By Ethan, Rachael and Joe
Another beautiful morning in Uganda, but our first at Mweya Safari Lodge where the majority of us woke at 5:30am with anticipation for our sunrise safari. The morning started with tea, coffee and a range of biscuits along with our promised reward of a free milkshake for waking up early. After our morning tea, the group of 11 split into two safari buses, 3 on one and 8 on the other.
We then set off en route for the long and bumpy roads towards the animals that we anxiously awaited. On the way to the main safari area, we saw many fantastic animals like elephants, waterbucks, buffalos and one of many of the national animals of Uganda, a kob. The journey on the open bus was very windy but thankfully we had blankets that the guide kindly gave us. All along the roads our cameras were snapping as many pictures as we could get of the fascinating African wildlife.
After the check points where Adam showed security the receipt for the safari, most of the Lander4Uganda team began the expedition through the savannah where our tour guide stopped at every animal we could see to get the best possible photo opportunity. We were all extremely lucky to see a leopard and its cubs as they are very shy creatures; the other group was very jealous. Only one leopard has ever been seen on the Uganda trip before our sighting.
Upon our return, we ate a hearty breakfast and got prepared for our next safari, on the water. This time, the whole group were able to be together. We walked down to the jetty, boarded the boat, put on our life jackets and set off. The boat was on two levels, and each level had its own professional ranger.
We were shown various types of birds, water buffalos, and most importantly – hippos! The group witnessed something which warranted varying opinions; an alpha hippo was overthrown and killed by another hippo which we were notified about by the ranger. It was towed away by boat; some of the students were upset by this but our moods were soon lifted when we saw many crocodiles and flocks of beautiful birds. After our amazing 2 hour water safari, we headed back up to Mweya safari lodge where we were all given a menu with the choice of pizza, burgers, pasta and many desserts.
After lunch we got changed into our swimwear and headed into the pool and sun bathed on the loungers. The rest of the day was spent in the pool until 4:00 when the other 6 students went on their sun set safari, unfortunately few animals were seen as there was a thunderstorm. The group were stuck in an open safari car where it was very windy and rainy but still they braved it through and weren’t afraid of the lightning or thunder.
By the time they arrived back they were all very cold and wet but were soon warmed by the hot buffet which was prepared for us. Everyone was, as usual, very impressed with the extensive plethora and undisputed quality of the food on offer. Once we finished our evening meal the majority of us went to the bar and enjoyed the Wi-Fi until it was time to head back to our rooms by teacher escort in case a hippo was outside the lodge or our rooms. After a long day we settled into bed awaiting the adventurous day ahead.
On the previous day, Miss Wright set the record for the most plates of food eaten in one day by eating 10 plates of food. Amelia Ireland worked extremely hard throughout the day to smash this record and ended the evening on an amazing 15 plates of food. It was amazing.