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LAKE KATWE:
Lake Katwe is also known as the salt gardens of Uganda. It is found within an explosion crater that was formed during an active volcanic era. It is located in South Western Uganda and is known throughout East Africa for its substantial salt production.
Approximately 60% of this lake’s waters are salty; the lake bed is about one metre thick and contains over 12 million tonnes of salt, varying in composition and depth.
Because of the saline nature of the area surrounding the lake, there is no wildlife and no agricultural activity going on. The soils are just too salty to support a verdant form of life. However, the main activity is salt mining and this has been going on for hundreds of years. Salt mining is the major source of livelihood for the people living around the lake.
Workers extract three main products from the lake: blocks of rock salt; high-quality salt crystals that can be sold as table salt; and salty mud that is used as salt licks for cattle.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎lake‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎katwe‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎salt‬ ‪#‎mining‬
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7/30/16
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ORIBI:
Oribi (Ourebia ourebi) are little antelopes with a brown upper side and a white underside. They are slender, graceful and long-necked. I personally call them the Chihuahua of antelopes but what really differentiates them from the rest is the white patch around their eyes and the black spot (gland) below their ears. They weigh between 12–22 kg and can run at speeds of up to 40–50 km/h.
Oribi are highly water-dependent and tend to avoid steep slopes. They typically inhabit open grasslands or thinly bushed country, preferring habitats with short grasses on which to graze, interspersed with tall grasses which provide cover from predators and the elements.
Females reach sexual maturity at 10 months, males at 14 months. After a gestation period of six to seven months, a single offspring is born. For the first eight to 10 weeks the female oribi hides her young in thick grass, where it will lie motionless if approached.
Oribi are found on their own, in pairs, or in small groups of one male with two or more females. When alarmed, they produce a shrill whistle. Often, they do not attempt to flee until an intruder is within a few meters, remaining motionless in the grass, relying on camouflage.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎oribi‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎chihuahua‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎camouflage‬ ‪#‎grass‬
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6/30/16
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THE COMMON CHIMPANZEE:
The common chimpanzee, also known as the robust chimpanzee, is a species of great ape. It is covered in coarse black hair, but has a bare face, fingers, toes, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. The common chimpanzee lives in groups which range in size from 15 to 150 members, although individuals travel and forage in much smaller groups during the day. The species lives in a male-dominated, strict hierarchy, which means disputes can generally be settled without the need for violence.
The common chimpanzee is a highly adaptable species. It lives in a variety of habitats, including dry savanna, evergreen rainforest, montane forest, swamp forest, and dry woodland-savanna mosaic.
The chimpanzee makes a night nest in a tree in a new location every night, with every chimpanzee in a separate nest other than infants or small chimpanzees, which sleep with their mothers. When confronted by a predator, the chimpanzee reacts with loud screams and uses any object it can against the threat.
The chimpanzee is an omnivorous fruit eater. It prefers fruit above all other food items and even seeks out and eats them when they are not abundant. It also eats leaves and leaf buds. Seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark and resin, insects, and meat make up the rest of its diet. While the common chimpanzee is mostly herbivorous, it does eat honey, soil, insects, birds and their eggs, and small to medium-sized mammals, including other primates. Nearly all chimpanzee populations have been recorded using tools, modifying sticks, rocks, grass, and leaves and using them for acquiring honey, termites, ants, nuts, and water. The species has also been found creating sharpened sticks to spear bushbabies out of small holes in trees.
When hunting small monkeys such as the red colobus, the chimpanzee hunts where the forest canopy is interrupted or irregular. This allows it to easily corner the monkeys when chasing them in the appropriate direction. Chimps may also hunt as a coordinated team, so that they can corner their prey even in a continuous canopy. During an arboreal hunt, each chimp in the hunting groups has a role. "Drivers" serve to keep the prey running in a certain direction and follow them without attempting to make a catch. "Blockers" are stationed at the bottom of the trees and climb up to block prey that take off in a different direction. "Chasers" move quickly and try to make a catch. Finally, "ambushers" hide and rush out when a monkey nears.
Despite the fact that common chimpanzees are known to hunt, and to collect insects and other invertebrates, such food actually makes up a small portion of their diet, from as little as 2% yearly to as much as 65 grams of meat per day for each adult chimpanzee in peak hunting seasons. This also varies from troop to troop and year to year. However, in all cases, the majority of their diet consists of fruits, leaves, roots, and other plant matter. Female chimpanzees appear to consume much less meat then males, according to several studies.
The common chimpanzee is listed on the IUCN Red List as an endangered species. Between 170,000 and 300,000 individuals are estimated across its range in the forests and savannahs of West and Central Africa. The biggest threats to the common chimpanzee are habitat destruction, poaching, and disease.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎chimp‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎monkey‬ ‪#‎endangered‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎jungle‬ ‪#‎chimpanzee‬ ‪#‎hunter‬ ‪#‎species‬
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2016-06-15
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HIPPOPOTAMUS:
After the elephant and rhinoceros, the common hippopotamus is the third-largest type of land mammal.
Common hippos are recognisable by their barrel-shaped torsos, wide-opening mouths revealing large canine tusks, nearly hairless bodies, columnar-like legs and large size; adults average between 5,000 to 8,000 lbs. (2,268 to 3,629 kg).
Despite its stocky shape and short legs, it is capable of running 30 km/h (19 mph) over short distances. The hippopotamus is a highly aggressive and unpredictable animal and is ranked among the most dangerous animals in Africa.
Hippopotamuses love water, which is why the Greeks named them the "river horse." Hippos spend up to 16 hours a day submerged in rivers and lakes to keep their massive bodies cool under the hot African sun. Hippos are graceful in water, good swimmers, and can hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes. However, they are often large enough to simply walk or stand on the lake floor, or lie in the shallows.
