Uganda 2022 Day 12

Today we left the house at 4:30 am to head to safari. I rode with Naamah, Benjamin, Elena, and Susanna. Our driver was Wilson. He softly sang to himself for at least half the drive to the safari lodge. Surprisingly, we only made four bathroom breaks on our way there. Two at gas stations that were tile floors with the toilet bowl in the ground and two bush toilets. The first bush toilet stop was fast because only one guy went. The second was not so fast. Most, if not all of the girls did not want to go in the tall grass, so we squatted behind the open van door. When it was my turn, three local men and women were standing on the other side looking and Joanne stood in that side. Then I blocked that side for her. The boys went out in the bushes. When we were still about an hour out from the park, we saw baboons on the side of the road. People in one of our vehicles threw a couple bananas to them. Not long after our last bush toilet stop, I saw a big herd of what I believe was cobb and a couple giraffes, but they were far in the distance. I pointed the giraffe out to Wilson because I had learned they are his favorite. A couple minutes later Wilson pointed out a few elephants that were also pretty far away. Then we saw a couple giraffe closer right before stopping at a police check point and elephants closer right after the check point. Rachel Y did not believe me when we stopped at the place to sign the guest book. A few yards out from there we saw another elephant, so Wilson stopped while we waited for the other vehicles. There was also a swamp area there and Benjamin pointed out a crocodile in the water too. We then continued on toward the safari lodge. Maybe ten minutes away we saw a herd of giraffe. There were so many little ones! I don’t think I have ever seen so many young giraffe when I have been on safari. Our lunch was ready by the time we arrived at the Pakuba lodge. We went into the lobby where they gave us amazing watermelon juice and cool towels to wipe our face and hands. Then showed us where to go for lunch. We had a couple hours to relax before heading out on safari after being assigned our rooms. I was in the one room of three people with Naamah and Elena. It was not ready when we were done with lunch, so I went to Rachel Y and Jocelyn’s room to change into my swimming suit. Rachel Y and I walked there together. The pool felt so nice! I actually had goosebumps even though I did not feel cold. Because our room was ready. I got that key from Naamah and went to take my first shower in days. It felt good too because there was hot water. 

For safari, Benjamin, Naamah, Elena, and I rode with Wilson again in the van. Before we even picked up our guide (who has the gun), we saw the herd of giraffe again not far after, a big herd of elephants. Once again, I have never need so many young elephants and there was a very little one. When they crossed the road behind us, the littlest was between four or five adults. Elena had told me the two things she wanted to see were a tiny elephant and a male lion. After watching them for awhile we continued on and picked up our guides. We had Patricia in our van. She was very nice and knowledgeable. Our vehicles caught up with other safari vehicles. At one point they were just stopped and looking into bushes. As it turned out, there were lions in the bushes. Wilson pulled in front of the far one and we saw a female and I could hardly see the outline of two cubs in the very back. Our vans were there for a long time. I tried to convince people to go out to get them or to grab a cub to see what happens, but nobody did. A few of our team were ready to move on, but Ssepuuya and Joanne were on the top of their car looking at a male and female off in the distance. Wilson turned around while they were doing this. Patricia had us drive back a little the way we had come to a safari officer on a motorcycle with a gun. They had talked once or twice already while we were at the lions when he drove by. He gave us permission to go out to the lions Joanne and Ssepuuya were looking at. We were the first van to arrive and not only were the male and female there, but there was also a super tiny cub. Even Joanne said she had never seen one so small. By the time we left the lions, we had no more time to drive around as it was getting dark, so we headed back for dinner. Martin’s vehicle was in front of us and during the drive back he had a water buffalo standing in the middle of the road and then a hyena ran across the road in front of him. We saw both and pulled over to get a better look at the hyena with Patricia’s flashlight. At dinner I tried some goat meat and after I was able to call my family.

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