Monday, November 1, 2010

For a giraffe?

My parents are coming over to Uganda for 16 days in December. This is their first African Adventure, not counting Egypt (who does!?).16 days sounds like a long time to spend on safari in one country -some people fly in and 'do' Uganda in four days -they may see the gorillas and raft the Nile-but I don't think their expeirence of Uganda is very rich.

My safari planning is made more difficult by set dates, like Christmas and gorilla tracking permits. Also, to see a wide range of game in Uganda, one must cover all corners of the country. The years of lawlessness that prevailed during and after the 1979 war left poachers free to cause havoc in the national parks; over 300 black rhinos and 120 white rhinos were killed. NGOs and the Ugandan authorities are working hard to increase game and re-introduce animals, including the rhino, into parks, but it is a slow process. We may have to wait 20 more years to see a rhino back in Murchison. This is one reason tree climbing lions are only found in the south, giraffes are only found in Murchison (the centre of the country), gorillas are annoyingly placed on the top of mountains (hence the name, mountain gorillas) and so forth.
There is one park, Kidepo, that does have it all; lions, orstrich, zebras, buffalo, elephants, giraffes. This park borders Sudan-it takes two days to drive there and as breath taking as it might be, I doubt I will go back any time soon.

Back to the burning issue: Can the graceful giraffe really be cut out of a safari? Are zebras, tree climbing lions, elephants and gorillas enough?

                      Warning: photos may contain acts of an adult nature!!

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