Uganda 2017 day 13

Today we got up really early to leave by 4:30 am. We headed out for safari! I made sure to get in Martin’s (aka Ssepuuya) van. Because everyone wanted to sleep, I was able to sit in the front seat and talk to him. He is amazing! Ssepuuya is defiantly one of my favorites! He told me about his recent trip to Kenya and Tanzania. He was telling me about watching these wildebeest and zebra cross the river. He said that every year these animals cross in the river at the same spot and time of year. So, the crocodiles will wait for them. I think Ssepuuya said that about 2 million of them cross each year. That is so hard to fathom. The zebra lead the wildebeest because the zebra remember where they have been before. The wildebeest can smell when rain is coming, so they know when to hurry and stop. The zebra remember that the crocodile are in the river because of previous trips. That means they wait for the wildebeest to cross first so they are safe to pass after the crocodiles are full. There are hippos that kill them too, but that is because they are crossing in their habitat. Ssepuuya said this reminds him of when Moses and the Israelites were heading to the promise land. They encountered all kinds of hardships. These creatures encounter lions, leopards, crocodiles, and hippos. Along with whatever the weather decides to do too. It is just amazing the knowledge he has and it all comes back to God. He sees God in almost everything. He told me a few other stories and then showed me the little wood shield on his dashboard. It has a crest on it that is very significant to Ugandan history. He told me what every little detail that is carved into it symbolizes. It was awesome! I want to find something with this crest on it to take home. 
Once we arrived at the entrance of Murchison Falls Park, some of us switched what vans we were in. This year we are not able to go on the hike to Murchison Falls because the ferry to get us back to the hotel side of the river is being worked on. So, two vans took the people who wanted to go to see the falls to the top on the hotel side and the other van went directly to the hotel. On the way to the falls, there was an elephant close to the road. We stopped to look at it. It flapped its ears and took a few quick steps toward us before it trumpeted at us. Thankfully it decided not to attack. The other van pulled up right after that. The view of the falls and hearing its power amazes me every time! The view was so different! You could not actually see where it goes down, but you could see all the rapids before it. Murchison Falls is not a real water fall. It does not actually fall down the cliff. The passage the water goes though first is super wide.
down to seven meters. So, a lot water is actually forcefully push through a small opening. I don’t remember hearing that on my previous trips. In the way from the fall to the hotel Ssepuuya stopped because he did not see the van. We waited for them for a while. When we did not see them, Ssepuuya got nervous because we had no way to communicate if they were okay or not. He turned around and went a mile or so when we found them. They said they spotted a male lion and watched it for a couple minutes. We were sad we did not see it. About 30-45 minutes later we lost them again. That time they did not find anything, but somehow lost their spare tire. After all that we made it to the hotel with time to spare. We ate lunch then hung out at the pool. 
We went on a night drive safari. I could not believe how many animals I was seeing. I don’t remember seeing this many before. There were a lot of little babies too!!! We saw some super beautiful birds, elephants, giraffes, Cobb, waterbuck, Jackson hartebeest, oribi, water buffalo, two or three jackals, and about 7 lions. The lions were so cool! There were two females sitting by the side of the road. I saw one in the bushes a couple seconds before they saw those two. But nobody heard me and the two next to the road were so much easier to see. One decided to walk away right away and the other just laid there for a little bit. Then she had enough of us talking and walked away too. We drove a few yards forward and saw another female laying in the grass. The guide would not let us drive off road to them which we have done in the past. I was so sad, but thankful we saw the other two right next to us. There was one more on the other side of the road also a few more yards up. While looking at that lion there were a bunch of elephants standing at the top of the hill. It was beautiful! The other two vans drove on, but we decided to try another road really quick to see if we could find more lions. We did not, but Ssepuuya decided to drive back to where the first two we saw were. I am so glad he did! One of the females was back and got her three cubs and they were next to the road. We were the only van to see them.
When we got back to the hotel we had dinner. Cassie, Kate, zach, and I were so burned. Cassie and Kate were the worst though. Kate’s even blistered on her shoulders. I am surprised Cassie and I burned so much because we applied sun screen three to four times that day. Everyone was exhausted, so I am sure most people showered to get all the dust from safari off and then went right to sleep. That is defiantly what Cassie and I did. The heat just made us so sleepy.

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