Uganda 2014 Day 11: Lions and a birthday

Mrs Green writes:

Wow…… again! Today we went out in our QE project vans on a Safari drive to find Lions! We were suitably rewarded by seeing some spectacular sightings of male and female lions. We found them on our drive by scrub land. It was an amazing sight to see them up so close. The Safari van went off road so we could get closer than I would have anticipated. The male lion was guarding the female lion in her nest so that she would be protected. He gave a small ‘roar’ at times which was amazing to hear and I was not scared at all. We had the roof open of the Safari van so that we could get good views and take some really good pictures. (these will follow soon!). After sighting the male and female lion, we drove on to find another pride of lions who had just enjoyed their kill. They had eaten all that they wanted and had left the rest for the vultures to enjoy. The vultures were swooping in from all directions. As we drove on a little further we found a lion taking a nap up a candelabra cactus tree. After we had left the park we visited our new school Twinning Project, Kyambura Primary School. This was to drop off a new modem so that they could make contact with Sheet Primary School via the internet.

The next part of our day was my most exciting part. We went off to find Yowasi as it was his birthday! As we found Yowasi we sang ‘Happy Birthday’ and gave him some gifts we had brought. One of the gifts was a new mobile phone. This made Mr Yowasi very happy indeed! We shared a ‘birthday’ drink with Yowasi of ‘water’ and wished him well before leaving him invigilating an exam at a local school. On our way back to Mewya and Hippo House, we found a road side stall selling local honey. We stopped and I bought 2 bottles and some gifts for the family.

After our busy day, we felt we deserved a cold ‘refreshment’ at Tembo. Well it had to be a bottle of ‘Nile Special’ and a plate of chips for Mr Stanley and Mr Peach and I to share.

 

Mr Stanley writes:

Today we were split into two groups. Steve, Mrs Green and myself were going to take a modem to Kyambura Primary School, find Yowasi and give him his birthday present and then drive up to the escarpment above Kyambura so Mrs Green could buy some local honey. The others were going to take Vincent back to Bukorwe before trying to find lions at Ishasha, an hour’s drive to the south.

 

We drove off the Mweya peninsula to Katunguru and were about to go our separate ways when a phone call came through that lions had been spotted that morning in three different places. We drove the short distance to Kasenyi where we were joined by Robert, one of the most experienced rangers and also one of the nicest people you can meet. There was time to find a python curled up in the grass (and for Jan to nearly provoke it – In a straight fight between the python and Jan I would fancy Jan every time!) before we set off to find the lions. Within five minutes we had spotted a male lion lying down on the edge of a thicket of bushes. Robert was instantly on the phone getting permission for us to go off road in order to get closer to him. As we moved nearer a female lion emerged from the thicket. Robert explained that the two lions had broken away from the main pride in order to mate. This normally takes place over a couple of weeks. While they posed no threat to us, it was obvious that the male was extremely protective of the female.

 

We watched and took photos of the lions for about twenty minutes before moving back to the main route and driving near to a cactus tree where at least one  (possibly two) lion was up in the branches. Although we didn’t get a clear view we could see a moving tail. Our final encounter with lions was another mile down the road where they had recently made a kill. There were vultures everywhere looking for scraps of whatever the lions had left behind and I saw two lions walking in the bush.

 

After all of this excitement it was back to business. We dropped the modem off at Kyambura before driving to Kirugu where Yowasi was with his P7 class. They were filling out application forms for secondary school. Yowasi also showed us some recent exam results which showed that the top three performing pupils in the sub-county all came from Kafuro. He attributed a large part of this down to the reading that the children had done with books donated by Liss children! We also remembered to give Yowasi his birthday present, a mobile phone. To say he was pleased and excited was a massive understatement.

 

Our final stop for the afternoon was to get Mrs Green’s honey and some family gifts. By this time it had started to rain so the views from the little stall at the top of the Kyambura escarpment weren’t as spectacular as normal, but Mrs Green had got down to the serious business of haggling over the price of her goods. In the end she managed to get a significant discount by virtue (in my opinion) of being incredibly polite. With our business concluded it was time to return to Mweya and we drove through the rain (it was quite cold as well) back to Hippo House. With a couple of hours to spare before the others returned from Bukorwe we adjourned to Tembo where we watched the animal world pass us by as we shared a plate of chips and drank cold beers.

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One Response to Uganda 2014 Day 11: Lions and a birthday

  1. Kath miles says:

    I have just read the last few days of blogs in one go and am truly in awe of what you are seeing and doing. It is amazing. Sounds like quite a few chips are being consumed !!

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