Thursday, February 7, 2013

Into the Wild.

It wouldn't be a trip to Africa without a safari, or at least that is what my parents told me when I tried (read: struggled) to convince them that this trip was a good way for me to spend my January.  Our whole group hopped the bus and started the very, very long drive to Lake Mburu National Park in Uganda which is literally on the border of Tanzania.  Lake Mburu is famous for having the most species of antelope and the highest zebra population in Uganda, and is the only park in the country where you can do a game walk.
Striped Pals.
A game walk is essentially a walking safari, and while it was pretty scary at times to be less than 20 yards from a water buffalo, it was so much cooler than seeing them from a car.  Animals literally surrounded you, and I basically spent the entire time comparing the experience to the Lion King.  Seeing Pumba (meaning: warthog in Swahili) might have been the highlight of the safari.  
We also got to take a water safari and got to get up close and personal with some hippos. Hippos were the most dangerous animals we encountered on our safari.  Their jaws open 180 degrees, and though they are vegetarians, they’ll happily chop you in half if you get in their way. The hippos make a horrible sneezing angry sound when they are displeased, and they were certainly not happy to see us there. Every time they popped up from under the water there were more of them, and they kept getting closer. Though our boat driver laughed at us and promised us there was nothing to worry about, he suddenly sped us away all the way back to our campsite. Concerning.

Lake Mburu.
Our hotel was in the middle of the park and the animals could literally come up to our rooms, and those hippos we saw on the lake come out onto the camp site to feed at night.  Luckily, there were a few guides who accompanied us back to our rooms at night armed with little more than a bright flashlight (still concerning).  

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