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dlo
12 hours ago, KoKo said:

Remember I spotted that one chameleon!

 

Ooops sorry dear!  Yep that was well spotted. You have pretty good skills not quite at my level but your warthog spotting is on point😛

2 hours ago, pault said:

Cool duds, great photos and well done on getting a big pratfall on so early! :P
 

 

 

Trust me the "pratfalls " are not finished yet although they do come from me instead.

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6 hours ago, Towlersonsafari said:

dissapointed no pictures of the fall @dlo. when I fell in our pond, after losing a fight with a bullrush, the first thing Jane did was get her camera! very interested in your rpeort and some lovely photos so far!

 

Hahaha so that angry wife above is after she almost got pulled into the river by our happily swimming dog below her😁 I've learned that checking on her first is more important than a funny picture.

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The original title for this report was probably going to have something about rolling through Uganda in it. But another title related to Chris (my wife for the uninitiated) falling down a hillside in

After 27 hours of travel we finally landed in Entebbe. We didn't do the online Visa here but we were through very quickly and headed out of the airport in minutes. The very familiar smells of Africa a

We left at 7 the next morning for the long drive to Kidepo. Arriving at Kidepo Savannah Lodge around 4 the drive was pretty uneventful other than Chris having to take a bush break and surprise surpris

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dlo

We left at 7 the next morning for the long drive to Kidepo. Arriving at Kidepo Savannah Lodge around 4 the drive was pretty uneventful other than Chris having to take a bush break and surprise surprise some kids and their cows appeared out of nowhere. 

 

After the moon over Uganda moment we continued our very hot dusty drive to Kidepo. We probably had 2 hours of tarmac the whole way and it looked like rain had not fallen for a long time here. With it being so hot windows get opened and you just get completely covered in dust.

 

If you're going straight to Kidepo from Kampala then its pretty obvious you should fly if budget allows. Savannah Lodge is just outside the park gates and is a decent budget choice. Nothing special or terrible about it all I needed was a place to sleep. Lots of people camping near the park headquarters and honestly it seemed a great location when we went to get our ranger for our walk. Loads of animals around it would probably be my first choice next time. 

 

Immediately upon leaving the next morning we get a call that a cheetah has been sighted. Nice! We weren't expecting that with just a small amount in the park. We head over to where it has been seen and we get a couple of minutes before she heads off. We didn't get very close but we are very happy with seeing it having zero expectations of cheetah here.

 

We see lots of waterbuck and quite a few very calm elephants. Lots of the usual suspects follow and then we head to lion rock to of course see lion. And for our troubles we get one sleepy lioness for our troubles though upcoming visits would reward us further!

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BRACQUENE

@dlo

 

Looks very idyllic to me with rugged mountains in the background and  open grasslands which no wonder have a reputation for increasingly frequent sightings of cheetah ; remembers me a bit of Ruaha with those big herds of Buffalo and elephants but without the baobab and the birdlife with some rare species is also exceptionnal ; definitely on my list for the future

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Botswanadreams

Thanks @dlo to bring me back to Uganda and this lovely Kidepo Valley. If you think of camping in Kidepo I wouldn't recommend to stay at the head quarter. There are two beautiful other campsites in the park without lots of people. 

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dlo
1 hour ago, BRACQUENE said:

@dlo

 

Looks very idyllic to me with rugged mountains in the background and  open grasslands which no wonder have a reputation for increasingly frequent sightings of cheetah ; remembers me a bit of Ruaha with those big herds of Buffalo and elephants but without the baobab and the birdlife with some rare species is also exceptionnal ; definitely on my list for the future

 

Interesting you mentioned Ruaha. I read your report on Ruaha  and other than Mana pools that may be at the top of my list. I'm sure you would enjoy Kidepo. 

1 hour ago, Botswanadreams said:

Thanks @dlo to bring me back to Uganda and this lovely Kidepo Valley. If you think of camping in Kidepo I wouldn't recommend to stay at the head quarter. There are two beautiful other campsites in the park without lots of people. 

 

No problem I very much enjoyed your Uganda trip report. I thought you did camp at headquarters but I do remember your Murchison falls campsite being in a prime location. I am pretty positive I will return to Uganda and Rwanda. 

