Ringgg! Ringgg! Ahggg! How hard it is to get up early. It is 6 in the morning when we are in the lobby of the Mweya Lodge having an impromptu coffee and tea with some muffins. Do you really need to get up early to make a gamedrive? Yes, in hot days as it seems it will be today, after a certain time there will be no one to see or birds.
The "svenson", a group of Britons who most resemble a sect that some travelers (and every night take out their birdbooks and ascend to "an unexplored world"), paves the way for us in his landcruiser. There is still barely any light on the road
In the distance, a huge red ball of fire, begins to illuminate the prairies and the water of the Kazinga channel in its passage towards the North.
It is there, at North of Queen Elizabeth N.P. where we are going, because it is where in theory there is the greatest concentration of fauna in the park. We are in a different place, very similar to the one we saw in Samburu more than 20 days ago (it is said soon).
The first thing we hunt today, are huge buffalo herds still taking advantage of the last hours of sleep. Although it was not the reason for the colonizers, if we had to choose our own top five it would be in it. It is an imposing animal, of almost 1 ton of weight, of thick horns and that shows quite aggressiveness.
But what we could not expect is what we were about to witness. The sun keeps rising, and under the first rays you wake up MULTITUDINARY MANADAD DE LEONES, that seems to have had a good night, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
The grass is very tall, so high that we get a tremendous scare when we see another lioness coming out right next to the van, less than 0.5 m away. With the noise we scare the lioness moves away. We have not been able to avoid it… nor did we imagine it. Lions do not fear man, but this lioness looks at us strangely.
In total, there are 8 lionesses and 1 lion. Those in the middle of the road are not immuted. There they throw their first "morning washes"
Buaaaaaaah !! We will have to stretch ... !! what a sloth !! With how well you are here with the king
Well, you will go, because I pass ... let me know if you hunt something
Queen Elizabeth N.P. It was recognized in 1979 as a biosphere reserve. It is also very particular to see how It has up to 5 different ecosystems, from the dense forest to undulating meadows, through acacia savannas, swamps and tundra. Surprisingly, and although we see a multitude of Warthogs, water antelopes and cobs, the quintessential antilope, the ones that are absent are the zebra and the impala that we both saw in the Kenyan reserves.
In any case, Queen Elizabeth makes her life around the lakes and the canal, being able to observe extensive meadows with hardly any "appreciable" life (because birds are more than anywhere, of all colors and sounds) ç
We leave the pack of lions and return to the southern part of the park. Another family, this one of elephants, are already with their breakfast. !! But how much can these elephants eat !!
It's 10.00 when we return for a solid breakfast. The sun also hits harder than ever and the pool (and some 4000 UGX beer) whispers to us ... !! HERE WE GO !!
What we did not expect, despite the warnings of the lodge (which we have already read in others) that there is wildlife inside the enclosure, is to find a "lawn mower" so "ecological" in front of exactly our rooms. !! A family of Warthogs with their little baby !! That richness ... and look that they are ugly ...
... but they are not the only ones, suddenly appear 1, 2, 3… and up to 10 small species of mongoose that seem taken from the cartoons and living with the above. Timon was not exactly a mongoose, but it could well be a scene of the lion king with a rudder and buzz in command
With so much shock, and after paying for the laundry we still needed (41,500 UGX), we have even had time to eat, so with a drink (2000 UGX per couple) we went out to take a good place in the boat that will take us on the Kazing channela (the best place on a day like today that hits so much, is bottom left).
There are several boats a day but we opted for the one at 3pm. The reason is that the last one, at 5pm, already coincides with the sunset, and although the lights can become more beautiful, we will try to see all the wildlife that approaches the water looking for its refreshment in hours of very hot, of course, flock of birds…
Very slowly, the small boat crosses the channel to the other shore. The panorama offers a certain respect, because there are dozens of animal bones that have not had much luck
It's walk is truly spectacular, of those privileges that nature saves you. The suffocation is such that even the own buffalo are soaking
They seem immobile, as if any wear of energy was an excess. The truth is that it is possible that today we have reached the highest temperature of the entire trip
But the really amazing thing is not only to see them there, but to share their space with other huge beasts such as crocodiles and hippopotamuses, leaving an unreal coexistence
He Kazinga Channel It is a wide natural canal about 32 km long, which connects Lake Edward and Lake George, and is one of the most unique places of Queen Elizabeth N.P.
The channel attracts a wide range of animals and birds to its habitat, but especially the king is the hippo. One of the largest concentrations of them in the world is here.
But this also has its cons, since in 2005 an outbreak of anthrax appeared in the driest months, killed many of them. Life goes on…
The ship we are going on is not very big, but it seems to generate a certain respect for these animals. There are times when it gives the feeling that we could get to touch them with our hands. A pack even feels like "we threaten your privacy." If humans do not respect anything. The hippopotamians have nothing left but to look at each other, some aggressively and others with a sad face
The concentration of animals on the shores of the Lake is very high. It seems as if those who did not appear in the morning had been waiting for this moment.
Possibly, the time for remembrance will be when we could observe that baby hippopotamus stuck to her mother. He was no bigger than a pig, and even had the same kite shape. These animals really come from the whales when millions of years ago they diversified on the evolutionary scale, leaving an animal for which Paula feels devotion
From the deck of the ship (where there could be a maximum of 14 people), and under a sun of hell, we were still watching kingfishers, eagles, storks, vultures, marabus and others that we will never identify. The huge peaks of the pelicans, so associated with literature and Catholic liturgy, also made its appearance.
The image of the cormorants doing his digestion, all in a row, looking at the sun as if it were a sect, and that crocodile out of the water balancing its temperature, it took us to another great moment
!! They are elephants drinking !! Leaving from the bushes and emitting bellows, a herd of elephants he pushes himself while cooling. They get to drink 70 liters a day according to Norman.
With the tube they absorb water and use it as if it were a hose to drink, soak or pluck trees
The ride ends and with our return to the lodge so does the day. Some more baths, gifts (97,000 UGX), a strong dinner (3500 UGX drinks per couple), watching the canal last night and hearing its sounds prepare us to continue going further south and tomorrow reach one of the luckiest places in the planet. See you tomorrow from the Matakarro
Ruth, Juve, Paula and Isaac, from Queen Elizabeth N.P. (Uganda)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 51,000 UGX (approx. 13,18 EUR) and GIFTS: 97,000 UGX (approx. 25.06 EUR)