Wild Animals!

In this post I’m not going to say very much because I think that the pictures of the animals speak for themselves. All of these photographs were taken by members of the Queen Elizabeth Parks Project team on this 2017 trip to Uganda, so you will understand how lucky we have all been to see these animals in their natural habitat in the wild.

While it always makes us really happy and privileged to see these animals whenever we come across them, we always remember that the whole point of us doing this work with our friends in Uganda is about CONSERVATION. We are working together to share ideas about how to look after our world and the animals in it, and that includes our work with the Rangers of both parks, and with the teachers and the children in all of the schools.

Gorillas seen at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the south of Uganda, one of the few places left in the world where you can see Mountain Gorillas.

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At Kymbura Gorge the team have been lucky enough to track chimpanzees on several occasions, alongside the very talented and skilful Rangers who know the chimps like they know the members of their own families!

Chimpanzees at Kyambura Gorge

Some animal are more difficult to see and require an eagle eyed Ranger or Project Team member to spot them.

 

A leopard hiding in a Candelabra Tree.

Other animals are more easily spotted as they graze across the plains or beside the main roads of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

Uganda Kob

 

Waterbuck

 

Topi

We are always delighted to see elephants passing by our vehicle in their family groups, especially if they have little ones with them. If they do have babies then you have to be careful to go be them plenty of room so they don’t feel threatened. You don’t want to mess with an enraged mother elephant!

 

Beside the Kazinga Channel

Near the road on the Mweya Peninsula

 

It it was a rare privilege to see lions!

Ishasha game drive track- no lions on that day! ☹️

Lion with kill

 

And there is always a multitude of birds! Uganda is truly a birdwatcher’s paradise!

Marabou stork – lots of them always living close to people so they can scavenge for leftover food.

Weaver bird

Speckled mousebird

Sunbird

A venue of vultures- if they are found gathered on the ground. If they are circling it is a ‘kettle’ of vultures. (I am reliably informed by my collective noun Google search!)

I’m no birdwatcher, so if I’ve made any mistakes in labelling these pictures I do apologise! (Help me out here Mr Peach or Ranger Jan!)

 

We were also very fortunate to see many hippopotamuses in the waters of the Ishasha River and the Kazinga Channel, and sometimes by the side of the road on a cooler day, and even one night outside our bedroom windows at Hippo House (hence the name obviously!)

 

Looking across the Ishasha River from Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda to the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with hippos in between.

The hippo outside our bedroom windows late one night, we named Henry. He was so close we could have leaned out of the open window (and it was open) and touched him, but he certainly was not in the least bit bothered by us and our torch beams and our excited talk. No, he was far too intent on munching the delicious purple shrub that was growing around the perimeter of Hippo House to be at all put off by us. We watched him intently as he made his way around the outside of the house, with us moving from bedroom to bedroom to get the best view. And we obviously didn’t touch him because hippos are known to be the most dangerous animals in Africa. Although they are vegetarians, they would think nothing of ripping you limb from limb with their powerful teeth and jaws if you happened to get in their way. No thanks Henry- that was close enough thank you very much!

Of course, I have by no means recorded all of the wildlife that is available to see in Uganda in this blog post. The country is literally crawling, slithering, flapping, stalking, creeping and swinging with life everywhere you look. You will just have to go there some day and see for yourself.

Here are a few more photos……