Saturday, September 26, 2009

9/16/09 - Safari, roads, and other musings

Off to Lake Mburo! We are taking Suzanne on a much needed rest. The woman is on the go ALL the time, and doesn't need much sleep (I envy that!). Our 3 hour drive is actually six... thank the roads and rain. We did stop at the Equator, which was cool! Uganda is one of only 10 countries that spans the Equator, so it's not likely to happen often. We didn't shell out the 3000 shillings to do the "water test" - see the water go down the funnel in opposite directions on the north and south sides. We walked across the road on the line... we assume it IS the actual line, but who really knows?!

We arrived at Lake Mburo National Park, and after Suzanne having to renegotiate entry fees and other such African-ese items, we go through the gate to Kimbla-Mantana Tented Camp. We aren't 100 yards down the road when we see zebra! Then impala, warthogs, water buffalo... RIGHT THERE, in nature! How cool is that?! We arrive at Kimbla-Mantana, get out, walk to the boma where the bar, dining, and lounging areas... and hear the alarm on the Land Rover! The vehicle is going backwards, into the trees, and camp staff is frantically running. Emma, Suzanne's friend and our driver, races over as well - for some reason the car turns, and then goes through a stand of trees without hitting any! Quite exciting... LOL

We had planned to do a game drive after a very late (4pm) lunch, but it is raining, so we are "forced" to relax. The tents are wonderful - up on platforms, with a bed area, a dressing area, a bush toilet, and a shower area. There is no running water or electricity - they run the generator when people are there in the evenings and mornings, and bring hot water for your shower, and cool and hot water for the sink. Zeke and I got to the boma to relax and read, and Suzanne takes a walk - ON the paths... you are expressly forbidden to step a toe off. I was starting to get worried when she returns - and relates a face to face encounter with a mad lone water buffalo! She has had plenty of excitement for the day! After our late 3 course lunch, we have a 4 course dinner - amazing, since they are cooking on charcoal and propane, with every single item brought in! To bed under mosquito nets, with warthogs and other critters all around! (The camp isn't fenced, so the wildlife is up close and personal!)

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