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BRACQUENE

@dlo

 

Thanks for your reaction ; Kidepo and Murchison Falls in Uganda together with Mana with Gonarezhou are top of my list and Ruaha is I can assure you an absolute dream destination and stunningly wild and remote !

 

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Botswanadreams
26 minutes ago, dlo said:

I thought you did camp at headquarters but I do remember your Murchison falls campsite being in a prime location.

We didn't camp at headquarter. We stayed at campsite No. 1 a place 2 or 3 km away from the headquarter with rocks in the background like lion rock. I don't have an image from this place. Campsite no. 2 is a place with a very open view but in September a bit windy with expected short thunderstorms in the midday time. This was the reason way we camped at No. 1.

 

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Campsite No. 2 Kidepo

 

Oh yes @dlo you mean the Delta Campsite in Murchison - what an incredible place. I could go back tomorrow.  

Edited by Botswanadreams
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dlo

The afternoon drive was probably my favourite of the trip. The main highlights for me was heading back to lion rock. Our female lion was much more alert and was laser focused on a heartbeest. It looked as if she was interested in coming down to get some dinner and her movement allowed us to see 2 more lions up there including a approximately 6 month old cub.

 

Luckily for the heartbeest though she stayed where she was. The real beauty of Kidepo shone through here though as we had those lions to ourselves for a solid 15 minutes before anyone else showed up.

 

The next incident is something I still confuse as to where it happened. I keep thinking Murchison but it definitely happened after these lions in Kidepo. With dusk approaching we started back to drop off Andrew who came along with us in the afternoon and would be our walking guide tomorrow. 

 

The elephants along the side of the road seemed relaxed enough to me dining at the roadside buffet when all of a sudden a quick charge by one beside us suddenly happened. All of a sudden all I could here is trumpeting and Robert and Andrew banging on the side of the vehicle and shouting away at the elephants. I was watching an elephant further ahead looking to show me who was in charge when another came out of nowhere right beside us stopping just short. That guy scared the crap out of me and we quickly passed the third one seconds later.

 

This was all just mock charges as they could have easily done more if they wished but it gave me a hell of a adrenaline shot. We obviously got no pictures of this and I had my camcorder in hand and managed a few seconds of very shaky cam, though the trumpeting turned out great👍

 

We dropped Andrew of at the ranger station and watched some patas monkeys steal some bananas from the staff. We headed back to camp and after dinner tried unsuccessfully to get some some sleep before our walk tomorrow morning.

 

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BRACQUENE

@dlo

 

Even if jou’ve missed that elephant charge , I suppose I would have too , there are some stunning close up’s for me to wake up !

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dlo
9 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

@dlo

 

Even if jou’ve missed that elephant charge , I suppose I would have too , there are some stunning close up’s for me to wake up !

 

Some pictures would have been great but we were completely surprised by the whole thing and then its 10 seconds of chaos. Bouncing, shouting, banging and trumpeting. 

 

Robert told us hey that was nothing he was chased in Murchison by an elephant for about a km while backing up the whole way😬. I'm glad I missed that one!

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wilddog

@BRACQUENE having been charged a few times over the years, the last thing one thinks of is the camera. Survival is all...

 

@dlo that experience will stay in your memory forever; you don't need pictures. Glad you are still with us 😊

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Towlersonsafari

Lovely lion on the rocks shots @dlo and there is nothing like an ellie charge to get the blood singing and generating lots of nervous laughter  afterwards!

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BRACQUENE

@wilddog @dlo

 

I agree  of course 100 % with  the safety concern  in a charge like that being "very" cautious myself  , not so young anymore and having done some walking close to elephants and  buffalo's in the last few years , so could it be that my reaction , certainly not a reproach or a incitement to risk behavior  , has been slightly misunderstood?  

 

 

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:15 AM, dlo said:

 

Ooops sorry dear!  Yep that was well spotted. You have pretty good skills not quite at my level but your warthog spotting is on point😛

 

Trust me the "pratfalls " are not finished yet although they do come from me instead.

20170515_163257.jpg.8d0eeb6c55a0e5552df712ee35eeaabb.jpg

 

 

Hahaha so that angry wife above is after she almost got pulled into the river by our happily swimming dog below her😁 I've learned that checking on her first is more important than a funny picture.

