Sunday, July 8, 2012

African Safari: Day 1

This weekend was so fun and hilarious.  I'll post it in segments because I can't summarize it all in one post.  My apologies.  So Thursday was the 4th of July.  We had oodles of food, cool peeps come help eat it, and then we headed out on our Safari Extravaganza at like 9 pm.  We had a four hour taxi drive ahead of us.  The taxis are pretty uncomfortable.  They crowd tons of people into them.  You usually have to sit four people to a row and the roads are terrible so you sometimes bounce and hit your head on the ceiling.  Just trust me, traveling is hardly something that's easy to sleep through.  But here's the clan of us after the fourth heading out for our 4 hour bus ride.

Journey to Kampala:
  • We're sitting in the back row of the tax with two chickens tied together and angry beneath our feet.  That's right, one of the passengers had two chickens in tow and they were stowed underneath our seat.  It was pretty awkward and hilarious because Ashley and I kept feeling flapping and enraged squaks when a bump was too big.
  • Ghost window--I had a window to my left that kept rattling open and awakening me from sleep with a frightfully cool breeze.  I'd let it go for five minutes then wake up to pull it closed. haha
  • Queen Latifa--So there was a lady sitting on the seat in front of me.  The seat folded out and was clearly not functioning at 100% because it was not designed to do anything but upright.  Unfortunately, for me, it would recline to a flat bed if there was nothing propping it upright.  Yes, I was behind it so I put my backpack on my lap so that she wouldn't be fully asleep on me.  But she was at a good 45 degrees in my general direction.  Her head kept flopping backward and I was dying laughing at all of the details keeping me awake.
We pulled into Kampala at 1am and I was caught off guard with how industrialized the area was.  Tall building, sidewalks, it looked like the closest thing I've seen to a city in months.  

Though I was joking about the funny awkward inconveniences of the taxi ride, I fell silent upon seeing the numerous people sleeping outside when we reached Kampala.  Half a block consisted of people laying on their sides, facing the same direction, their boney feet placed on cardboard to diminish the cold felt from the cement below.  I ached that that was their bed.  Worse yet, that's their home. 

We pulled into Red Chilli (the tour group we were going to allowed us free accommodations the night before the travel to the Safari campgrounds) thankful to be indoors, laying my head on a pillow and having forgotten my toothbrush wasn't that big of a deal.  Perspective.  Felt undeservingly blessed.

We woke up early and started our trek.  We loaded in a bus with three girls from Indiana and began our day of driving.  Our bus driver Ronald is a sweet and funny man.  We talked about how fun it is to drive a stick shift (because that's what the bus was) and since the highway to the campsite was smooth (and smooth roads are rare these days) we were unconcious in a hurry and were only brought back to reality by Ronalds soft voice asking us from the drivers seat if any of us need to make a "short call".  (AKA do you have to go number 1?)

We got out, stretched our legs a bit, I paid a visit to the nicest public restroom I've seen since arriving.  They were still squatters but light came into each stall (which usually you close yourself into the darkness and hope for the best), they had toilet paper and no fecal matter smeared on the walls.  It threw me off to be in a clean bathroom.

One of our pitstops was to Murchison Falls.  We took a quick little jaunt up to see the falls.  It was lovely to get out of the taxi after many hours of travel.  Here's the ol' clan:
Ronald, Kelsey, yours truly, Ashley and Sam

All four of us share a room together back in Mbale, so we're already pretty tight but this weekend just solidified our friendship.  If possible, we just happen to adore each other so much more now.  Just look at these darling girls.  Love.
You know, just your run of the mill group pic in front of waterfalls in Uganda.  What?!  Is this happening to me?!  haha Ashley said Niagra falls look like the ugly step child of Murchison Falls.  Granted, of course we're going to be biased because we love the crap out of our lives but er...come on, it's hardly an unsightly place.
Umm...haha I'm kind of dying because Kelsey and I somehow concluded it'd be hilarious to do random yoga poses in front of cool stuff.  yeah, so...while chilling at the falls I just felt like pulling out Dancer's pose?!  haha

We eventually had to stop taking hilarious pictures in paradise and get back in the van.  A couple of hours later and we were pulling into the campgrounds where we'd be staying for the next two nights.  So we woke up at 6:30am and got to the campgrounds around 5 pm.  It was a lot of traveling but we were so happy to be there and laughing about anything and everything for the times that we were awake during the drive.

The closer we got to the campgrounds, the more wildlife we were coming across.  There were baboons all over the place.  We all freaked out, naturally and took a million pictures and videos.  Here is one in front of some water buffalo.  haha  This was just the beginning of our wildlife viewing.  Here is a glimpse of some of the commentary you would have experienced in our taxi.  Granted, this isn't even on the safari.  Just a stopping point on our way to the campgrounds.

Also, when we got to the campgrounds, there were literally warthogs EVERYWHERE.  Families of warthogs just grazing around our tents like no big deal.  Hilarious.  They said to keep our tents zipped up because the warthogs would get into our food and stuff.  haha Seriously?!  I love having to be warned about being invaded by warthogs.  When does that happen in ones life?!  I love it.
I'll post more about our journey later.  But like I said, I just couldn't put it all in one post.  More deets to come.  Love you loads!  Malsie


  1. I loved your yoga pose and your face with warthog. You are so funny Mal. Can't wait for more info on your Ugandan safari. What a lucky girl you are!

  2. Looks like a jolly good time. I actually think those buffalo might be onto something. If it would keep me from being bitten all the day long then I'm up for a mud bath any time. You're a hoot. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your safari!

  3. Alas, you are living another of my dreams. :)

  4. haha you just brought back memories of "the challenge" by that yoga pose! Memba? Well done! You video cracks me up mal, i would roll in a mud bath if i could be freed from mosquitoes....done!