(Written June 19) Today we are leaving Lira to take some needed relaxation within the boundaries of Murchison National Game Park, the largest national park in Uganda. From where we were in Lira, this massive landscape of a reserve is about a 4 hours drive.
So for four hours I sat on the bumpy thrill ride called the bus staring out into the window trying to take everything in, and I couldn’t help but notice how drastically the landscape changes from when we were still in Lira to where the Game park is located.
Lira is called home by some of the most poor, but yet most generous, people of Uganda. Families live in huts made of mud and straw, children play with toys we consider trash, and the city landscape is made up of deteriorating metal. Although Lira is not textbook beautiful, it’s beauty lies within its people.
Seeing that the game park has no human inhabitants, however, it’s beauty lies within the bush. As we were driving, I could see lush plains filled with bright green trees and plants that are indigenous to only Africa itself.
Something else that is indigenous to the continent are the animals that we saw. Before we were able to actually enter the park itself, we were stopped at a security checkpoint. Most of us were half asleep, seeing that we had been stopped many times before by Ugandan police to have our bus checked for bombs ( fortunately for the police we left them all at home). Yet, this checkpoint was different. The bus started rolling again…
and BAM! There were at least 10 giraffes to the right of our bus. We had all expected to see animals but not that soon. A few kilometers went by and then we saw at least 4 giant elephants just hanging out about 40 yards away from the road. A few of them had those Zazu-looking birds on them just like out of Lion King. It was so cool.
At the beginning of my Sophomore year, my Stats professor Dr. Ravi Nath showed us his pictures from when he brought his family and himself on a safari in the tip of Africa. He told us everyone should go. I never really thought that I would be folllowing his command so soon, to be honest.
But the funny thing is, I wasn’t even on the safari yet. That would officially happen 2 days from now.