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Roadside Wildlife

The drives between locations in Uganda and Rwanda can be long, but they are also an adventure in and of themselves. While Volcanoes Safaris has WIFI available in all vehicles to keep you busy and connected, I preferred to keep my eyes aimed out the windows during our drives. This is because, aside from the fascinating glimpses of the local culture, as you journey through these East African countries, you'll have the opportunity to experience incredible wildlife encounters.

Here are just some of the creatures I encountered during our drives:  
Uganda - enjoying the show from my first "tusker"
Uganda - enjoying the show from my first "tusker" (Erin Correia)

1. Elephants: Both Uganda and Rwanda are home to populations of African elephants. These magnificent creatures can often be spotted in national parks and wildlife reserves along the route, making your long drive an awe-inspiring experience.

Traffic on the way to Bwindi
Traffic on the way to Bwindi (Erin Correia)

2. Baboons: Baboons are commonly found in the wooded areas and savannahs of Uganda and Rwanda. Keep an eye out for troops of these playful and social primates as they forage for food or traverse the terrain, adding excitement to your journey.

Kazinga Channel Cruise - enjoying the buffalo and crane
Kazinga Channel Cruise - enjoying the buffalo and crane (Erin Correia)

3. Water Buffalo: Water buffalo, also known as Cape buffalo, are frequently encountered in the wetlands and grasslands of the region. These formidable animals are known for their impressive horns and can often be seen grazing or wallowing in waterholes, though we also enjoyed encounters with them away from the water.

Queen Elizabeth National Park - meeting some warthogs!
Queen Elizabeth National Park - meeting some warthogs! (Erin Correia)

4. Warthogs: Warthogs are a common sight along the roadside and in open grassy areas. Their distinctive appearance, with warty facial features and curved tusks, is fun to capture on camera - especially if you can catch them while kneeling to eat!

Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park (Erin Correia)

5. Waterbucks: These large antelope are often found near water sources, such as lakes, rivers, and swamps. Their shaggy coats and distinctive white markings make them easily distinguishable as they graze and congregate near the water's edge, though they can be spotted in the grasslands as well.

As well as several more that we encountered, but I was unable to capture a clear picture of: 

6. Kob: The Uganda kob is a smaller species of antelope that can be spotted grazing in the grasslands and open savannahs, showcasing their graceful movements, and making your drive more captivating. They are also a great indicator of whether or not predators are present. If the kob are relaxed, laying down or grazing in different directions, danger is likely not near. However, if the kob are all standing alert, facing the same direction, it is a good time to start looking for lions or other predators!

7. Colobus Monkeys: Colobus monkeys, with their striking black and white fur, are commonly seen in the trees along the roadside. They are known for their agility in the treetops and their unique social behaviors.

8. Topi Antelope: The topi is another species of antelope that you might encounter during your drive. With their reddish-brown coats and curved horns, they add to the diversity of wildlife sightings along the way.

So, while the drives in Uganda and Rwanda can be long, they are an adventure in their own right, offering not only the chance to admire stunning landscapes but also a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world and create unforgettable experiences. 

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