Entry gate to Queen Elizabeth National Park. (Photos by: Pamela Amia/ChimpReports)
Just across the southern hemisphere, lies Uganda’s most visited park of all times, Queen Elizabeth National Park with the never-ending savannahs, humid forests, shady-sparking lakes and fertile wetlands.
The park is home to more than 10 primates’ species including chimpanzees and over 600 bird species that keep tourists coming to admire the nature that the pearl of Africa is gifted with.
As part of the scribes covering the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2017, the Uganda Tourism Board saw to it that l crossed the hemisphere to the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese District, Western Uganda.
We moved together with a team of hosted buyers and international travel writers from across the world.
Water Buffaloes in the middle of the park.
Having spent a night at the Mweya Safari Lodge I woke up early to see the wonder full sun set and the delightful view of the park, at 6am.
After a light breakfast at the lodge we all went into the cars for the game drive through the park that had kept me awake all night wondering how many animals we would see and how they actually behave in the wild.
Once in the park, little did l know that even the Hosted Buyers could not wait to get that experience.
The Game Drive
While driving through the park we saw enormous craters with natural hills that gave the best view of the Kazinga Channel to the southern part of the park.
Derrick Wasswa, out guide told us that the southern part of the park is inhabited by more than 65 lions, buffaloes, antelopes, elephants warthogs and many others that l had never seen in my life. This was indeed the experience of a life time.
A herd of elephants grazing on a lake side in the park
The park at the time was jam-packed with tourists and just as we went deep into the park at 40km/hr speed we got the most unforgettable moment of our lives where we saw five lions hunting.
The driver made a stop so we could get a clear view. Other tourists within the park were also watching and the impression from the Hosted buyers would tell that they had never gotten a chance to see them, neither had I.
After the drive, we went back to the hotel only to find heavy breakfast awaiting us which we savoured before descending for boat cruise.
The Boat Cruise
At around 3pm we all went for the boat cruise and in fact it got me thinking we (Ugandans) like keeping in our comfort zones without going to different hemispheres to get different experiences, a culture that should be changed.
Aboard the boat, our guide Petra explained more about the endless beauty of the park and off we went. The very first animals we saw where the hippos in the water surrounding their babies as a way of protection.
“Since the skins of hippos have no hair they stay in the water to keep themselves away from the scotching sun and fresh then in the night, they go hurting for food,” said Petra.
Chimp corp, Pamela Amia (C) taking boat ride
When we went ahead, we could see crocodiles; young and old resting on the lake shores with buffaloes also drinking water and different types of birds everywhere near the channel.
Finally, we saw the huge lanky giants (elephants) some drinking water others grazing on the Amarula tree.
“The tree gets them drunk and they run nuts. Infact they first put the fruits down and wait for them to ferment then and only then do they eat their best food,” explained Petra.
The nature walks are one of the most active ways to explore the landscape and wildlife though it is also scary especially after seeing lions on the hunt. I endured, since I wanted an experience to tell.
“Why is it called Queen Elizabeth National Park? Ugandans should change all these names to their local language as a way of showing culture diversities; for example us in Israel all the British names once we gained back our independence where changed. You cannot find even one name in British English,” one of the hosted buyers Effi Shuv from Israel, founder of Advanced Disciplined Intelligence said.
A pod of hippos in the park
The hosted buyers were aroused by the beauty in the park, with most of them promising to come back with their families and friends so that they can get a taste of our wonderful Uganda.
Many people in and out of Uganda will travel all over the world but the best way to get our people to love what they don’t know even exists in their home land is through preaching about it through writing, blogging and many other methods to make them leave their comfort zones.
The initiative of taking writers on tours will help expose the unknown beauties that Uganda is has and attract even more visitors to the country.
Crocodiles were seen on the banks of the river
#Queen Elizabeth National Park