Counting hippos in Africa
You do not have to be an African safari specialist to become a volunteer hippo census-taker. In simple fact, if you have by no means set foot in East or South Africa, you are far more than welcome to come along on this adventure. Mweya Safari Lodge invites travelers to Queen Elizabeth National Park to assist the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) cruise along the water in a six-passenger boat, counting hippo heads.
Census-taking trips are planned for February and March 2012. Volunteers will sail with the UWA staff and researchers in conducting the census. There is a fee of $ 100 per day for every seat, but breakfast, lunch and bottled water are included. Volunteers are entitled to go on more than 1 excursion (everyday rate applies). Seats will be offered for 12 days (please see regions and dates below), making a total of 24 accessible seats.
Regions and dates to keep in thoughts
Kazinga Channel – Feb ten – 12 (six seats)
Lake George – Feb 16 -20 (10 seats)
Kazinga, Katwe and Pelican Point – Feb 24 (2 seats)
Lake Edward – Feb 25 (2 seat)
Crater Lakes (such as Nyamsingiri) – March two and three (4 seats)
The Kazinga Channel, the predominant function of Queen Elizabeth National Park, is a 22-mile stretch of water connecting two lakes – fresh water Lake George and saltwater Lake Edward, 1 of Uganda’s Fantastic Lakes. Kazinga has 1 of the densest populations of hippos (and Nile crocodiles) in the planet. Several elephant and buffalo can be viewed along the Channel’s banking institutions and myriad birds inhabit the region.
HIPPOPOTAMUS – Greek river horses of Africa
The hippopotamus – Greek for river horse – is a large, herbivorous mammal populating sub-Saharan Africa. It’s the third greatest land mammal (after the elephant and rhino) and is semi-aquatic: hippos remain in water or mud by day to retain cool and emerge at dusk to graze on grass. Whilst they resemble pigs, their closest living relatives are whales and porpoises. The earliest acknowledged hippo fossils in Africa date to some 16 million a long time ago.
Hippos have barrel-shaped torsos, huge mouths and teeth, almost hairless bodies, and stubby legs. Regardless of its stocky shape and quick legs, a hippo can effortlessly outrun a human. Hippos are an endangered species, threatened by habitat loss and poaching for their meat and ivory canine teeth. In 2005, big numbers of hippos have been killed in the Kazinga Chanel as a result of an anthrax outbreak, which occurs when animals consume remnants of vegetation in the driest months, absorbing bacterial spores that can reside for decades in dry soil.
Mweya Safari Lodge
Those planning on joining the Uganda Wildlife Authority on its hippo counting expeditions may stay inside Queen Elizabeth National Park at Mweya Safari Lodge. Located in East Africa and surrounded by the Rwenzori Mountains, also acknowledged as the ‘Mountains of the Moon,’ the lodge consists of a variety of accommodations, such as 32 standard and 12 deluxe rooms, two suites, 4 tents, a Presidential cottage, a Queens Cottage and two household cottages. Rates array from $ 160 for single rooms to $ 330 for deluxe rooms per evening and include meals. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, balconies with views of the Kazinga Channel, safes, telephone, followers and oversize windows. The suites and deluxe rooms have natural wooden floors and AC units. The suites and cottages have minibars. Two of the common rooms and a single of the luxury tents give disabled access.
If You Go:
MWEYA SAFARI LODGE 256 () 312 – 259390
Marasa Central Reservations
Plot 96-98, 5TH Street Industrial Area
P.O. Box 22827
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Post written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Pictures courtesy of Mweya Safari Lodge
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