Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Camping in Uganda

7 people piled into a car.  I wonder how many of my posts start like that?

For Easter weekend, we went camping in Lake Mburo—a National Park in Uganda.  Lisa’s boyfriend, Sam, drove us through the mountains for 4 hours and we jammed out to Rihanna.  We knew we were close to the campsite when the birds started getting crazy big and colorful.  The Ugandan bird is a Grey Crane and we had the fortune of seeing a few over the weekend.

The campsite was surrounded by Mburo Lake.  It’s more than gorgeous—it’s terrifying.  The lake is infested with giant crocodiles and hippos—the most dangerous animal in the world.  The hippos, lay waiting for nightfall to rise up from the lake, eyes first, and walk onto dry land.  They look like a big roly poly bundle of goodness, but they can run 30km per hour and crunch a body in half.

We built a campfire to ward off the camp’s many predators: hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, lions, leopards, and wild buffalo.   Also because camp fires are the best things ever.  I brought a pot and fried up some bacon and beans.  Those of us who had boyfriends cuddled with them.  Those of us who did not, cuddled with the wild boars.  (Just kidding.)  The stars shattered the night with their light.  We sat in a circle and drank whiskey, and stared giddily at the circle of forest and water just beyond our firelight.  When we were tipsy enough to take off fear’s edge, we went to sleep.  We awoke when the hippos came out.

The Hippos sounded like the Devil’s laughter.  They surrounded our tents.  I thought we would die.  Something was chewing something else by my ear all night.  If I reached out I could touch it.  I hoped it was a lion.

In the morning, I went out of the tent and could see all the animals’ footprints from the night before.  It looked like it was a Lion King party.  Footprints revealed that the animal by my head all night was a gigantic, dangerous, wild buffalo.  Oi.

It rained on and off all day so we spent it in the car trying to spot cool animals.  We saw zebras, impalas, waterbuck, wild boar, wild buffalo, and the Easter bunny.  We played cards by the lake.  

Suddenly scores of baboons swarmed our camp, and before we could get back to our tents, they had unraveled all of our tinfoil which they gnawed on, threw all of our bottles until they shattered and overturned all of our garbage.  Baboons are the assholes of Africa.

At night, 4 of us got in the car with a ranger who stood in the sunroof and directed a huge spotlight for a night drive.  This was the way to see the big scary animals.  It was very muddy so the car kept almost stalling.  Which was the most terrifying thing every because, if the car got stuck in the middle of the lionsleopardshipposohmy, we may as well have been the goat lowered into the T-Rex cage in Jurassic Park.  The car never did stall.  And we saw a zeal (that’s the right word—look it up) of zebras, morosely marching in a single file line and thinking “Crap it’s night again, please don’t eat me, please don’t eat me.”  AND I SAW A POD (that’s the right word—look it up) OF HIPPOS!  Wildest craziest beautifulest sight.  No hyenas, lions or leopards, but there is always next time.

The second night I slept like a baby because I am a pro.

Impalas against the Sunset

Part of the Crew

Monkey on the Prado


Me and my boo


  1. Me and my boo Lol you crack me up!
    I love that hippo I want to hug it!

  2. No no, that's just a wild boar! Hippos are practically the size of elephants!

  3. When I come are you going to make me go camping?!?!

  4. Yes but we will camp in the fancy lodges!