Hi! Welcome to our site! We decided to call this blog "Yum Chapatis," because we look forward to eating lots of yummy, doughy, chapatis this year :) For now, here's a yummy recipe: click here. Throughout the year we'll try to post photos and updates to yumchapatis.com. Send some love our way!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zebra, Impala, much more, and birds galore!

12-15 March 2010, Lake Mburo National Park

Okay, Julie and I went on safari last weekend (my first!) at Lake Mburo National Park in southeastern Uganda for her birthday.  It's a scrub shrub/savanna habitat mixture.  Our armed ranger guide told us it used to be more savanna, but since the elephants were extirpated, they no longer are around to eat the acacia, which is taking over.  Fundamental ecological principle, some species are critical to habitat persistence... remove one, and everything can change in the long run.  Anyway, we saw zebra four days in a row!  WOW!  They make no sense to me, being easy to spot.  We got an array of answers about why they have stripes and are so "obvious" looking.  One was predator disorientation.  They travel in family groups of 3-5 individuals by day and come together as around 10 individuals at night (two families).  We did see some groups of up to 12 though!  Another explanation we were given, neither Julie nor I could really understand.  I think it was a language barrier thing, but it seemed our guide was indicating that perhaps there stripes make predators not attack them, b/c the predator thinks the zebra is a predator also (think spotted leopard, or aren't there striped leopards somewhere? Siberia maybe?).  I think this was a basic mis-communication though.  Decide for yourself and chime in on the comments, b/c we'd love to know. What do you think is the reason for their stripes?  They are disorienting to look at.  See for yourself!


Evidence we were there (zebra far in the background)!

Between our walking safari and a game drive, we also saw lots of fun ungulates including: waterbuck (Defassa or Common?), bushbuck, impala (only found at Lake Mburo in Uganda), topi, African buffalo, and even some Ankole cattle.

Male waterbuck:

Female bushbuck:

Male topi:

Impala butts (notice the "m" on their butts. this distinguishes them from Uganda Kob):

Impala male bachelor:

And nearby, a male with his harem (notice the buffalo munching in the background):

African buffalo:

Our guide said the male with his head down was the largest spread he'd ever seen on a buffalo! HUGE!

Ankole cattle (check out those horns!):

On our boat ride in the lake just after we arrived in the evening, we saw some hippos, small crocodiles, and lots of cool birds!

Two apes in a boat :)


Here go the birds.  Now, while some may be blurry, they're identifiable and worth showing (I think).  Hope you enjoy!  I should mention that all of these were seen from the boat.

African Fish Eagle (these guys were everywhere!):

Malachite Kingfisher:

Pied Kingfisher (these were everywhere too!):

Woodland Kingfisher (you're gonna have to trust me on this one!):

Weaver (I forget which kind, check back soon for an update):


African Finfoot:

Heron (I forget which, check back):

Wattled something (I left my notebook at home!):

Okay, here are a few more pictures for fun.  Enjoy!!!

Vervets on a Toyota:

Purple flower:

White flower:

Acacia stem:




Dean and Julie