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Monday, August 30, 2010

Safari to Queen Elizabeth

It's not a trip to Africa without a safari so a few weeks ago we loaded into a mini bus and headed off to Queen Elizabeth.  Our vehicle of choice (i.e. we had no choice) was called the Dream Shuttle.  If your idea of a dream is no suspension, constant petrol fumes and heart printed seat covers for a 9 hour journey each way then hop aboard!  Laura and I thought being backseat bandits would let us relive our youth (well, my youth as Laura is still only 20).  The first few bumps made us airborne and caused some hilarity as the competition ensued as to whose arse could suspend in the air the longest.  The fun did not last long as we realised that Ugandans feel the need to place speed bumps every 20 metres and the driver seemed to mistake our cries of pain for cries of laughter and endeavoured to drive over them at breakneck speed.  Insert several profanities HERE.

Before the bus trip began which is why we are all smiling

Ian simulating the art of being airborne.  The word 
'bollocks' was mentioned a few times 

To mask the smell of the petrol I smelt wet wipes.  
Bear Grylls, you can use this tip if you want

After a well deserved sleep at our lodge, the next morning we boarded a boat to cruise along the Kasinga Canal for some animal spotting.  Even though I did a lot of safaris last year you can never get sick of seeing elephants in their natural environment.

Ian and I, he's too cool to wear sunnies on his face

We were so lucky to see so many animals on the banks of the canal.  A cheeky hippo thought it would be funny to surface / snort right next to the boat.  Note to hippo:  Not funny and makes men scream like girls.

Baby hippo, so ugly they are cute

Buffalo, so ugly they are ugly

Elephants playing in the water, magical

The elephants were out in force and one huge male was making the most of the sunshine and watching the other elephants frolic in the water.  But he had other ideas as to how the spend the afternoon . . .


Our media volunteer Katie thought it was so sweet that he decided to 'dance' for us, not noticing that the said 'dancing' consisted of rubbing his 3 back legs together and was making him very happy.  Ah Katie, so sweet and innocent!

Happy to see us Mr Elephant?

The warthog - so lazy it kneels down to eat

After the boat ride it was off to lunch at a ritzy hotel which looked down on the canal and Lake George.  Ritzy = beers are $2 instead of $1.

Questionable pizza - pineapple, capers, 
anchovies, bananas & tuna. Sick bag anyone?

An afternoon game drive followed lunch but animals didn't seem to want to play ball.  Lions were our target and coincidentally our guide managed to spot a lion 27 kilometres in the distance.  Binoculars could not confirm or deny that it was indeed a lion.  After some persuading of the guide we drove closer.  Imagine her feigned surprise when it was a large rock and not the revered lion as promised.  How to make tourists think they see a lion? Lie.

Animal spotting (especially of imaginary lions) is tiring so it was back to the lodge for dinner and a few quiet beverages. Animal spotting also makes you dirty so Katie innocently grabs her blue travel towel to have a shower.  Mistakenly she has taken Ian's towel as she has a similar one, luckily he stopped her (i.e. snatched it back) just in time.  Embarrassed by her error she pulls out her new towel, still in its wrapping which was kindly donated by a friend of hers. Drying off after her shower that night took longer than expected.  

Size does seem to matter when it comes to towels

After a fun-filled weekend we packed up the Hell Shuttle with our travel towels and cameras filled with photos of rock lions and aroused elephants.  But not before one group photo as a memento of our trip together.  Pete offered to be the photographer, promising a great group photo with all the bells and whistles.  You decide.


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