Dag 45 Op soek na die Shoebill Uganda

Ons is halfpad met die dae! Ons het die vorige aand by die Ziwa Rhino sanctuary gekamp. Al Uganda se wit en swart renosters was uitgewis as gevolg van poachers. Hulle is tans besig met hervestiging vanaf Kenya. Ons reel die vorige aand ‘n gids om na die skaars Shoebill te gaan soek in die swamps. Donker vroegoggend is ons op en kry die gids wat vir ons gumboots uitdeel tot konsternasie van een van die vroutjies vir wie dit geen goeie teken is nie. Ons ry deur die swamps en begin dan stap op soek na die Shoebill. Dit is ‘n baie skaars voel, so 1,5 m hoog, vlerkspan van so 2 m en ‘n groot plat bek wat in die swamps bly. Ons gids spoor een op en ons bekruip – of is dit nou besluip – slop slop deur die water, totdat dit later bo die gumboots begin inloop. Sien die voel van nader, dit is so ‘n skaars geleentheid en tel dit vir ons as ‘n hoogtepunt van al die diere wat ons al gesien het.

Vat later kortpad na Jinja om Kampala se verkeer te mis – weereens swamps op party plekke wat nogal senutergend kan wees, As jy glip, is die bakkie koebaai. Kom in Jina aan waar die Nyl uit die Victoria meer vloei, wat die oorsprong van die Nyl is en waaroor al die debatte deur die ondekkingreisigers Livingstone, Stanley, Speke en Baker gegaan het. Eintlik is die oorsprong klein riviertjies wat uit Burundi en Rwanda in Lake Victoria vloei en dan by Jina uitvloei op die 6500 km roete na Egipte. Eers deur die Murchison falls tot in Lake Albert, dan deur die Sudd – massiewe swamp area, Sudan en Egipte. Ons kamp by The Haven op die walle van die Nyl. Groen grasperke, bome en voor ons die Nyl met ‘n paar rapids en makorrros besig om vis te vang.

 

If you count the days, we are now halfway. Last night we set up camp at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Poachers have wiped out all of the white and black rhinos in Uganda. Now they are in the process of relocating rhinos from Kenya. The previous evening we organized a guide to help us look for the rare Shoebill in the swamps. It is still dark when we rise and we meet the guide who gives us gumboots, much to the consternation of one of the women for whom this does not bode well.

We drive through the swamps and start walking, searching for the shoebill. It is a very scare bird that lives in the swamps: about 1,5 m high, wingspan of about 2 m and a big, flat bill. Our guide locates one and we slowly crawl ? or slop ? closer. We slop through the water until it starts to flow over the top into our gumboots. We see it from a bit closer. It is such a rare occasion that it is the highlight of all the animals that we have seen up to now.

Later we take a short-cut to Jinja to miss the traffic in Kampala ? again due to the swamps which tend to be nerve-wracking at times. If your vehicle starts to slide, you can kiss it good-bye.

We arrive in Jinja where the Nile flows out of Lake Victoria. This is generally seen as the origin of the Nile and which was the topic of many debates between the travelers Livingstone, Stanley, Speke en Baker.

The Nile actually has its origin in the small rivers flowing from Burundi en Rwanda into Lake Victoria and then it flows from Jina on its 6500 km route to Egypt. First through the Murchison Falls to Lake Albert, then through the Sudd ? a massive swamp area, Sudan and Egypt.

We camp at The Haven on the banks of the Nile. Green lawns, trees and in front of us the Nile with a few rapids where makorrros are busy fishing.

 


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