Tuesday – Real safari!

We love safari! We headed off at 6.30am to Queen Elizabeth National Park- it is the flat area of the rift valley between two mountain ranges and has some fabulous lakes. It took far longer than the ‘African’ “about an hour” prediction- nearer to three so we missed the early morning game drive that we had hoped for. We were booked on the launch trip though and so spent two hours on the channel which joins two of the huge lakes- we saw hippo, buffalo, crocodiles, all sorts of birds and most impressively a group of 10 bull elephants followed by a large. Lone bull elephant standing right at the edge of the water. We passed a fishing village (still allowed within the national park) and watched the fishermen checking their nets and one boat bringing back its catch. It was lovely to watch the black and white kingfishers and the hippos surfacing and diving.

After lunch during which we watched a warthog and her two babies eating grass nearby, we collected Harriet our guide and started out on the game drive. It was still too early really for the animals- they would still be hiding in the shade but we thought it better to have a go rather than keep the children going in the heat. We wound down the windows and the children loved the novel freedom of being allowed to not wear seat belts and to stand at the windows! Both the children fell asleep but woke for the ‘main events’. We saw antelope and then……a herd of elephants appeared from where they had been drinking at the lake over about 10 minutes about 20 of them passed right in front of the cars. There was a tiny baby about 2 months old as well as many other young. The adrenalin rushed a little as the bull stood nearby eying us up, clearly unhappy. But the moment passed and a little further up the road we found more of the group and a young bull had a go at charging around (Simon was told to charge back at him if he had gone for us!!) but it was all bluff and that moment passed too.!!!

With the children awake we passed over the main road and into the more savannah part of the park- here we are so fortunate that Harriet noticed a resting leopard under the shade of a tree. We watched and photographed him for ages and then moved on exhilarated! We knew that seeing lions too was unlikely at that time but it had got cloudy and it was cooler so we had our fingers crossed and our eyes peeled!! Abby and Roo were great at pointing out wart hogs and antelope (water buck) and were very proud of themselves- Harriet only had eyes for lions! Then SUCCESS! Over to the right a long way from the path were a group of resting lions- they pop their heads up above the grass to see who is coming and she spotted them! She told us to ‘break the rules’ and drive off track so we could get nearer- it was really exhilarating and great fun!!! All in all a really successful safari!!! We were delighted and the children loved it. They coped so well with so long in the car – but we were all fed up of driving when we finally got home around 9.30 and woke the children to try and feed them at the hotel in order to give them their malaria tablets (not a huge success admittedly – all 4 children ate little and were keen to got o bed!)

Sim promises photos very soon!

One Response to “Tuesday – Real safari!”

  1. Peter Wainwright says:

    How do you manage to see so many species? Usually people say that they were unfortunate in that the animals were not about.

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