Saturday, February 21, 2009

Visiting Queen Elizabeth Park

Last weekend we traveled to Queen Elizabeth Park (known locally as Mweya), a national park about 80 km west of where we live. We were surprised how quickly the landscape changed as we entered the Rift Valley. Our green, rolling hills covered in matooke (banana plantations) and tea and coffee transformed quickly into the dry, flat savannah plains. We were lucky to see most of the large animals that live in the park- elephants, hippos, lions, warthogs, waterbuck, kob, and buffalo. Sadly the rhinos no longer live here - they became extinct during times of instability.

We were amazed at the variety of birds around us - there are over 600 species of birds documented in this park. As we drove around the park we were surrounded by an entourage of little blue swallows who seemed to enjoy accompanying us on our tour. Our guides took us to the crater lakes (formed by volcanic activity, and now some are fresh water and others are salt lakes where rock salt is harvested). The Rwenzori mountains formed a beautiful backdrop in the distance. Our visit was short, but we enjoyed our 2 game drives and river cruise while we were there. Jeff was wishing he had an SLR camera with a zoom lens!! We are posting a few pictures for you to enjoy. We are lucky to be staying very close to many parks, so hopefully we will visit a few more while we are here. Unfortunately, it sounds like the gorillas are booked up very far in advance, so we won't be seeing them this time around.

NOTE from Jeff: Sorry about the picture formatting below Blogger is not being very helpful in formatting them at the moment and fixing this over the modem is just going to take too long.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Malachite? Pygmy? Kingfisher= one of the most gorgeous birds... somehow God harnessed a rainbow and put it into the feathers of that beauty. Glad you had a good time on safari!