for a tour of the channel that runs between Lake George and Lake Edward. Along the shore we saw many schools of hippos. As we navigated the channel, a storm blew in. It was windy enough that they beached the boat in the reeds. Someone wrote TIA (This Is Africa) in the steamed up awning windows! After about 25 minutes of holding down the awnings that line the side of the boat, the storm let up and we moved on our way.
There were also water buffalos, crocodiles, and a varied of birds including a fish eagle. Above the shore we passed a fishing village with their boats lined up along the water. A little farther down the channel we came to some fisherman and we pulled along side of them. They brought some of the catch on board and that include an ugly looking Lung fish. As they were trying to show us this fish, it wiggled around enough, that they lost their grip on it and it was flopping around on inside the boat. That caused quiet a commotion! The Lung fish was eventually recaptured and that moment of excitement was over.
Once we got off the boat we went for lunch. That took quite awhile as we all ordered fish or chicken. We think they had to catch them both before they could cook them. We were entertained by some wart hogs that were wandering outside the restaurant. Rolfe Gomer was quite intent on calling them closer. Funny thing is, they listened to him and were following him around. Not necessarily the best thing when you are talking about wild wart hogs with large tusks!
After lunch, we were on the road portion of the Safari. What a fantastic adventure! We came across a herd of elephants. They were grazing in the trees near the road. Just when we thought we had them all in view, more would come out of the trees. There were ones with large tusks as well as a baby ‘phant in the group. Again, amazing!
We also spotted waterbucks with very long horns, black & white monkeys in the trees, and more water buffalo. Every time we thought we saw something new, it turned out to be another wart hog. A Lisa Brown noted, when the wart hogs run, their tails go straight up in the air. They look like dune buggies with their flags flying!
Then we went in search of LIONS! But in the midst of the lion’s roaming area, the bus got stuck in the mud! We all had to get out of the bus. After a bit of pushing, and some skillful driving, we were on our way again. Alas, no lions were spotted. But what an adventure to end our adventure with! How blessed are we that we had this incredible day!