Uganda 2014: Day 8

Safari day!!! We left our hotel around 6:30 because we had to be at a boat cruise at 10a. We had to drive back up to the main road again (which is surprisingly far away from the hotel) before turning on another long dirt road. Not long after we turned on that dirt road did we start seeing animals. There were a million of the country’s animal, the cob, throughout the area. Joanne said she has never seen as many baby animals as she was seeing now. We saw warred buffalo and tons if different, beautiful birds. When we saw the giraffe our driver told is that the darker ones are older, but if the lighter of the two colors is also darker and it had three horns it is a male. The female is lighter and has two horns. The elephants were cool too. There was two and there baby near us. When all the other cars started driving away the baby put its trunk in the air and then it’s mom did too. Ahmid said they smelled danger. In other words, they smelled us. There is an animal called a water buck. I guess they taste bad. When they feel threatened they put off a chemical that makes them taste bad. Then there are the Jackson heart face???. They are easy pray. They start running and after a little ways they forget why they are running and just stop. There were a couple more deer like animals, but I don’t remember what they are called.

We made it to the boat we were going to cruise on the Nile River with, but we were late. That seems to be a common theme with our group (being late). Because it was our team and only a couple other people they waited for us. Joanne lost one if her flip flops somehow along the way. We didn’t even see it in the van when we looked. It was a little cloudy, but I was thankful not to have the blazing sun blinding and/or burning us. The boat had two levels and I thought being on the top would be better, but there were no seats up there. It ended up being better at the bottom because we were close to the water. They told us we would see hippos, possibly crocodile, and if we were lucky, we would see elephants drinking from the river. I was surprised about the hippos! I figured we would see a couple here or there, but we saw them in groups of ten or more and it ended up being hundreds! The first two crocodiles we saw were huge! We couldn’t see their faces, but the captain told us they were nesting. We saw a few more around. Right before the falls we saw a group of at least 15 of them. I attempted to get a good picture of one with its mouth open. We will see how it turns out when I get home. While taking pictures of them there were some baboons a couple feet away. One of the crocodiles that was on land went after them and scared the baboons off. To backtrack a little, about half way to the falls we did get to see elephants. It was so cool! They were drinking the water and had five babies with them. Two elephants stayed in the grass to keep an eye out for danger.

We were not able to boat up to the falls. If we wanted to see it closer we had to pay $10 USD to take a 45 min to 1 hour hike to the top. We did stop along the way to take pictures. It was fun, but at one point I could not breath because of how steep it was and that my throat became so tight. Thankfully my big brother was there to take care of and encourage me! He told me to breath different and then when we got to the top he gave me an energy cube. The energy cube is a gummy that, I believe, has a much caffeine in it as 1-2 cups of coffee. It was also cool that he stayed behind (right in front of one of the guides) to keep an eye on all the girls that went. The waterfall was beautiful! It was defiantly worth going even though I knew it would be so hard for me. Once we got to where the cars were picking us up at, our drivers told us we missed the ferry that takes us back to the hotel. When we finally made it to where the ferry docks (about 1 hr drive) Ahmed talked to a couple people there and was able to get us a ride. A boater was taking a ranger and another man across in his small boat and could fit the 5 of us girl in too. Ahmed called us to him and we ran to the boat. While we were running the other cars pulled up and saw us running. So, they followed us. We were able to fit Sarah E in the boat as well. It was fun! We waved goodbye to everyone on our way. The ride was so fast! Then we talked up the hill to our hotel.

Once in the hotel, Joanne told us to wash up and get lunch right away because we were late and had to leave in 30 min for safari. All of us, even those we left on the other side of the river, ate lunch and changed in time to leave. We headed out in our four vehicles and each car got a ranger who also brought a gun. With the vans we had, we could sit on the top in the back and/or front of the vehicle. Because I sat in the back I did not hear everything our ranger said. I did talk to him and ask a couple questions. Caroline was inside with him and the driver while three girls were in front and two were in back. I got on the top in back because it was easier to get in and out. There were so many different animals! They are all cool, but you get tired of seeing all the cob and want to see something more fun. We did she 4 jackal too! They are so small! From where I was it looked like it was as big as our cat. All four vans split up and hunted for lions. When it was almost time to go back our driver received the call saying two vans had found lions and their cubs. Ahmed rushed over there, but did not slow down fast enough and scared them into the bushes. All the other team members yelled at him and were angry although it was an accident. We did get to see them though. The two safaris were fun!!! I was so ready to take a shower and go to bed though. I did take a shower, but did not go to sleep right away because Katie, my roommate, was out trying to use the internet and she did not have our key. Also, I did not know if I would wake up to a knock. I am glad for her sake that I stayed up. She was very stressed out. Yesterday she learned that amazon had charged her for this free trial thing even though she canceled it before the trial time was over. She could not get the internet to send emails for her and tomorrow she would have a second overdraft fee because of them charging when she had canceled. I told her that she should use our emergency phone to call her mom so she could take care of things. While she showered I found Ben and asked if that is what he would do. The only change he had was to have me wake Joanne up and have Katie call tonight. I felt bad for Joanne, but did it anyway. Joanne was happy to do it and Ben and Katlyn helped me find the code to call out to America. Thankfully Katie was still awake when I got back. I told her the code and gave her the phone. She was so happy and thankful! It was great for her to talk to her mom and get a little stress out of her system. I think it helped her sleep better.

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