I’m currently in a quite cheap internet cafe at the Uganda Wildlife Authority park in Entebbe, which is in essence a zoo, but you’re not to call it that. So far as I can tell, the only difference between it and a zoo is that the animals inside are all in some way injured, orphaned, or otherwise cannot be returned to the wild.
On the whole, it’s a somewhat depressing place, as it has cages or small enclosures much like an old American zoo, maybe circa 1970s. However, I got her very early this a.m. and was the only person here so I had the animals all to myself. Most of them have a look of desperation about them (except the Rhinos which don’t emote at all, and the lion who just looked bored), but you can get very very close to them. I was maybe 6 feet from the lion, and he and I just looked at each other for a while.
I was maybe 10 feet from the Rhinos (the only major animal I didn’t see in Tanzania), and the otters kept coming out of their water when they saw me because they hoped I’d have food. Their water was so murky that it was almost creepy when they came to the surface as you couldn’t see them a moment before. It was a bit loch-ness like, really.
Probably the most impressive animals for me were the two spotted hyenas. I saw hyenas before in Tanzania, but not this close. They really are very very large, about the size of Rottweilers. These guys were clearly mad. One kept circling back and forth, coming closer to me then running away each time. You could practically see the dimentia in his eyes.
There are a couple of chimps, but they also look bored out of their mind. THere was a cage with allegedly 3 civets (or servals?), but I only saw one and he was pacing around like a… like a caged animal. Only the lion seemed resigned to his small enclosure, and he seemed to just be chilling. Again, except the rhinos who just… were.
I was walking around a garden path when I came across spiders about the size of cell phones. That certainly made me pay attention to where I was walking! Plus I got some great photos of vervet monkeys who live around the zoo and are clearly habituated as they came within a couple feet of me not even paying me much mind.
Then I went to the Entebbe Botanical Gardens where allegedly the first Tarzan films were made. Having now been to the park I am skeptical of this claim, though there is one section which certainl is thick enough and with trees tall enough for that to have been the case. But it’s pretty small an area and seems like an awfully long way to go to film in such a small section. Even if it was larger back then, I’m still skeptical.
The gardens were nice. Huge in fact. I got caught in a torrential rainstorm (the first time I’ve been caught out since I’ve been here), but waited it out at the “restaurant” (aka snack bar) where I dined on french fries, the only pallatable choice they had. Got more photos of vervet monkeys as well as the area where they may or may not have filmed the tarzan movies.
Tonight I leave for Cairo and need to be at the airport around 2 or 2:30 am (4:30 flight, but the ticket counter closes at 3am, apparently.) I suspect I will get there and once again be waiting around for naught…
Untill Egypt then…