Monday, October 6

Uganda: Safari - Uno

Remorse ain't guilt, y'know what I mean? Read Ugandan history and your head hurts. It's an angry geyser of horror. Recently international authorities report torture and extrajudicial killings remain a pervasive Ugandan problem. Its people are breeding themselves out of space. Yesterday they reported an extremely virulent strain of ebola's struck down a hospital worker in Kampala, the largest city (where we spent four nights). And here we were, eleven european faces visiting a four star lodge high over Lake George in the Queen Elizabeth Game Park on Safari on a plain in the southwestern mountains.

The place isn't shabby… 

They have a menu of safaris, we chose one from the lion column and checked a box next to a water trip. See there in the bottom pano above… Right below the lip in the center behind the curvy railing? Down there are the docks where we boarded the African Queen to ply Lake George for a cruise to the right along the far bank. But more on that later. Safaris are done in the early morning and late evening when the nocturnal animals are still awake or awakening. We went lion-ing in the AM, hence the blue shift in the guy up above. Does my squirming conscience peek through these words? 

BTW, safari sounds so… so… 19th century romantic, eh? An adventure into the jungle and bush. Hiking miles with bearers lugging supplies dangling from bamboo poles. Pitching tents. Lying awake, guns in hand, eyes darting through the darkness to spot what rustling or growling so nearby. Well, that ain't it kid. 

Nope, we bundle into Land Rovers, drive off road with the heaters on against the chill, windows up against the spitting rain, and a tracker with a directional radio aims us toward beasts with transmitters dangling from their collars. Very Eight Flags or Disneyland. And that's what Bwana Ted did. Every one of these pix was captured through the car's rain spattered window. So much for buying the best optical lenses available, eh?

Hey, if they can pretend that safaris are great adventures, why can't I pretend that my pictures are…. well in this here hall? Huh? Huh? 

So soon I'm going to post some pix. A handful. You all  know that we can capture thousands of images in a day. I did. Who can manage all of that? Who cares to see all of them? Who wants to watch granddad's slide show from his summer vacation? Yawn. Sooooo…. I shall pluck out maybe a baker's half dozen or so of lions lying, and elephants menacing, and … 

But before I do that, let me show you the one animal that truly terrified me… These guys tried to climb inside with us. Worked to yank open windows. With dagger teeth and razor claws these omnivorous seventy pound acrobats are methodical killers. And they hunt in troops. More than snakes, panthers, or apes, it was baboons that made me glad we weren't huddled into skimpy tents, in the night, clutching guns…

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