The common hippopotamus is semiaquatic, inhabiting rivers, lakes and mangrove swamps, where territorial bulls preside over a stretch of river and groups of five to 30 females and young. During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water or mud; reproduction and childbirth both occur in water. They emerge at dusk to graze on grasses. While hippopotamuses rest near each other in the water, grazing is a solitary activity and hippos are not territorial on land.
Hippos also bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. The liquid is actually a skin moistener and sunblock that may also provide protection against germs.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎hippo‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎river‬ ‪#‎horse‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎water‬
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2016-03-14
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THE AFRICAN CIVET:
The African civet is a solitary mammal that is easily recognizable by its unique coloration; the black and white stripes and blotches covering the coarse pelage of the animal are extremely variable and allow it to avoid detection by other animals/predators.
They are primarily nocturnal and spend the day sleeping in dense vegetation. During the night, when they are the most active, they can be found in a wide variety of habitat consisting of thick forest to open country.
The African civet is an omnivorous generalist, taking small vertebrates, invertebrates, eggs, carrion, and vegetable matter. It is capable of taking on poisonous invertebrates (such as the millipedes most other species avoid) and snakes. Prey is primarily detected by smell and sound rather than by sight.
The average lifespan of an African civet is fifteen to twenty years. Mating occurs in the warm and wet summer months from August to January. This time is favored because of the large populations of insects. Females create a nest which is normally in dense vegetation and commonly in a hole dug by another animal.
Females can have up to three litters per year and normally give birth to one to four young. The young are born in advanced stages compared to most carnivores. They are covered in a dark, short fur and can crawl at birth. The young leave the nest after eighteen days but are still dependent on the mother for milk and protection for another two months.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎civet‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎nocturnal‬
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2015-10-30
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THE COMMON WARTHOG:
The warthog gets its name from the fact that it has skin protrusions that look like warts usually located below the eyes and in front of the ears. It has a disproportionately larger head than its body, with four tusks for the male and two tusks for the female. It's usually black or grey, and reddish or brown after wallowing in mud. The warthog has bristle hair and long skinny legs, which is why it sometimes kneels to graze. Its largest diet is grass but will sometimes use its tusks to dig for roots and bulbs. Warthogs live in groups called sounders which usually comprise of a female and its young and because a female warthog only has four teats it can only have a maximum of four piglets at a time. The piglets suck exclusively on a particular teat so much that if one of the piglets should die, the rest will never suck on that teat. When fleeing from danger, the warthog runs with its tail erect which has a tuft of fur at a top and so looks like a waving flag. Sometimes the warthog doesn't run, it backs-up into a hole and surprises its predator with a head-butt which has occasionally wounded lions. If you've watched the Lion King cartoon, you will easily recognise this creature as Pumba. I'm not sure if it farts as badly as the cartoon puts it but well, we can find out together on one of your trips with us.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎warthog‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎pumba‬ ‪#‎tusk‬ ‪#‎pig‬
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2015-10-15
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THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT:
The largest living land mammal is the African elephant, it consumes over 400kg of foliage a day and close to 150 litres a day. What an appetite! A fully grown male weighs between 4,500-6,000 kg while the females weigh between 2,100-3,200 kg. Did you know that elephants have only four teeth? Molars, to be precise. Each tooth weighs 5kg, can you imagine that much weight in your mouth?
Sadly the commonest cause of death among elephants is starvation, because as the teeth wear out, they break off into pieces and the rear molars move forward to replace them, leaving room for two more teeth to grow in the rear. However, an elephant can only shed its teeth about five times in its lifetime. This means after the sixth time, the animal can no longer chew and eventually starves to death. Elephants are very affectionate animals, they adopt orphan calves and look after the old. They have also been seen caressing each other and mourning a dead companion. They truly are intelligent creatures and even share some traits with apes and some dolphin species.
and even though there seems to be continued poaching of these creatures especially for their ivory, Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda is one of the places in the world that is dedicated to the protection and conservation of these great species. You should visit with us sometime soon, we'll take you straight to see them.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎elephant‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎ivory‬ ‪#‎big‬ ‪#‎giant‬ ‪#‎intelligent‬ ‪#‎appetite‬
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2015-07-15
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ZEBRA:
There are three species of zebra in Africa; the Burchell's which is known as the common/plains zebra, the Grevy's zebra and the Equus also known as the mountain zebra. Uganda is home to the Burchell's, it has larger and fewer stripes compared to the Grevy's and also has shorter legs. Zebras are social animals and live in harems led by a dominant stallion with several mares. However, other males form bachelor herds until they are strong enough to contend with a dominant stallion for breeding rights. When a group is attacked by predators, all the young (foals) are huddled in the middle for protection as the stallion tries to ward off the threat. Even though zebras may look the same in their black and white stripes, each animal is as distinct from the other as fingerprints are from one person to the next. Surprisingly for a long time we believed that zebras are white with black stripes but recent studies have shown that they are actually black with white stripes and the white striping is a reflection of the conditions in which the zebra lives.
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎zebra‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎harem‬ ‪#‎stallion‬
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2015-06-16
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MURCHISON FALLS TRIP:
We would like to introduce one of our three day safari packages, the Murchison Falls trip. On day one we head for Murchison Falls National Park and the drive takes about 5hrs, in the afternoon you can choose to relax or have a trek to the top of the falls (43 metres in height). On day two, there is an early morning game drive and a boat ride in the afternoon. On the last day we drive by Karuma Falls and head back to the city.
Below are pictures from a recent trip, I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the trip smile emoticon
‪#‎watalii‬ ‪#‎murchison‬ ‪#‎africa‬ ‪#‎visituganda‬ ‪#‎waterfalls‬
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2015-05-15
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