February 4th 2010
Finally, we have arrived at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. First time traveling with Emirates so we had a pit stop with an overnight in Dubai. Getting some rest in a real bed between these long flights was very relaxing seeing as Lyndon is a horrible plane sleeper. The service was rumored to be excellent and I’m glad to say they did not disappoint. If we could schedule it again we would plan on spending a full day in Dubai, tour the city and try to rub off some jet lag before diving into the Safari. Back in Entebbe the customs moved relatively quickly, just remember your new (2000 or younger) $50.00 bill for the Visa. Anything older than that and you get turned down or a horrible exchange rate. Not just at the airport either, everywhere, make sure to bring new bills, it is almost impossible to use old ones in Uganda.
We were met by our guide Ham immediately after clearing customs and we set off to the Boma Guest House. The drive from the airport in Entebbe to our destination in the suburbs of the capitol Kampala was about half an hour. February falls under the “dry” season in Uganda but that doesn’t rule anything out. It is more of a relative term. The first day had some showers and it was overcast or even raining throughout the trip. Nothing too heavy, indeed it actually made the temperature quite bearable. We had hoped to meet our travel companions that night for introductions but they all arrived at separate times and we could not meet until the following morning. Dinner was excellent.
This was our room at the Boma Guest House.
Sleeping on the first night is always tricky because no matter how tired you are and how quickly you fall asleep you invariably wake up at around 3:00 AM and feel wide awake. This trip was no different for us so by the time breakfast rolled around we were ready to begin the day. We met our travel companions Nicole and Sherine over some nice eggs bacon and tea. Today we were off to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, whose aim it is to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas in Uganda. They currently have 9 including several babies and are expecting to add some more from South Africa soon. The drive from Kampala was about 4 hours but seemed longer due to some never ending speed bumps.
I forgot how many speed bumps we counted, but it was easily too many.
Currently the Sanctuary is fully enclosed and the rhinos are actually monitored and guarded by armed park rangers 24/7. This makes locating them a cinch and partially habituates them to humans. Because of this we were able to get fairly close and get some fine photographs. This was a real joy because in our earlier safaris to southern Africa we had not had the pleasure of spotting any rhino. In all we had enough time to see 5 different rhino in two separate locations. A mother with a baby in one spot and a different mother with her baby along with a male in the other spot. When we got back to the visitor’s center we had some nice lunch, pork and spaghetti and meatballs. We then set off back to the Boma for a relaxing evening.
As you can see, there was quite a bit of brush in the way.
Here you can see the baby at our first stop.
And the baby at our second stop, standing infront of his mother and father.
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