Saturday, March 26, 2011

Uganda - afternoon, Monday March 14th - drive to Masindi

It's quite a sight seeing three or four Common Buzzards riding a thermal calling, it's something else to see hundreds of them doing this: Our guide hadn't seen such scenes before and neither had we. Clearly migration had started (good luck getting past the evil, illegal, shooters in Malta and Cyprus), fantastic! We stopped for lunch at a good quality hotel. It felt cheeky taking out our packed lunch, we were very disappointed to find the previous night's dinner, repeated, cold, without cutlery. It felt bad turning up at these places and only buying tea and coffee, especially as we could have eaten at all of them. Again this was the one thing that really annoyed us about the whole package. We paid a lot of money for the holiday and had made sure in advance they knew our dietary requirements, yet our guide and driver were trying to make it up as we went along and frankly you don't want to spend your holiday worried about what you might be eating next. We felt sorry for Confidence and Harriet but frankly disappointed with the tour company, they'd still have made a big amount of cash had they looked after us properly and made appropriate arrangements. Anyway, wherever you are in Uganda, there are always birds, and that includes in the grounds of hotels. Here a Northern Black Flycatcher: Lizard Buzzard: handsome bird... Back on the road a stop for Holub's Golden Weaver: And Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, beautifully framed by the tree: Other birds included Brown Snake Eagle, big Eagles these: and Booted Eagle: Once we got to the Hotel Masindi (Uganda's oldest hotel), we were both very happy campers. The food is fantastic, the accommodation the best we stayed in and the property in the best state of repair, the staff were all happy and the grounds attracted a lot of wildlife, always a good sign! There is even Internet access, though this relies on Uganda Telecom. It took up to 2.5 hours for them to provide the access codes once the hotel passed on the money from the guest (without making a bean of margin, just providing a service), which made it frustrating and on occasion pointless, but this was our one and only opportunity to connect on the whole trip! The best news of all was that we had three of our remaining five nights in Uganda in this oasis. In our opinion (and based on our somewhat limited experiences), the Hotel Masindi is probably the best hotel in Uganda! :)

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