Thursday, 26 September 2019

Akagera Adventures

We were up at the crack of dawn yesterday, on the road by 5 a.m., headed towards Akagera National Park for a game drive. 

You have to get there early because, as the sun comes up, the animals seek shelter in the bushes and become harder to spot.

As we drove into the park, we saw marabu stalks, buffalo and water bucks. Marabu stalks are also called 'city boys' because they often nest in cities.

Marabu Stalks and Buffalo

And not long after, we saw a giraffe who stood and posed for us.

Water Bucks, also called 'toilet seats' because of the white horseshoe on their bums.

Crested Crane, national symbol of Uganda.


Fish Eagles


Vervet Monkey

Managed to find my favourite - the hippos - putting on a display by the lakeside. 

(panoramic, click to enlarge)

Our ranger, Cesar.
We also managed to spot a crocodile - the first I've ever seen in Rwanda! Cesar photographed it through the binoculars. It was sitting on the bank, opening and closing its mouth to catch flies.

Crocodile skeleton in park museum.

As the day wore on, the clouds began to gather and we were treated to quite a downpour. The rainy season has definitely arrived.

(panoramic, click to enlarge)
Rain coming in from Tanzania.

As the rain eased a little bit, a troop of baboons came out to say hello.

It was a really lovely day. In total, we saw: impala, crocodile, vervet monkeys, buffalo, hippo, water bucks, bush bucks, fish eagles, white-browed coucal, blue-eared starling, long tailed starling, baboons, guineafowl, giraffe, warthogs, zebra, super winged geese, crested cranes, Emirate doves, and red bucks.

The trip home also resulted in another adventure. Torential rain had turned the roads to mud. As we left the park, another tour guide pulled up and advised us to take a different road, up through a little village called Kamukayoyo.

We followed this advice but soon became completely stuck, and some locals very kindly helped push the car around so we could try the original road.


Finally back on the main road, we hit the problem the other guide had warned us about. We took a solid run-up but it wasn't enough, and again, several villagers came out to help push the car through the mud.
It doesn't look that bad, right?


Truly grateful to everyone who helped get us out of that!

We gave Cesar a lift home, stopping off at a really nice roadside café called Imigongo. We were really impressed by the speed the food came. You could get chips and brochettes for about FRW 3,000 and they also had a coffee shop. Inside, there was an extensive art display.


A really lovely day out, and we saw lots of things on the road, including the rice paddies of Eastern Province, and men hefting huge harvests of banana to market on little bicycles. Good to get home and wash the mud off our shoes.

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