Rwakobo sunset

Rwakobo sunset

I had hoped to get to Rwakobo Rock at Lake Mburo with enough time to decompress and be excited about taking a night safari (which is apparently a thing), but the road from Bwindi took a lot longer than expected, so by the time I reached my destination all I wanted to do was sit on the rock and relax until I fell asleep.

The last time I came, though, was during a dry spell and the air was filled with dust and haze. This time, after several weeks of heavy rains, the air was clear and the sunset was gorgeous, so I was able to take the photos I couldn’t take before. Continue reading “Rwakobo sunset”

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The road to Bwindi

This seems ridiculous, but I’ve come all the way out to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and I am not going gorilla trekking. Why not? Because it is more than I wanted to pay right now, and (more importantly) I am not in any kind of shape to go into an impenetrable forest.

Also, I am a horrible judge of distance and didn’t realize it would take all day to get out here.

There are other things to do here besides look at gorillas, so today I will do some of that. Honestly, though I’d be content enough to just sit and look at these mountains with a glass of wine.

I took these pictures on the road, so they’re a bit fuzzy, but by the time I got to my hotel it was dark and I was too tired to explore. I will say, though, I’ve been all over the world, and this corner of Uganda might be the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. Certainly, it’s on the short list. Continue reading “The road to Bwindi”

Queen Elizabeth National Park 

Once upon a time, Queen Elizabeth visited this spot in Uganda, and the entire park was promptly renamed for her.

The park is in western Uganda, nestled against the Congolese border. As one of the jewels of East Africa, it is beautifully maintained and very user friendly, with better infrastructure than most of Kampala.

I came out with a driver I hired in the capital, and then signed up for a boat ride between Lake Albert and Lake Edward. In less than a day, without really needing to walk anywhere, I saw all the stuff I’m sharing, plus lots more. Continue reading “Queen Elizabeth National Park “

Fort Portal, monkeys, little birds

Fort Portal, monkeys, little birds

Puttering around western Uganda this week, currently sipping coffee on my balcony near Fort Portal, a charming little city that serves as the capital of the Tororo Kingdom and the gateway to some of Uganda’s most famous wildlife preserves. For today, though, I didn’t venture far: up to the crater lakes that partly ring the city. Not much wildlife this close to the city, unless you count goats and cows. Still, the views were stunning. Continue reading “Fort Portal, monkeys, little birds”

Night garden

Night garden

I considered going in, certain that I would find fairies or gnomes or somesuch, but then I couldn’t be certain of their welcoming me at this late hour, empty-handed as I was, so I went on my way, my thoughts tinged with regret but comforted all the same by the soft glow of the moon and the knowledge that I had done the right thing.

Lake Mburo wanderings

Lake Mburo wanderings

I went to Lake Mburo about a month ago. I’ve shared most of the best pictures somewhere by now—either here or Instagram (or on my own screensaver, which I realize that nobody but me can see but which is somehow satisfying anyway). Here are the last of the ones I wanted to put out, though.

I’m actually heading out on another road trip this weekend, on a loop of southwest Uganda (no gorilla trekking, though—I’ll save that for another trip). But in the meantime, a last look back on my lazy weekend at Lake Mburo National Park.

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The view from the top of Rwakobo Rock is stunning, and the drop-off not as scary as it looks.
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Uganda has a ridiculous number of birds. I forgot the actual statistic, but it’s something like half of all the bird species in Africa. I’m trying to get to know them all. I want to say this one is an African Pied Wagtail, but I could be wrong.
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This, I am pretty sure, is a starling. Starlings tend to have cool names: there is a Splendid Starling and a Superb Starling, but this one is (again, I think) a Rüppell’s Long-Tailed Starling. Bonus point for the umlaut.
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This is not a bird at all.
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A rather majestic cow.
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Mornings were misty when I was there.
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The road is long but inviting.
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It does sometimes feel like walking through a dream. It becomes easy to confuse zebras with unicorns.
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These teenagers just stood in the road, looking all annoyed at us for trying to get through.
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The only reason why they aren’t texting and taking selfies is that they don’t have thumbs.

Babies of Lake Mburo

Babies of Lake Mburo

You don’t go to Lake Mburo National Park because it’s the most exciting park in Uganda—you go there because it’s the closest to downtown Kampala, and because the park is surrounded by cattle-grazing land instead of cultivated farms, meaning that the animals on the park pay zero respect to the official boundaries, which means that you don’t even necessarily need to leave your hotel in order to look at zebras, kudus, or other wild animals.

Because I made it that far, though, I did go into the park, albeit on a very lazy loop that barely scratched the surface of what this park has to offer. Most of the best of my pictures already went up on Instagram, but there were a few others that I liked that I didn’t upload. For example, these pictures of babies (and some mommas, too):

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This baby zebra did a double take when it saw me taking a picture.
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It paused long enough for me to be sure that it was posing.
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This baby waterbuck was either about to have or just waking up from a nap. It didn’t seem to notice me at all.
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Momma waterbuck noticed me, though, and though she didn’t seem afraid, she did keep an eye on me. I took a few pictures of her, too, in case appealing to her vanity would help.
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Mama Warthog was way less chill. One look at me and she sent her piglets scampering to the nearest bush.
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Love the little tails in the air.