Christmas in Uganda was certainly an adventure. We filled an action-packed two and a half week trip driving a good sized circuit of the country. We visited a range of national parks and nature reserves, the capital city and Gulu of course, where mum and dad are based.
What struck me was this, Uganda is a relatively small African country, but we saw so much diversity as we travelled around; the landscape; the climate; the languages; the number of people who popped up wherever we went. However secluded a dusty track looked, a group of children would inevitably appear and shout “Hello, how are youuuuu!”
Ugandans were very warm and welcoming, the country has so much to offer in many ways. I was, I have to admit, surprised at the breath-taking beauty,
especially around the Crater Lakes near Fort Portal
and on the banks of the Nile in Murchison Park.
The expressive noises of hippos grunting and splashing provided a great accompaniment to the views.
My top three moments:
1: After touring around Ishasha Park for two hours,
our guide finally spotted one of the infamous tree climbing lions that are found only in this area.
The lioness was lazing on a branch of a large fig tree (their favourite type of trees to sleep in). As we approached she didn’t stir, and even fell into a deeper sleep, bobbing her head in contentment.
It was a truly breathtaking experience to sit in the car below her and watch this fantastic creature having a lovely nap
2: Returning from a river cruise to see the Murchison Falls, we came across a family of Elephants bathing on an island in the river. The evening light was glowing around them as they washed and splashed about
3: Eating fish and Chips in Gaaba, on the edge of Lake Victoria. Being presented with a humongous (apparently medium sized) whole fried tilapia, was a little daunting, but delicious. It was enjoyable to be sitting amongst so many Ugandans doing the same, watching the busy shore side market go by.
Back in London, it feels a little lonely without the mischievous monkeys trying to drink from my shower,
and no opportunity of seeing another tree climbing (well mainly sleeping) lion in the trees above. Nothing can really match seeing these fantastic creatures in the wild; it was a truly spectacular experience.
Next year we will search for the leopards.