To process all the experiences and impressions of the gorillas we saw before and to enjoy the photos and videos we took we decided to relax for a couple of days. We descended from the mountain together with Elsa and Dakin and rank a delicious espresso at the Coffee Pot Cafe in Kisoro. We said goodbye to our ‘gorilla friends’ and drove on towards Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP).
Here we go QENP
The QENP is one of the biggest and most frequently visited parks of Uganda. To get there you can either take the proper road towards the center of the park or take a dirt road to the southern section. We picked the latter and drove on these pretty little mountain roads. The road was blocked only once when a truck got stuck in the mud. Some locals decided to fabricate a road next to the truck which we eventually took. Only centimeters from the truck we slid down the road and made it to the other side.
Enjojo Lodge, but first…
Five hours later we were in the southern section of QENP. The strange thing is that there is a public road going right through the National Park where you don’t have to pay an entrance fee. The animals do cross in this section of the park. Just before we arrived at the campsite we were welcomed by a bunch of lions next to this road! It’s pretty amazing that the rainforest and this savannah like environment are only 50 kilometers from each other as the crow flies.
After seeing the lions it was about three minutes to the Enjojo Lodge. It’s a rather new lodge and offered a proper camping experience. Grass to camp on, a kitchen, a place to make a fire and clean ablutions. The sun was shining so bright that we even had to get out our awning. The three days we stayed there we were merely relaxing in the shade. All photos were sorted (we got over 17.000 selected photos by now) and the car was pretty clean again. The only ‘trip’ we made was to the restaurant when some elephants decided to have a drink at the water hole.
QENP in a cheap way
Totally relaxed and waking up after we heard lions roaring at night we decided to move on. Since Uganda charges between 50 and 150 USD for your car and 40 USD per person per day as an entrance fee we are quite picky when it comes to which game parks we visit here. The earlier mentioned public road turned out to be great for some free wildlife spotting. We saw elephants, buffaloes, kobs (antelope), waterbuck, impalas and numerous birds.
Fort Portal and a ‘broodje kroket’
That day we decided to head to Fort Portal. A very special moment along the way was when we passed the equator! We are on the Northern hemisphere again (for a while)! The rest of the road was a matter of avoiding plenty potholes before we arrived at a lovely restaurant called Dutchess. Two Dutchies opened a hotel and restaurant and it transformed to one of the best restaurants in Fort Portal. There’s a true Italian wood fired oven so we decided to order two really good pizzas and a homemade mozzarella salad.
We spend the night at Tom’s place, a 70 years old Ugandan who owned an amazing piece of land with a first, fishing ponds and hiking trails on his property. This European schooled hotel manager worked throughout Africa before opening this campsite at the house he grew up in. After a perfect but bit rainy night we had lunch at Dutchess one more time with a genuine ‘broodje kroket’, a Dutch favorite! After six months this was truly a treat!