From Kibale we headed south towards our next destination – Queen Elizabeth National Park. Along the way we passed banana and coffee plantations and drove through many small colourful villages.
We stopped a few times along the way, once to take photos of the lake and tree featured on the back of the Ugandan 20,000 shilling note…
As we were approaching the lake, these young men were running along side the vehicle and eager to pose for a photo.
And on the lake, this young man was paddling around on a bamboo raft…
Another quick stop in Kasese to use the facilities…
and at noon we crossed the equator into the Southern Hemisphere…
From the road that runs right through the park, you could see herds of Ugandan Kob, yet another species of Antelope.
Queen Elizabeth National Park straddles the equator in western Uganda. Originally named Kazinga Park in 1952 when it was founded, it was renamed a few years later after a visit by the Queen. We were coming from Kibale so we entered at the northern end of the park and would be spending the next day and a half in the area north of the Kazinga Channel.
At 32 km long, the Kazinga Channel connects Lake Edward to the west with Lake George to the east and is home to a variety of wildlife – hippo, buffalo, elephants, crocodiles and birds.
One of the more popular activities here is a boat cruise / game drive on the Channel. Being on the water gives you a much different view of the wildlife that calls this area home.
We were all so surprised to see this beautiful male elephant – it’s not very often you see tusks like that!
This was his friend, still a beautiful specimen, but not quite as impressive.
The riverbank was riddled with holes like these – they are homes for the thousands of pied kingfishers that live along the channel.
The channel is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos and nile crocodiles. Not a great place for a swim!
Pied kingfishers are small, about 25-29cm (10-12″), so that is one very tiny fish!
Across the channel from the lodge was a small fishing village. Hippos spend the better part of the day in the water and head for land at night. To stay safe, the fisherman take their boats out at night, after the hippos have left.
The lodge we stayed at was on the bank of the channel, but pretty high up. One night we had to be escorted back to our rooms by security one night – a hippo had wandered up to the lodge and was grazing just a few feet from our rooms!
Stay tuned for more from Queen Elizabeth Park – some photos from our game drives and the drive south through Ishasha on our way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.