Thursday, July 8, 2010

6th - 8th July. Fiona's perspective

We arrived at Ishasha Wilderness Camp, nestled on the banks of the Ishasha River in the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Unfortunately a massive fire had swept through the area a few days earlier and so most of the area was black.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp is a fully tented Camp with 10 tents and a tented lounge and dining area.
The tents had double beds, shower and portable loo. I was relieved to find that they did have 2 flushing toilets, for the 3 tents that our group had at the far side of the camp. The shower was a plastic Jerry can filled with warm water outside the tent, strung up and attached to a pipe with a shower head. So when you wanted to shower you had to request one from the staff.

Lunch enabled me to finally taste Chapati's with a wonderful Avo salad. Afterwards G&T's were had by all whilst sitting down at the deck next to the river.

Our American freind Elizabeth happened to also transfer to Ishasha Wilderness Camp, so we touched base again and she offered Jess to join her and her Driver/Safari guide on a late afternoon game drive as Alan and I chose to stay in camp and chill.

Bad decision!! Jess, Elizabeth, Gavin and Jen all saw the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha!!! And they have pictures to prove it.

The following morning we set off for a game drive through the Queen Elizabeth National Park determined to see the Tree Climbing Lions! But we saw Herds of Buffalo, Topi, Ugandan Cob, Vultures, but no Lion. Defeated we returned to camp for breakfast and to say goodbye to Elizabeth and exchange numbers. I did the normal Fiona thing and offered to help her organise an SA holiday when her and her boyfreind decided to visit SA.

Determined to try again we made a date for a game drive in the late afternoon.

The late afternoon proved more fruitful after Gavin & Jen came across a Leopard sitting alongside the road. Lovely sighting. We then drove down to the river running between Uganda and the Congo and had some Sundowners whilst viewing the Hippos lying on an island in the middle of the river, no mans land!
We spent the last few daylight hours, sipping Whiskey out of crystal glasses feeling ever so colonial. Jess has learnt to drink Whiskey due to the lack of decent wine in some areas. Box wine just won't do!

Back to the lodge for a shower (by request) and dinner, which was followed by Ugandan coffee in front of a fire next to the river.

Breakfast was a leisurely affair and we finally left deciding on a game drive before exiting the park. Imagine our excitement at spotting the Lioness in a tree, 100m from the previous sighting. So finally, we had seen the Tree Climbing Lions of Ishasha!!!

We arrived in Fort Portal 4hrs later and finally at our new destination an hour later.

Ndali lodge is situated overlooking a Volcanic lake from which their water is sourced. What a magnificent view.
It is owned by Aubrey, apparently it has been in the family for many years. Aubrey is newly married to Claire, a native Ugandan who speaks the queens English.

We all had a long bath before dinner.
I think the first time anyone has had the chance to bath and not shower in weeks. When Alan and I visited Jess's room before dinner, I was asked to kill a 'tarantula' sized spider. I missed and it jumped at me, and in the dark we could not find it.

An early dinner and then bed.
But not before a quick detour to find the spider again and dispose of it! What would they do without me!

Tomorrow we are off to Kampala and then back to Jane & Paul's house.
Gavin & Jen are Chimp trekking and then overnighting en route to our rendezvous point at Murchison Falls, where we will be camping for 2 nights with Jane,Paul. Gareth and the twins.

Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

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