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Posts Tagged ‘Kibale’

On our way to Queen Elizabeth National Park we stopped in Fort Portal for fuel and to give the cook, Juma, some time to replenish his stocks.  This obviously gave us a chance to visit banks, internet cafes and to try and find a decent cup of coffee.  Apart from satisfying Juma’s needs, an essential part of the stop and one that is always completed with success (he’s been here before and knows what he is looking for) the other needs were met with varying degrees of success.  We have even been served Nescafe in a little bowl which we can put, to our own liking, into the hot water that comes in a jug.  This is in a country where really good coffee is grown!  Where are we?

I spent 500 Ksh (less than a dollar) at an Internet cafe with no success at all.  ‘Service provider not recognised’ was all I got for my effort and shillings.

We crossed the Equator.

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The Equator      (P1090443  DY of jtdytravels)

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An Internet Cafe and Coffee Shop – but how good?    (P1090442  DY of jtdytravels)

As we entered the Park we saw our first elephants.

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Our first elephants     (P1090453  DY of jtdytravels)

After setting up our tents we were ready for our late afternoon two hour cruise on the naturally occurring Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George with Lake Edward.  It was a delightful cruise on which we saw many birds (including dozens of Pied Kingfishers), hippos and other interesting animals and activities.

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Pied Kingfishers     (P1090482  DY of jtdytravels)

After dinner it was an adjournment to the bar to again replenish liquid lost during the day.  We had dropped down quite some elevation from our last stop so it had become quite a bit warmer and more humid.  Do I really need an excuse to spend a quiet hour or two in the bar with a good group of travelling companions?

Even a cold shower was very necessary after the day’s hot and humid activities, however this heart stopping event is not good for old men.  Have I mentioned that I’m the token ‘grandfather’ of the group.  I’m the oldest by a couple of years.

A dry thunder storm brewed overhead which provided a lovely display through the open window flaps of my tent when I finally hit the hay.  This turned a bit sour when I had to venture outside in my jocks at around midnight to lower the flaps as the dry thunderstorm turned into a wet one.  This only lasted about 30 minutes but could not be ignored.  However, the pitter-patter of the rain did not keep me awake long.

Also, have I mentioned that some of our group can read books and sleep when we are out on game drives???!!!  Why did they come?  D

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Kibale Forest National Park is the most accessible of Ugandan’s major rainforests and is home to the highest concentration of different primates in the world.  Twelve different species have been recorded.  The main attraction however, is the park’s 500 chimpanzees which have been habituated.

We took a walking safari to see the chimps, a real highlight.

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After hours of walking – a chimp up a tree  P1090392  DY of jtdytravels

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Colourful bracket fungus  P1090339  DY of jtdytravels

A village walk was on offer during the afternoon.  This included a visit to a tea plantation, something I’ve done a couple of times before.  I declined the offer and decided instead to do some washing and to have a shower.  There was hot water (sometimes) in the open air showers.  These showers offered a lovely view.

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The open-air shower  P1090396  DY of jtdytravels

Having elected to stay behind I planned to do some writing before my rostered duty came around.  The group has been divided into groups of four whose duty each day is to do their bit for the whole group.  My duty this particular day was to help the cook with the preparation of the vegetables for the night’s meal.  I expected a call to duty at around 17h30, but to my dismay, the cook said he wanted me at 16h30.  This was only 30 minutes after I finished my washing and shower.  I dutifully turned up at the appointed hour and did my duty.  Because I was the only PAX in camp the whole of the job fell to my peeling and cutting hands.  This wasn’t a problem but it naturally took me longer to do the job than having it shared between the other members of my group who were still out visiting the village or doing the afternoon chimp walk.  By the time I’d finished cutting up enough eggplant, carrots, onion, green capsicum, potato and grating garlic to give the non-descript soup some flavour, the first of the group arrived back at camp from their various activities.  It was obviously time to start replenishing some of the liquid lost earlier in the day.  And, there went the best of my intentions!

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The view from the bar  P1090260  DY of jtdytravels

I don’t think I’ve put a flower picture in yet, so here is one just because I can!  The butterfly is just for interest.

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Solanum and butterfly  P1090225  DY of jtdytravels

More anon   David

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We got away to a fairly early start but got caught up in a traffic jam as were turned out of the camp site’s front gate.  A truck had broken down somewhere in the vicinity and this had caused the problem.  It took us an hour to travel only a few kilometres to a supermarket where the cook had to buy our provisions for the next few days.  This stop also provided most of us with an opportunity to cash in our useful currencies for Kenyan shillings.  There was also a good coffee shop in the complex that provided us with what was to be our last good coffee so far, not that we knew that at the time!

It was interesting to note that there was little roadside rubbish, we even spotted a few street sweepers.  Kampala is generally a clean city.

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A busy street-side market  P1090205  DY of jtdytravels

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Clean streets and green traffic roundabouts  P1090210  DY of jtdytravels

More when I get the chance   David

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