Hope For Me Yet

Friday, October 2, 2009

Uganda, part 1

I have been in Uganda now for 9 days, and what a challenging adventure it has been! I arrived the night of the 23rd after 3 flights and 22 hours of travel and David picked me up at the Entebbe airport and took me straight to a campsite in Kampala to stay for the night before leaving early the next morning for Murchison Falls National Park where we were to go on a photographic safari. We camped in a tent just up the road from the Nile River, and were warned not to pet the resident wart hogs and if we had to go to the bathroom at night to leave a distance between yourself and the hippos that graze on the campground at night. You see, the hippos hang out in the Nile during the day and then travel up to 10 kilometers grazing at night, and the grass around our tents at Red Chilli campground must be tasty and in their path. It took most of that first day to drive the bumpy roads between Kampala and Murchison Falls, but the powerful falls and the many animals we saw were worth it. We saw giraffes, water buffalo, water buck, 4female lions, elephants and many more. In the afternoon, we took a river tour on a boat up the Nile to the bottom of the falls and saw amazing birds and crocodile and elephants and many many hippos along the banks. We spent another night and then set off to a rhino sanctuary, where we were to see the only 7 rhinos in Uganda, brought there by other countries and donated by zoos because all of Uganda's natural rhino population has been poached out of existence. These rhinos are guarded 24/7 by rangers, so they always know where they are. We rode out to where 5 of the rhinos were hanging out and then, to my surprise, we got out of the car and walked to about 50 feet of the napping rhinos. The rangers wanted the rhinos to stand for us so we could see them above the tall grass. Well, they did stand, and then one of them got annoyed, decided to take it out on the others, and began chasing the rest of the herd. The rhinos were running around and most of our group of 20 went one way and I went up a tree, along with two other guys in the tree next to me. Remember, this is just my second full day in Africa! It was an adrenaline packed beginning for sure! Look for a video of the insanity later, on David's blog probably.
So thus was just the beginning of my trip as I said, so look for more stories from Uganda later! It is hard to post from here due to slow internet, and I'm actually writing this on an iPod, so this is all for now. I will add pics, links, other cool stuff later!