Today was always intended to be a lazy day after all the travel of the previous two days and it turned out to be exactly that. I got up at about 8.00am and had my first Ugandan bottle shower. This wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be having had to have a cold shower the previous day. I stepped outside the back door where Steve and Jan had already congregated and sucked in the fresh air. As I have said in previous years I wouldn’t describe myself as a massive nature lover but you cannot ignore the sheer variety of birdsong that greets you in the morning. Mrs Green joined us out on the veranda and I could see that she was completely blown away by the surroundings we are in.
After everyone had got dressed we had a leisurely walk down to Tembo for breakfast. For the first time we were greeted by true Ugandan weather; the sun was out and there was barely a cloud in the sky. Before I ordered my breakfast I took in the amazing views over the Kazinga Channel. They were absolutely spectacular. I had a very nice breakfast of Spanish Omelette while Mrs Green chose a fruit platter and toast.
Eventually we wandered up to Mweya’s Visitor Centre where we met several rangers who we knew from previous years. It was nice to see them again. Mrs Green and I talked about everything we had experienced so far and it was good to know that she had settled into Uganda well and wasn’t anxious about anything. Steve managed to get us booked on to the river cruise on the Kazinga Channel that evening, but that wasn’t until 5.00pm so we had a few hours to spare. I decided to try and unpack some of my stuff and began making a pile of all the things we had to take into Kafuro (a very big pile). I also wanted to make sure that the generator was working properly and asked Steve to help me (This isn’t strictly true. I am a complete numpty when it comes to technical things like this, so Steve did ALL the work and a great job he did too!). Thanks to Steve’s input, the generator worked brilliantly and we tested it out by getting it to charge Bea’s phone.
We made our way down to the Kazinga Channel for 4.50pm and boarded the boat. I have taken this trip twice before but it was Mrs Green’s first time and I could tell she was very excited. The main guide, a man called Daniel was an absolute genius, he spotted birds and animals so quickly that I was struggling to keep up. In the end I pretended that I had seen some of the birds he had pointed out just to keep him happy. The scariest animals of all were the crocodiles. I have seen them on the Kazinga Channel before but never as big as some that we saw today. There were two who were at least five metres long. One animal we didn’t see were elephants who had apparently gone to their grazing grounds early. There was a spectacular sunset to round off a fabulous trip; we are very lucky to be given such opportunities.
Our evening was once again spent down at Tembo. I had a chicken curry with chapattis and it was delicious. While the other went back home for an early night Steve and I watched some of the Commonwealth Games and tried to explain the rules of lawn bowls and weightlifting to a bemused Ugandan restaurant manager. I tried the local gin (known as waragi) which was very nice.
My last contact of the day came from Yowasi who informed me that Kafuro will be closed on Monday because of the public holiday for Eid. So we will be visiting Kafuro for the first time on Tuesday.
Mrs Green – I have never been so close to wild water buffalo, hippo and crocodile. It was absolutely amazing. I have to confess to finding the hippo my favourite, but was never in any doubt how easily they could have turned nasty on us, perhaps even flipping the boat over. As we passed the 5m crocodile, we could almost count his teeth as he lay there with his mouth wide open catching flies! As we ventured on further down the channel, we passed a fishing village, where boats were moored and children were playing on the river bank. They waved to us very enthusiastically as we passed by them. So far, I have found myself saying ‘wow’ and ‘that’s amazing!’ all the time. Although I have heard so much about Uganda from Mr Stanley and Yowasi, no amount of anecdotes can prepare for the reality of these stunning lands and fabulous wildlife.