Animal Encounters 8 — Non-Stop Wildlife Boat Cruise in Uganda

I thought I had seen it all...After a highly successful safari week in Tanzania, then tracking the mountain gorillas and visiting the tree climbing lions in their offices in southwestern Uganda, I thought, all that would be hard to beat. But the reality proved me wrong. The sunset boat safari on the Kazinga Channel in the northern part of the Queen Elizabeth National Park far exceeded my expectations. I was overwhelmed by the number and variety of animals, and I didn't know where to look, what to shoot. Non-stop wildlife cruise for two straight hours that easily became the highlight of our trip to Uganda.
How many different species can you count on this picture?

Seeing such a diversity of animals wallowing in the water and doing their natural business, not only in huge quantities but also highly active, is absolutely breathtaking: elephants hugging each other (or perhaps fighting?); another elephant scaring off water buffaloes; Nile monitor lizards and crocs coming out of the water and sneaking their way; storks, pelicans, bee-eaters, weaver-birds and more species of birds accompanying with their songs; and then the ever lazy hippos in a surge of energy shooting out of the water without warning, THIS close to our boat!

Was it all even real? You'll have to decide for yourself! First, check out the short video for the highlights of our 2-hour boat safari on the Kazinga Channel in Uganda. And then, let the pictures take you back to my boat on the river. Repeat as needed and enjoy!

Nile crocodile and a fearless bird

Follow me, dude!

Are you looking for someone, dear?

Let's switch sides, kids

Ugandan Christmas Tree: Weaver birds and their nests 

Hey there!

Nile monitor lizard

Malachite kingfisher

Grey heron

Hippos look like giant boulders

La Dolce Vita

Should I stay or should I go?

"Stand up for something, even if it means standing alone. Because often times, the one who flies solo has the strongest wings." - Woodland kingfisher

African Fish Eagles are monogamous, normally seen in pairs and are believed to mate for life. Pairs generally remain within sight of each other for most of the day.


Nile monitor lizard

White stork

Bee-eater in flight

The Hippopotamuses - the funny looking creatures with short legs, a huge mouth and a body like a barrel- are considered to be the third largest land mammal in the world (after the white rhinos and elephants). 

Their massive bodies make it impossible for them to swim, but allow them to simply walk or stand on the river/lake floor, or lie in the shallows. The Hippos can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes and spend most of their time submerged in the water.

Such a handsome devil!

While many people view the hippo as a harmless and comic character, in reality, it is a dangerous creature. They have such powerful jaws and sharp teeth that can crush a crocodile or split a boat in two. That's why I was scared to death when two of them suddenly emerged from underwater, or another one charged at us on land while trying to take photos through the open window of our safari vehicle.

Buffaloes enjoying a group bath. Note the houses at the background - humans and animals have learned to survive together

Rows of nostrils just above the water and countless birds

Bird's paradise

Symbiotic friendship

Almost always tired...

Move aside, tiny humans!

Elephant greeting

Elephant hug

Sunset and my boat on the river...

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About Maho

Nature lover, diving and travel enthusiast, Asian looking, Russian sounding, Turkish raised, Munich based stranger on Earth.


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