A Safari of the Senses in the Pearl of AfricaJanuary 30, 2017
“For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life — bird, insect, reptile, beast — for vast scale — Uganda is truly “the Pearl of Africa.”
– Winston Churchill
A safari to Uganda is truly a safari of the senses. Laura Griffith-Jones recently discovered this for herself when she set out on an adventure with us to experience this unique and fascinating country. From chimpanzee trekking, to spotting Ishasha’s famous tree-climbing lions, to galloping across the plains of Lake Mburu National Park, Laura became a fist-hand witness to the vast wonders of Uganda.
Here are a few snippets from her experiences. Make sure to read the full articles for a more detailed encounter of her travels:
“It was 5.30am as we slid along slimy mud tracks in a 4WD, deep in western Uganda’s impenetrable forests. The darkness was intense and the mist hovered forebodingly. “Is it going to rain?” I asked. “It is a rainforest!” laughed Bosco, our Journeys Discovering Africa driver. True, on arrival, we were introduced to our guide Rhona Assy, and soon we were following her on foot, trudging through the sodden jungle as the dawn broke and the fog began to lift, revealing mauve clouds filling an angry sky. Shards of gold shone between the branches, bedecking the forest floor in dappled light.”
“Like most people who brave the long journey to Ishasha, I am eager to see some the area’s fabled ‘tree-climbing lions.’ We trundle to a halt by an impressive fig tree and our driver-guide Bosco utters a single word: “Lion.” My stomach somersaults. Gazing upwards, I spot a slender, brown tail with a cartoon-like tuft at the tip. It belongs to a huge male lion – his stomach bulging and massive paws dangling awkwardly. His burnt-amber eyes fix on us and then close slowly again, lethargic and disinterested. It seems downright unnatural to see him lounging in the treetops like a leopard, but Ishasha’s lions are not a subspecies of the Panthera Leo as you might expect. And indeed this is not the only place where they behave this way. “All cats climb trees.” Bosco tells us, wryly. “But it depends on their habitat. The 30 or so that live here have learnt to climb the fig, albizzia and acacia trees to get a better view of their prey in the tall grass, to cool down and to protect themselves from tsetse flies. They have adapted over time.”
“I am galloping across a wide-open valley in Lake Mburu National Park. Water droplets spray up from beneath the horses’ thudding hooves, refracting the light like a prism. Nostrils flared, our mounts draw heavily on the hot, damp air. It is May and the Emerald Season is in full swing: the wild grasses in the miniature Ugandan jewel are luscious and tall, the vividness of the greens breathtaking.”
Does this sound like your kind of safari experience? Talk to us and we’ll help you plan the perfect trip tailored to your interest, budget and schedule.
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