September 18-22 (Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park) —
On one of our first game drives here in Uganda, I spotted something in the distance and excitedly asked our guide what it was. He kindly told me it was a cow. Turns out that Ugandan cows have really long horns that grow straight up and twist, much like an antelope. Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
We were greeted by Moses, our guide, as we came out of customs at Entebbe airport. True to his name, he has been an awesome guide. After piling us and our luggage into his Land Cruiser, we took off through the very crowded streets of Kampala toward Kibale National Forest.
After hours in the car, we got out to stretch our legs for a two hour hike at the Bigodi Sanctuary. Fun monkeys and beautiful birds.
We spent the next day with a ranger in Kibale on a Chimpanzee Habituation trek. We met the ranger at 6:30 am and tracked the chimps until 3 pm when the forest reminded us why it's called a rain forest and gave us a good soaking. For most of the day, it was just the ranger, us, and two Dutch women who were super nice. We had a great time and it was a truly memorable experience. A few times, we were within feet of chimps on the ground as they slept, groomed, played, and called out to their mates. Sadly, my camera battery died in the first hour so our friends are sending us their pictures. Here are a few I took of a chimp jumping from one tree to another, and an old chimp eating figs.
That afternoon, we took a boat ride down the Kazinga Channel that connects Lake George and Lake Edward and saw elephants, crocs, hippos, and numerous birds.
We next headed south to visit the remote Ishasha section of QENP, which is famous for its unusual lions who climb trees. After hours of hunting for them, we had just given up to head to lunch when Moses suggested checking out one last area of fig trees (which the lions prefer). We were in luck!
The pride of 5 lions was spread out in two trees for their afternoon siesta. They were snoozing happily, clearly full from a recent meal.
Next: Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest!