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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda: January 15, 2023


Today we had a morning game drive, an afternoon cruise on the Kazinga channel, and a late afternoon game drive.

First thing this morning, when the sun was barely up, Eric spotted a lioness moving through the grass. She has a radio collar on because she is one of the leaders of the pride.

About an hour later, we came across a male lion named Mike. Mike is also collared because he is a leader of the pride. Mike and Bridgett are the alpha couple in the pride. Both have been collared and are monitored to keep them from getting too close to the human communities within the park. Mike's brother is a member of the same pride. They both have dark manes.

Portrait of a Warthog

Driving through the park, we found a huge line of African Cape Buffalo on their way to a water source. When it is time to hydrate, buffalo are single minded in that purpose. They need to hydrate twice a day.

Once the huge line of buffalo passed, we continued on until Eric spotted a far off leopard. She was resting in the shade of a Euphorbia tree when we disturbed her. 

Between our lion sightings and the leopard sighting, we found a Ugandan Kob who had just given birth to her baby. The baby was still wet and trying to nurse although having some difficulty finding the teat. Mother was looking nervously around. They were alone in the grassy savannah. The smells of birth could easily attract predators so the rest of the herd stayed far away from them.

At one point, she tried to move on, but the baby was so wobbly she turned back to it and let it continue to nurse. We watched the drama with worry in our hearts before leaving them to their fate.

Young Waterbucks

Water Thick-kneed birds at the water's edge
Gray-headed Kingfisher
Wattled Lapwing
Red-necked Spurfowl
Kazinga Channel is a wide 20 mile/32km long natural channel connecting Lake George and Lake Edward.  The boat leaves from Mweya Lodge where we found a very large female warthog resting in the shade near a sign that warned that wild animals were all around.

We saw many of the same birds and animals that we had seen from the earlier boat cruise at Murchison Falls NP, but these few were unique.

African Cape Buffalo cooling off
Hippo Mom nudging her newborn
A Male Hippo chasing a Female Hippo
African Fish Eagle

Leaving the channel, we drove back to Queen Elizabeth NP to check on Bridgett and Mike. Eric said Bridgett was in heat. When a female lion is in heat, they copulate every 15-30 minutes with up to 50 copulations in 24 hours.This goes on for days. It is the male's spiny penis that triggers her ovulation. 

When we found Mike, he looked like he'd been through hell. His face was scratched (perhaps by Bridgett), his stomach was bloated (from gorging the night before), and he was very tired.

He rolled over to take the weight off his stomach. Eric said that all the fat/meat he had consumed was creating heat in Mike on this already warm day. He just looked exhausted. We left him alone and went on down the road.

Ten minutes after we left Mike, we found Mike's brother who also seemed to be quite tired. We found him sleeping in an open space. While we watched he did a slow roll to his other side all the while with his eyes shut tight. He didn't appear to be wounded.

Mike's Brother
Eric speculated that Mike had not been up to the job of constant mating with Bridgett and that Mike's brother might have taken over. It was getting dark and we headed back. Mike was no longer laying in the grass like a beached whale. We heard a lion roar and found him not too much later frolicking in the tall grasses near Bridgett. Mike and Bridgett must have patched up their differences.

Before leaving the park a few elephants came close enough to photograph.

Female and Youngsters
A Bull Elephant

Tomorrow, we move south to Bwindi and the Impenetrable Forest.