Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Wednesday in Mbarara
Today is a National Holiday in Uganda which celebrates the overthrowing of the Edi Amin regime 25 years ago. This would be very similar in nature to our July 1st celebrations or even the 4th of July in the US. None of the major businesses are open in honour of the significance of the day.
We decided that we would travel an hour or so North to the Lake Mburo National Park as it was recommended as a must see place by our friends from the Gates Foundation that we met in Masaka.
We arrived at the Park just before lunch and paid our fee to enter…a bit spendy, but when you consider it is a once in a life time opportunity to see Zebras, well you just pay the price. $30 US per white person.
All I can say is that was money well spent!!!!! We saw zebras, antelope, African deer, baboons, monkeys, Warthogs and other animals!! See zebras up close and personal was amazing…literally they were standing 20 feet away from us and they look exactly like a striped horse…it was the coolest thing.
The amount of wildlife we saw was unimaginable….all over the place and in their natural habitat. So close to our vehicle we could hear them. I was able to get some great pictures!!
For lunch we stopped at a little outdoor café on the edge of Lake Mburo…it was so quaint and peaceful. I ordered fresh Tilapia right out of the lake….it was very tasty. As we were waiting for our food to arrive, (I think they had to send someone out fishing first!) we saw a couple of large Baboons in the parking lot. They had found some food left in the garage and we enjoying it immensely. Not long after that 4 or 5 monkeys arrived and they too scavenged for some food….they ended up climbing all over our vehicles as we ate. I decided to try a get a close up picture of one of them and was able to get within 4 or 5 feet!!! They had no fear of me at all….I am sure he would have eaten out of my hand if I had brought food with me!!! I was able to get some great shots!!
The National Park visit was definitely a great way to see African wildlife. I enjoyed it very much.
Tomorrow we do a one day follow up visit with one of the credit unions that were visited by the coaches last year. It is close to Masaka, so we have a long drive ahead of us in the morning. I am looking forward to meeting them as well.