Half term holiday – hippos and crocs – day three.

Despite being on holiday, It was another early rise because we had decided to do a driving safari to take the place of the boat safari that we hadn’t done the day before. So we all piled into 2 safari cars at 7am ready for a drive around the heavily-forested southern part of the island for a few hours.  There were vervet monkeys galore and quite a few bushbucks amidst the undergrowth.  After about 20 minutes we came to a clearing next to the water where there was a huge hippo that seemed completely unbothered by our presence with hundreds of swallows swooping around. We hung around for a good 20 minutes whilst it munched the grass.

Hungry hippo !!
Hungry hippo !!
Seemingly not bothered
Seemingly not bothered

Having taken lots of snaps it was back into the cars and back into the forest.  It was very dense and the chance of seeing any big animals (giraffes and elephants) was slim. The route almost seemed impenetrable and it was clear that not many people visit this part of Rubondo.  We had to stop to clear parts of it and whilst we were stopped we heard an elephant trumpeting. It sounded very close but sadly we didn’t get to see it.  We saw lots more bushbuck and lots of monkeys.  Just before we returned to the bandas our driver took us to the tiny grass airstrip.  At the end of it was a solitary sitatunga, an elusive type of marsh-dwelling antelope.

Sitatunga
Sitatunga

It was then time to have a quick lunch and load the boat for our return to Mwanza.  It took just an hour for the return boat journey and then it was back through the fields of pineapples. Due to the time we decided to take the Busisi ferry (which had re-opened) which meant a slightly longer drive but we would definitely get on – the ferry we had first gone on had been quite small and there was a chance that there might be a big queue.  As it was the was a queue at Busisi and only one small ferry operating and a large one. It is organised in an odd way on that all the passengers in the car have to board and get off the ferry by foot and the driver of the car has to drive the car on.  So Liz, Pearl and Gil, plus the Long’s got on as foot passengers. Sadly there was no room for the car so I had to wait about 40 minutes for the next one.  Arrived back in Mwanza in daylight – just, as driving here in the dark on open roads isn’t really done. A fantastic 3 days enjoyed by everyone. A big thanks to the Hughes, the Hughes’ guests Elena and Kati, and the Longs for being such great company.

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