Up before dark we loaded into the vehicle for the first of three game drives. The morning and afternoon game drives were in the area north of the Kazinga Channel, while the next day would be a game of sorts as we made our way south to Bwindi.
In the early morning light, the sight of these 2 handsome males relaxing in the golden grass was something to behold.
You may notice that the one on the left is wearing a tracking collar. Although it makes him look like he’s someone’s pet I can assure you that he isn’t!
This area of the park was littered with Euphorbia Candelabrum – a succulent that looks like a cactus. Almost all were perfectly shaped and provided the perfect opportunity for some “artsy” camera fun.
And of course, we saw plenty of Ugandan Kob. This one with a very silly look on his face!
This area of Uganda used to be known for it’s salt production; these days most of Uganda’s salt is imported. We stopped at the Bunyampaka Salt Flats to see how the salt is extracted. Far from the sea, salt forms naturally in the crater lake. The shallow pans help to concentrate the salt and speed up evaporation; they rely on the heat of the dry season to evaporate the water. It sounds simple, but it is back breaking, hot and dangerous work; the danger lies in the gasses that are released during the process – amonia and hydrogen sulphide – and, yes, it does smell bad.
The Cape Buffalo is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. They really aren’t very nice to look at but even a baby buffalo is cute!
On our way back to the lodge for lunch we came across this group of elephants. I just loved how the little one’s head and truck were peeking out from behind – perfectly protected!
They were very close to the road, so it made for a great opportunity to try some close up and unusual shots…
After lunch we headed out in search of a leopard. Along the way we came across this African Wattled Lapwing posing on a mound for us.
And then, we reached our destination – a beautiful female leopard and no one but us to enjoy her!
Unfortunately it was late in the day and we had to leave so that we’d get back through the gates before they closed. We spent less than 10 minutes with her, but what a magical 10 minutes it was!
Back at the lodge we had a welcoming party of Ugandan Banded Mongooses. Clearly used to people they weren’t at all bothered by our arrival!
The next morning we headed south, hoping to see some of the famous tree climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of the park.
We stopped for lunch in Ishasha at the Ishasha Wilderness Lodge where this little one was quite interested in us…
Sadly, there were no tree climbing lions to be found.
We stopped briefly at this river which forms part of the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The hippos didn’t seem to care.
The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, but the scenery changed pretty dramatically as we headed south. Here is a short video of scenes from the road…
At the end of the drive – our destination – Buhoma Lodge located inside the Bwindi Impentrable Forest and myhome for the next 5 nights…
- Bunyampaka Salt Flats
- Cape Buffalo
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Ugandan Kob
- Vervet Monkey