Our next stop on our Uganda journey was to the lovely, expansive Queen Elizabeth National Park with a wide diversity of habitats including lakes, savannah grasslands, forests and wetlands making it ideal for safaris. This 764 square mile park is known for its leopards, lions, elephants, hippos, various antelope including the Ugandan kob, African buffalo, crocs, birdlife, and so much more.
On our way to the park from our last stop at the beautiful Ndali Lodge, we just had to get a group pic at the Equator. Such a happy, smiling group having so much fun and getting along famously throughout the journey fortunately. There's a lot to be said for like-minded travelers venturing off together. It sure worked for us!
We stayed at the Mweya Safari Lodge located on a peninsula overlooking the Kazinga Channel that flows between 2 giant lakes, namely, Lake George and Lake Edward. The views were spectacular all around us with elephants and hippos playing in the water below while we were eating our meals. It was absolutely stunning!
We were in search of the big cats during our first night at the park as we were told they had both lions and leopards. Our first evening safari, we hoped to see them, and were graced with some typically spectacular African skies but since the cats were all hiding we had to venture out very early the next morning.
That next morning, we were very blessed to come across both lions and a young female leopard. In fact, we almost caught the lions in their mating ritual, but unfortunately, she must have decided she wasn't quite up for it or maybe had a headache ;), so we just happily watched them resting and moving from one location to another for a while. They're such majestic animals!
We were also fortunate to see the beautiful young female leopard depicted above. We understood that in one of the scruffy bush areas, she apparently had some cubs safely ensconced but we weren't able to catch a glimpse of those, sadly...
We also saw a lot of absolutely beautiful elephants with their young. The mothers are so very protective of them as are the rest of the clan. Elephants have very strong intimate bonds between friends and family and they form lifelong friendships with each other and even mourn the death of their loved ones. They're so touching to watch and admire.
We did spot a sad sight of one of the baby elephants having a snare on his leg and we were able to let the Park Ranger know about. They were quick to show interest and determine what their next steps needed to be in order to save the baby elephant. We understood that it was quite a procedure whereby they would have to strategically separate Mom and baby from the rest of the herd and then tranquilize both of them so that the snare could be safely removed. It was wonderful to know how much the folks at the Park truly cared about these animals and genuinely want to protect and preserve these truly beautiful creatures.
I'm once again going to continue this saga next week as I don't want it to go on too long. I still have yet another fun boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel that I'd like to tell you all about with the hippos, more elephants, crocs and so very many birds. Queen Elizabeth Park has so much to offer!