He just wasn’t fast enough pulling out the camera to get the fall, he was too busy laughing!

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On 1/10/2020 at 6:13 AM, pault said:

@KoKo Welcome to Safaritalk, although you’ve already been well introduced I believe?

Thank you. Yes, Darren has told a lot of stories so I am sure everyone knows me by now. 

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dlo

@BRACQUENE No worries I get what you're saying.

@wilddog I'm glad to be here as well😁. And great point on the camera I've said to Chris many times to put the camera down and just enjoy the moment. 

@Towlersonsafari if all you shared is nervous laughter you're a much better person then me. Definitely 1 or 2 slightly colorful words may have escaped my lips.

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dlo

Our last day in Kidepo was pretty quiet. We picked up Andrew to head to our starting location for our walk. On the way we hear about another cheetah and they ask if we want to check it out. Of course we do so the walk is slightly delayed and we a get a very short and very long distance glimpse of a cheetah before she disappears. 

 

Happy with what we saw we go on our walk. We don't get super close to anything but it's an easy walk and it's so nice to stretch the legs. We talk to Andrew about life and his job with UWA. He was involved with the translocation of giraffe from Murchison, it was apparently quite the sight seeing all the giraffes in a convoy to Kidepo. 

 

We head to lion rock but fortunately? no lions. We take a water break on some rocks there and as I gracefully 😁 clamber up the rocks a hyrax jumps out. Not quite as scary as angry elephants but damn my heart skips another  beat. 

 

After lunch we end up chilling in the afternoon. Chris goes back to the tent while I sit overlooking Kidepo and talking with Robert. 

 

What the hell was that! A rustle in the grass in front of me and I jump up and see a snake choking out a bird! I quickly grab my phone this time👍 but the snake scurries away quickly leaving his meal behind. A few minutes later the snake is back he grabs the bird and then kind of hops off with it!

 

That's a pretty cool ending to our time in Kidepo and now it's time for yet another long drive to Murchison. 

 

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It's a long ways away but we did see a second cheetah 

 

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Scary little bugger 

 

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Chris's favourite animal!IMG_0526.jpg.4942e49eb7369c80bb8cdd0f7e8ea9d1.jpgIMG_0528.jpg.81126b8336ea7d04eab79271cc1498a0.jpg20190129_164826.jpg.e4aa45d4dd4fd8c26104dc8115d100bb.jpg20190129_164820.jpg.1b0b1aa1051b8af51a905825e4e31d71.jpg

Not the best but hey at least its evidence. 

 

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BRACQUENE

 

@dlo

 

Kidepo might not be the easiest park to visit in Uganda in that northeastern corner but you convinced me that it is a winner and has an incredible variety of game in a wonderful environment ! Thanks for that

 

 

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Caracal
5 hours ago, dlo said:

We head to lion rock but fortunately? no lions. We take a water break on some rocks there and as I gracefully 😁 clamber up the rocks a hyrax jumps out. Not quite as scary as angry elephants but damn my heart skips another  beat.

 

Well @dlo - the hyrax as a distant relative of the elephant was probably just trying to do its bit! Nice photo of the culprit!

So you saw a kill on your last day at Kidepo - I'm still trying to visualise that snake hopping off with it!

Have read a lot about Kidepo over the years and had started to plan a trip years back but had to forget about it due to serious tribal conflicts at the time.

So I've really enjoyed my vicarious trip there through your eyes - many thanks to you and @KoKo

Am now looking forward to your further adventures.

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dlo
6 hours ago, BRACQUENE said:

 

@dlo

 

Kidepo might not be the easiest park to visit in Uganda in that northeastern corner but you convinced me that it is a winner and has an incredible variety of game in a wonderful environment ! Thanks for that

 

 

 

It's a long drive for sure but there are regular flights so it's not to hard to get to. Its definitely worth a visit and there was talk of new lodges being built when we were there so I imagine it will get busier in the future.

4 hours ago, Caracal said:

 

Well @dlo - the hyrax as a distant relative of the elephant was probably just trying to do its bit! Nice photo of the culprit!

So you saw a kill on your last day at Kidepo - I'm still trying to visualise that snake hopping off with it!

Have read a lot about Kidepo over the years and had started to plan a trip years back but had to forget about it due to serious tribal conflicts at the time.

