Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 2: Game drive

After lunch, we took a small ferry across the Albert Nile to the north side where most of the game live (on the south side, most was poached during the 20 years of violence in the north of Uganda). Some hippos were right by the ferry, the first of many, many hippos I saw on the trip.
We got into the observation deck on the front of the vehicle for the game drive, seeing a lot of deer-like animals and water buffalo as well as the occasional distant giraffe. I love how the water buffalo just turn and look at you after you go past, with those marcelled wings of horns.

The sky was getting ominously dark all the while, and you can barely make out the rainbow in this picture of a giraffe.

Then DJ, our guide, said, “Lions.” I couldn’t see a thing. “You can see the black tips of their tails waving.” Nope. “Over there beneath the trees.” Not a thing. Fortunately, Beki drove off the road and we went right around them (though I feel mighty sorry for the lions themselves, dealing with us tourists all the time). What an incredible sight! Two lionesses with cubs eating up a water buffalo. And off under a nearby tree, a male lion who stared right at us with those enormous amber eyes. They were simply mesmerizing. Unbelievable.
And just after we drove around them all, it started to pour. We drove to our campsite as it rained and sat in the vehicle for about a half hour when it stopped. And that was the only rain we had on the trip. The timing simply couldn’t have been better. We set up tents out in the middle of nowhere and didn’t see any other people until the next morning. Fortunately, we didn't see any other large animals either.

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