Today we went to the Wildlife Education Center. It was very interesting to learn about the reserve and its history. There are twelve different wildlife reserves in Uganda and they are all managed by the Wildlife Organization. Noel went through the history of the National Park, discussing the transition from control hunting area (keeping track of what hunters are hunting and how many), game reserve (paying to hunt in the area), and finally national park (where people were completely cut off from the area and not compensated in order to preserve the wildlife). When the national park was established there was a lot of resentment from the people that lived there previously and violence started to come about. The national park was the target and animals and the land were being destroyed. An attempt to restore peace was the community conservation program, where the community was involved in managing the natural resources both inside and outside the reserve. He also stressed that preserving the wildlife is in the best interest of all Ugandans.
After the lecture we went on the game trail and were able to see a few different animals. We saw antelope, boar, and some zebra. We even were able to get out of the bus at one point and take pictures next to a boar. There are 70 different species on the reserve as explained by Noel. The most common animals are the antelope, zebra, and topi. We arrived back to the hotel around 4 pm and had the rest of the day free. Some went swimming, had massages, walked down into the town, or just relaxed. Overall what were your guys thoughts of the day? I know some have experienced safaris in other countries. How do they compare? Is it what you expected?