Off to safari - Tuesday, July 29th
Began our day very early, as safari vans picked us up for the 11 hour drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Our ride included a stop at a grocery store to get bottled water for ride. Just as in most other shopping adventures in Uganda, we had to get through security to shop. Our drivers, Richard and Ben are quite personable and drive quite safely. After driving through a brief rain, we stopped at the Equator. We all took pictures of each other, some straddling the famous north-south line. It just makes for a memorable moment for sure. Mbarara was our stopping point for lunch. The menu included some American sounding foods such as the Apple Bacon Salad which I ordered. It was actually a couple of leafs of lettuce with several large pieces of "bacon" (not cooked crisp enough for me), slices of a nice crisp green apple, a few rings of purple onion and some Ugandan style honey mustard dressing. Not too bad, I'd say! And on the side, I tried the deep fried eggplant. Most of the group liked it. Back on the road again, we drove through several small towns including Igara which I think is where we began to see several tea plantations. We also saw several banana plantations. I was impressed with the use of the land! Planting was even neatly spaced on the side of the mountains. Next thing I noticed was a lake our guide called Crater Lake. There is no inlet or outlet - very interesting! Once we entered the Queen Elizabeth National Park area, our safari actually began as we saw elephants, water bucks, a leopard (lucky us!), lioness, water buffalo, and antelope. By the time we reached our "sleeping quarters", we had had a long tiring day! So blessed!!