So I've really enjoyed my vicarious trip there through your eyes - many thanks to you and @KoKo

Am now looking forward to your further adventures.

 

Nice one on the hyrax got a chuckle to start the day. That snake hopping away was hilarious. 4 hope and it was gone  it was basically standing up.

 

The tribal conflicts were a thing for a long time but are fine now. Robert told us a story of driving in a convoy there years ago in a driving rainstorm. The lead driver got lost and took a wrong turn! They arrived at the lodge around midnight with some very hungry, tired and a little wet tourists.

 

We are both glad you and anyone else reading are enjoying it.

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BRACQUENE

@dlo @KoKo

 

Ir is a bit like Ruaha in Tanzania still very remote but an absolute gem with that remark that  the number of camps and lodges has almost doubled in the last ten years which could be a threat to the experience in the future ! ; thanks for the information 

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Alexander33

Enjoying your report very much, and looking forward to more.  I love that cheetah photo in post # 42 — very atmospheric!  

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dlo

I can't do another packed lunch! As we left Kidepo that was my foremost thought. We didn't have to go out of our way to stop at the infamous town of Gulu and have lunch at the very well reviewed Iron Donkey so off we went.

 

We left at around 7:15 and honestly the heat would really start wearing on my for the next few days. Gulu along with Kitgum are famous for the role they played during the worst excesses of the LRA and Joseph Kony. Robert told us a story of how before he became a guide he occasionally had to make deliveries to Gulu. He got an escort from the military to deliver some officers girlfriend! When he left Gulu though with the girlfriend delivered his escort was gone.I won't give a long history lesson on these places as I could never do it justice compared to someone like @inyathi but if anyone is interested then Wizard of the Nile is a great book to start with. 

 

So Gulu was a place we couldn't pass through on my first trip to Uganda but now is an ngo heaven and the Iron Donkey is definitely on the meeting place menu. I happily scarfed down some actually really delicious wraps and chocolate cake and the very western menu absolutely hit the spot! If you can't tell I love food🥰

 

The rest of the drive was all about the heat and lots of fires as it seemed everyone was burning there crops. We arrived late afternoon at Bwana Tembo camp. I loved this place, possibly my favourite on this trip. It's just outside the park on the northern half so need for the ferry in the morning. Great food which is no surprise from an Italian run place and it overlooks the Nile. It gets its name from the elephants that gather there at certain times of the year.

 

The next day would be a full day in the park. We started off well with a peek at a lioness resting in some bushes and a few elephants. We went looking at the ruins of the Idi Amin lodge for leopard as that's apparently a big hangout for them but came up empty.

 

We continued on but it was a very quiet morning. We had actually been told at the lodge that things had been quiet for the last while but we were still surprised as our first trip was very successful. We weren't to worried though as we used the ferry and watched them building a bridge for all the oil trucks that will soon be passing through.. 

 

Next up is a boat cruise but first, of course a packed lunch😩

 

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Oh yeah let me at it!283110131_20190130_133749(1).jpg.98f02811181b2cdc21ae7bb8665727d6.jpg

My guide Robert and his friend another guide bringing mzungus some western food.

 

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Some birding with more to follow

 

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The fires were burning well into the night

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A quick glimpse of a sleepy lion

 

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inyathi

@dlo Thanks for the compliment,  your report brings back happy memories, I'm quite envious of the two cheetah sightings and even the lioness on the rocks, having not seen any lionesses that I recall.

 

 @BRACQUENE Kidepo is a lot wilder than the main tourist section of Ruaha now is, in my view, but maybe a bit lacking in the variety of wildlife, UWA need to carry out further reintroductions, but the main tourist area the Narus Valley definitely competes with Ruaha scenically and I think even surpasses it and Ruaha is one of my favourite parks. It's just one of those places that requires either time or money to visit, often people going on safari to Uganda don't have enough of either to include Kidepo, but this is why it's still currently wilder than Ruaha.     

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dlo

@inyathi No problem I've got dozens of books in my office on Africa and yet everytime I read one of your reports I learn a little something new and usually I'll add a new book to the library 👌

 

I should add that that we were told more relocations were going to happen to Kidepo and also there was talk of lake Mburo as well. 

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