Saturday, March 3, 2012

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Things are still going well here. So far I haven’t had much “work” time…that is to say, aside from a few meetings, I haven’t done what would qualify as “work” in America. I’m not complaining. The time I have spent over the last two weeks has given me an opportunity to build relationships with people around me. I continue to enjoy each of the people I have met up to this point! 

This blog portion will be about Queen Elizabeth National Park. My trip was amazing, and it deserves its own segment! I recognize that there aren’t many people who would willingly place themselves in my shoes out in the village…but I must say one of the perks to this “line of work” is the proximity to so many incredible native animal species. Since many of my loved ones may never get to visit a safari like QENP, I hope to bring the park to my readers!

The first day was amazing. I went with Joe, Elaine, and one of their volunteers from the US, Mary Fran. Joe and Elaine have been to dozens of safaris throughout their lives, and they were a great resource of information not only about types of birds and animals, but also with interesting descriptions of animal behaviors.

The drive out was actually not bad. We got to stop for photos at a tea farm/plantation along the highway. I can’t pass up showing you how beautiful it was:

We also stopped at one of the many crater lakes in that region, caused by volcanic eruptions:

We stopped to look at a cave, that part wasn’t interesting, but I got this great photo out of it on the path towards the cave:

African Rift Valley/view of QENP from the highway above:
Black and White Colobus monkeys greeted us on the road towards our lodge:

Vervet monkeys greeted us when we arrived at the lodge:

Our cabin:

Our view from our sitting room:

The lodge pool:
Dining area with a view of the Crater Lake:

Early morning safari…ten minutes from the lodge and we already saw this guy having breakfast:
 Here are a series of animals from the day.
 Elephant and various Water Buffalo at the "water hole":
 I think these were called Skimmer birds:
 In the distance, there is a single-file line of Ugandan Kobs:
 Red-tailed monkey:
 Hippo out of water! SO rare to see during the day:
 Ugandan Cobb up close:
 Elephant, little birds that I don't remember the name, and tons of Hippos, I think there was a Crocodile nearby too...:
 The extremely rare to sight Leopard:
 Water Buffalo:

 African Fish Eagle:
Can you spot the Lioness head in the tall grass? (Look towards the thicket on your left...)

Everything but the hippo out of water was taken on the first day. The second day, we only saw two cool things....that hippo, and a live performance of National Geographic:

First, we came across this fresh Leopard kill of the Ugandan Kob:

Then we came back an hour later and found these Vultures going wild eating the Kob:

Then we left, and came back an hour later again, and when the Vultures scattered, we found this:

COOL huh? Sorry for the graphic images! haha....Circle of Life, man.

The next day we visited the bat cave near our lodge. CREEPY. It was hard to get a good photo with the lighting, but basically the entire cave was lined with these things. They were flying everywhere too because apparently a Fish Eagle had just visited for lunch and freaked them out. I hope the video works:

These pics were taken on the walk there and back. I like to prove to people that Africa isn't all desert:

This is a picture of one of the Salt Mines located within the park: 
 On our last night we ate dinner at the "Captain's Table" out on the water. Perfect conclusion:
And that, ladies and gentlemen is the extremely condensed version of Queen Elizabeth National Park. I also have sweet pictures of three different Elephant families, but my camera died so the pics need to be borrowed from one of my travel-buddies. Stay tuned for those!

After this safari, I'm not sure the zoo will ever be the same again...

With love,


  1. What a wonderful experience, Kristen. Thanks for the pictures.

  2. Loved your descriptions and photos! A great summary of our time. FYI the national animal of Uganda is the Ugandan Kob (not Cobb) ;-)