Thursday, 24 January 2013

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Shortly after crossing the equator, we took a right turning off the main road and headed for the Mweya peninsula. This is where the park headquarters for the Queen Elizabeth National Park is situated, and where we hoped to camp for a few days.

The peninsula is a headland sitting high above Lake Edward to the West and the Kazinga Channel to the South and East.  The channel connects Lake Edward to Lake George and is a haven for wildlife.  The park itself is huge, but there is little in the way of infrastructure.  At Mweya there is a luxury lodge, a hostel, a campsite, a petrol station, the visitors centre and a small village.

At the park gate we paid $210 park fees for our 3 night stay and were told to pay for our camping at the centre.  When you pay your park fees you get a receipt which is your pass to get through the various security gates, so don't lose it.

We visited the centre, and they told us to go and set up our tent and pay them when the campsite attendant was on duty.  We bumped down the road, past the petrol station to where we had been told the campsite was located.  No tents were seen, but there was a group of young back packers sunbathing on what looked like an old airstrip.  We stopped and asked one of them if they knew where the campsite was, and she replied that we had reached it.

Karen did not look impressed - I think she had an idea of somewhere with high fences to keep the animals out and some nicely mown grass to put up the tent and maybe a nice ablutions block with hot showers.  But unfortunately this was what we had.

After getting the tent set up, on one of the few bits of ground level enough, another vehicle arrived and Dutch couple started to also set up camp.  This calmed Karen's nerves a little.  She also quickly got used to the resident warthogs, marabou storks and waterbuck which all wandered around a few yards away.

There are toilets and showers on the campsite, very basic and only cold water.  But very clean and looked after by a very friendly lady.  There is also a banda/shelter for cooking in and sheltering from the thunderstorms that blow through every afternoon.

No comments:

Post a Comment