Sunday, June 30, 2013

First Game Drive in Murchison Falls

The next day we had our first real game drive. We left early hoping to see some lions. While on our drive we saw this little oribi in the middle of the road thinking he would run as we got closer, but he stood his ground and we noticed he wasn't moving because he was going to the bathroom. I think we scared the pee out of him.




Our guide, Mustafa (who is the funniest and kindest Ugandan around) is known as the Lion Man. He works with the tree climbing lions in Ishasha. He saw this footprint and hoped it would lead us to the lions We didn't find the lions today, but we did the next day!

This elephant was pretty close to us

A hippo and I

Hippos and egrets

Nathan and our car

African Fish Eagle

More giraffes, there were about 30 in this group!

 This guy was right next to the road

 We took a little boat cruise on the Nile and saw a herd of about 45 elephants


This big guy was outside the window of our hotel room

Our room

It was a very successful game drive, but tomorrow we see the lions!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park

Hi, this is Nathan blogging! Kampala was a bustling town with huge fruit markets. Mangos go for about $0.15! Our hotel was right across from the market and it was loud all night long. We initially thought people were buying and selling all night, but we later learned that sellers from the villages deliver their goods all night long so the fruit is ready when the markets open.

From Kampala we drove to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Rhinos went extinct in Uganda back in the 70's or 80's, and this sanctuary is a way to reintroduce them back into the wild. Disney's Animal Kingdom and national parks in Kenya donated the parents and the population is slowly growing. The first baby rhino born to a Kenyan and an American was named Obama.

Safari hats!

Even our drive into Murchison Falls was beautiful.

Explorers from Europe spent years looking for the source of the Nile. One place that blocked their progress was Murchison Falls, where the Nile gets squeezed between a 6 meter gap in the rocks. Imagine how much water blasts through there! It was really spectacular.

Because Ali was sitting in the back seat and our car didn't have AC, her face got covered with dirt and red dust after every drive. She may look really tan, but she's actually just dirty ;-)

And now you will see lots of pictures of animals.

Cape Buffalo!

Hungry hungry hippo!

Great egret!

Wart hog!


Jackson's Hartebeest!

And of course, a picture of the sun setting.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

23rd Birthday

I got to spend my 23rd birthday in Bujagali and loved every second of it! It was a Sunday and we got to go to church there. It was amazing being with the members and being able to hear their testimonies. The church is true wherever you travel in the world! This was our last day in Bujagali. 

We met Monique and her four kids when we were walking through the village and Nathan asked what she was doing and he decided to help, what a cutie :)

This little girl was my favorite. We met her the night before when we were walking by her house and she came to talk to us. She ran into her house to grab two stools for us to sit on while she talked to us.  After a bit we told her we had to leave and she said, "Let me escort you home" and she walked us home. The next morning I saw her and she was walking to get milk, she held my hand and walked me to the showers. She is such a sweetheart!

We saw some monkeys hanging out by the showers.

Enjoying chapati for breakfast at the home we stayed at.

This is Flo, we stayed at her house. She is an angel and the sweetest woman around. It cost us only $4 to stay there and she provided breakfast and dinner. She made us bracelets and necklaces to take home. We love Flo!

For my birthday lunch I wanted Posho and beans and we found some in the village, mmmm, my favorite! We ate at this little "restaurant" and stuffed ourselves for about $2!

We saw Monique again and this time with her mother.

Flo's house where we stayed

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Nile, Uganda

We had the awesome opportunity to raft the Nile. It wasn't set in stone in our plan and we figured we would decide once we got to Uganda if we wanted to do it. We talked about it and realized we would probably never have another opportunity to raft the Nile so we went ahead and did it. It was SO much fun! I was quite nervous because I knew we would be doing a couple of class fives. The definition of a class five is, "Exceedingly difficult, long and violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption; riverbed extremely obstructed; big drops; violent current; very steep gradient; close study essential but often difficult. Requires best person, boat, and outfit suited to the situation. All possible precautions must be taken. (via wikipedia)" Wouldn't that worry you a bit?! Plus the possibility of hippos and crocodiles swimming around! There were even some class sixes, which I didn't even know existed, where we had to portage our raft and walk it around (on wikipedia a class six is defined as suicidal, eek!!) But once we started rafting I had the time of my life! On our raft we had our guide named Josh, 3 Americans from a college in Boston and a South African couple, who we ended up being great friends with. Our raft flipped twice but no one got hurt. Now here is a picture overload!

We named our raft Team Hippos, I love these guys!

Mid flip

I swear our guide flipped us on purpose on this one, look at him pulling!!