Although today was a day off, we had to be up really early as Jess was picking us up at 7.00am to go mongoose trekking. I have to admit to feeling less than well, a case of my body relaxing then punishing me for what I’d put it through for the previous ten days.
Jess picked us up in her truck and we moved to the Banded Mongoose Project’s office where we met some other members of her team including Solomon, who we worked with a couple of years ago. Next we went and parked outside the house two doors up from Hippo House. Within a couple of minutes a mongoose head emerged from a drain and soon enough the whole mongoose pack 1B was up and about. Jess and her team took the opportunity to weigh each of the mongooses in turn and then after that they went off in search of food. Jess told us that this particular pack were quite close knit and didn’t stray too far from each other, and this was soon apparent. When one mongoose got left behind he sprinted until he caught up with the others.
After about 90 minutes the fun really started. Pack 1B approached Tembo where Pack 2 live and to say they don’t get on is an understatement! As soon as the packs saw each other it all kicked off as the mongooses tore into each other with only a few on the periphery looking on. It was quite difficult to see what was actually going on due to all the dust and screeching, but Jess said that the fighting can be much worse as the mongooses can quite literally tear the limbs off each other.
When the mongooses had finished fighting Pack 1B decided to spend some time with the local warthogs and pick off all the bugs on their fur. It was quite amusing to see the warthogs lying down and taking it easy while the mongooses worked hard – nature is incredible sometimes. There was still enough time for pack 1B and Pack 2 to have another fight before 1B decided to head home to nurse their wounded pride.
Mrs Green and I stopped off for breakfast at Tembo with Jess before heading back to Hippo House. We had a couple of hours before we went on the Kazinga Channel cruise and this was mainly spent trying to catch up on blogs or doing some washing.
At 12.45pm we drove down to the jetty for the 1.00pm channel cruise. It was the earliest we had ever been on the cruise and we were not sure what to expect. Although we only saw one crocodile we saw loads of hippos including lots of babies. Two males were obviously unhappy at each other and were quite aggressive towards each other. We also saw some forest hogs as well as an elephant (missing its tail) and a whole menagerie of birds.
After the cruise we were told that we would finally be able to interview some rangers at 6.00pm so we returned to Hippo House to relax for a couple of hours. At 6.00pm we went down to Hippo House to meet Jane and Petronila and had a very pleasant meeting reviewing the course that Steve Peach had run the previous month.
After that it was a quick pick up of Jess from her house and a return to Tembo for dinner. Tomorrow is our last day in Mweya and with nothing planned we have the world at our feet.
Thanks to Mrs Pritchard for her latest question. School holidays run in Uganda along different lines to the UK. The main holiday lasts from the end of November to the beginning of February, there is another holiday at around the same time as us at Easter and a three week holiday from the middle of August to the second week of September.