Unfortunately, we were unable to blog yesterday because we simply ran out of time and energy after a very long and full day. An early rise and breakfast before leaving Kashekuro set us on the road for a 3 hour plus bus trip to Queen Elizabeth National Park over a very rough "highway". The road west, which carries a lot of tourist and freight traffic to and from the Congo, is a major highway in very poor condition. Our driver Stephen did a marvellous job dodging the potholes for most of the way; in fact, it was often smoother driving on the road shoulder than on the road itself.
Anyway, we arrived safely at beautiful and luxurious Mweya Lodge in time for a 3 course lunch followed by a couple of hours free time before a late afternoon safari. Tony wasn't feeling well so decided to stay behind for a nap. The safari was brilliant! Our special guide, Godfrey, led us to find a great variety of wildlife - a herd of elephants, baboons, vervet monkeys, a herd of antelopes including a new born (just 2 days old), 4 lionesses (1 up a tree), warthogs, water bucks, guinea fowls with chicks, cape buffalos, 2 hippos wallowing in the mud, Ugandan kobs, etc. We returned to the lodge after a magnificent sunset only to be treated to another delicious 3 course a la carte meal. After dinner, a few stayers were entertained by a wonderful Ugandan dance and drumming troupe with seemingly boundless energy. Then off to bed for a good night's sleep.
Today, we were all up extra early and ready for a pre-dawn safari at 6.15 am! Again, we were thrilled to see many of the same animals as yesterday but no lions. Instead we saw, more varieties of dear and the hippo this time doing full body rolls in the mud pool.
Before heading back to the lodge, we were able to visit an extremely poor fishing village on the shore of Lake George where we delivered a great quantity of new children's clothing, mostly donated by friends of HPI and our own team members. We were overwhelmed by the throng of poor mothers and children clamouring for the clothing. Many of the children were clad in rags , some with no shirts or even with no clothes at all. It was absolute chaos! Unfortunately, although we distributed more than 100 pieces of clothing, we didn't have enough, so some were disappointed. But we made a small and important difference for many.
Stephen delivered us back to the lodge for a late (10.30am) breakfast followed by a short break before the 2pm cruise along the Kazinga Channel which connects Lake Edward with Lake George. Again, we were treated to a vast variety of wildlife including much bird life such as white egrets, plovers, fish eagles, kingfishers, marine storks, pelicans, yellow billed storks, cormorants, etc. We were entertained by a herd of about 8 elephants swimming and frolicking in the channel as well as lots of hippos, water buffalos and crocodiles. After a long but amazing day, we returned to the lodge for a few hours rest before dinner. Our safari has been outstanding and is thoroughly recommended for future team members. Tomorrow we will be motoring back to Kampala.