Liz's Uganda Trip

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Entebbe

After settling into the Windsor Lake Victoria Hotel in Entebbe, we had a stroll across the road to Entebbe Golf Course for some evening birding. Among the birds we saw was this Eagle, apparently not all that bright, as it was chasing a lizard on a tree trunk, but the lizard kept eluding it.
This bird, although incredibly confiding, proved to be controversial in identification, with Peter deciding it was probably an aberrant Waller's Eagle, and me deciding it was probably an unusually dark-phase Tawny Eagle, Aquila rapax .

Tawny Eagle
Red dragonfly

I managed to photograph this Dragonfly in the fading light.
Thanks to Phil Smith, who kindly emailled me to tell me it's a a Violet Dropwing, Trithemis annulata.
This is one of the most common Dragonflies in Africa.

The next morning, we visited Entebbe Botanical Gardens and spent the morning there watching mainly birds and a few monkeys, including this incredible disabled Black-faced Vervet monkey Cercopithecus aethiops which had no feet, though I couldn't make out whether genetically or as the result of an accident. It had adapted incredibly well to its disability by learning to walk on his hands, and had survived to adulthood.

Disabled Black-faced Vervet Monkey walking on his hands
Banana plant

In one section of the Botanical Garden, a plot was devoted to testing Banana hybrid plants.
This is to see if they can breed a plant which will be resistant to the Black Sigatoka fungus, a major and worldwide problem for Banana growers.
Bananas are the staple food of Ugandans. Banana seem to grow throughout the country, not just the sweet dessert varieties we are all familiar with in the West, but 'main course' bananas (plantains), which are cooked to a mash - the real staple food of many Ugandans - and preferably eaten with peanut sauce. In fact, the word for 'main course' banana/plantain, Matoke, is the same as the word for 'food'. Other banana species are grown for use in distilling spirits.

Some of the lakeside birds were easier to photograph, like this Hamerkop Scopus umbretta.Hamerkop
Cattle Egret

This Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis was near the Hamerkop.

A group of these Tortoises was in the grounds of our Entebbe hotel.

Tortoise
Entebbe Wildlife
Education Centre
Mabamba Swamp Bwindi Impenetrable
National Park
Queen Elizabeth
National Park
Murchison Falls
National Park

Text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] lizworld [dot] com
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