Friday, June 15, 2012


Earlier this week, a group of six of us headed out to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese, Uganda for a three day safari! While being in Africa, there is just no way you can not go on a safari. We left Amani around 4am and arrived around 12 in the afternoon. Although it was a pretty long drive, we had an awesome tour guide that drove us through country villages and pointed out beautiful lakes. Before we arrived at Simba Safari Camp, we stopped and took pictures at the Equator line. I can now officially say that I have been in two hemispheres at the very same time!

Simba Safari Camp was interesting in itself. We discovered it wasn't one of those fancy safari lodges you dream about with the cool animal print decor, nice themed room. Nope, we opened our door and discovered it was 4 bunk beds with makeshift mosquito nets for all six of us. Poor Charles was going to have to listen to a bunch of girl talk for the next two nights. Once we got settled in, we drove to the park since we had an hour to kill before our boat ride tour. The van we were driving in had a huge sun roof so we all decided to stand on the chairs and stick our heads outside to get a better view. We were probably the funniest sight to the people that lived along the road there. We all were intent on finding as many animals as possible. We joked about how trying to spot elephants in the park was the African version of Where's Waldo. Within that hour, we spotted cows, elephants and wart hogs. Wart hogs are much smaller than Pumba in the Lion King!

As part of our Safari, we took a boat tour along the Kazinga Channel that joins Lake Gorge and Lake Edward. It was about an hour and a half ride where we saw water buffalo, elephants, crocodiles and hippos. It was amazing to think that here they were in their natural habitat, exactly where God had placed them. They were not behind glass at a zoo and I was not on a safari ride at Animal Kingdom in Disney. Our guide spotted two lionesses up in the hills which is very rare during the day. Lions usually only come out early morning or late at night to hunt. As we were driving back to the camp, our driver quickly stopped and pulled off the side of the road. About 25 feet from the road was a young adult male lion. After waiting about 15 minutes to see if any other lions would accompany him, our driver Wilson thought something might be wrong with the lion. So, we pulled up towards the lion. We were literally only 10 feet away from him! After saying goodbye to the lion, we realized that we had lost our spare tire. This meant that we had to go the dark... to find the tire which happened to be 10 feet away from the lion. Our driver strategically positioned the van in case the lion decided to advance towards him, he could make a quick escape into the van. Wilson saved the day and saved his spare tire from the lion!

Our second day we woke up early in hopes of seeing more lions. Unfortunately we didn't but instead saw lots of water bucks, water buffalos and more warthogs. It is so hard to condense everything that happened because we did so much and saw so much! We also went on a nature walk where we hiked to see a bat cave. I have never seen so many bats in my entire life! They covered the walls, ceiling, name it. We also had a National Geographic moment and watched a giant python eat bats. To shorten things and not make this an incredibly long post, we also saw a large group of baboons on the side of the road. We stopped and they came right up to the car door which made for a perfect picture opportunity. My favorite part probably besides the lion was the chance to have our pictures taken with a family of elephants 15 feet away from us in the background. It was so cool! We ended our safari with walking around a field filled with zebras. It was an incredible experience and I am so happy I had the chance to go on it. The group of us that went on it became so much closer. I mean, when you are that close to a lion in the middle of the night, you share a special bond haha. Throughout the drive, I realized that Uganda is full of contrasts. Nature wise, it is absolutely beautiful. There are huge mountains everywhere, fields of banana groves, beautiful hidden lakes and deep, rich, red soil. Against this amazing backdrop, there are rows of rundown tiny shops with curtains as doors and cardboard or thatched roofs lining the road.

I have so many other pictures from this trip that I think I am just going to post a separate post full of just pictures later this weekend :)


  1. YEAH! We can comment now!I LOVE all of the pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, your heart and your love for the babies and children with us! I think the love is mutual! I love reading your blogs. And, especially love the 30 things you have learned about Africa in your first week. It was hysterical!! Keep us posted! Love you, Mom

  2. For anyone who wants to comment. It asks you to select a profile in the tiny box that appears. I chose google and it was easy to fill out to publish my comment to Brooke