Monday, 20 July 2015

East Africa - Travelling out there

Uganda - 18 July 2015

We are spending this summer birding around Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.  Our trip to Uganda and Rwanda was organised by our local ground agents Avian Watch Uganda, who were very organised.  

I'm going to keep a daily blog and will try to record the ups and downs of our birding trip. I don't think we'll have much wifi and so will upload when I can but am unlikely to have enough speed to post photographs from my camera, so will do that when we get home.

We arrive in Kenya 2 days after Noah Stricker leaves, he's an American guy who's trying to see 5000 birds in one year. It's a shame, as I would have liked to meet him in his Big Year.

Today was a travel day.  School only finished yesterday and I had a BBQ to go to in the evening, so didn't get to bed until 11.00 pm.  

My big sister brought my niece Laila who is 6 years old and nephew Lucas who is 2 years old to say goodbye, which felt a bit sad. The summer is a long time when you are little.  We were missing Laila's birthday again, which she takes hard. But we are back on the Bank holiday Monday 31 August and promised to take her out then to the cinema.  I do really miss them when we are away.

Ayesha then came back after work, at midnight. She was taking us to the airport in the morning and we had to leave by 4.15 am.

At the Brussels Air baggage drop off, there was only one woman serving and the queue wasn't moving.  After all that waiting the family in front of us couldn't travel as the mum's travel document expired the day before. It had been issued on 18 June for a month, but expired on the 17 July not 18 July.  I felt really bad for them, but not bad enough to have to wait even longer and miss our flight.  An hour after we entered the queue, we had finally put our bags in and tried to get through security ASAP with our fastrack passes.  We were in a real rush and annoyingly my white dad went through with his boots on whilst obviously terrorist looking mum and me had to take ours off. Just what you need when you're in a hurry.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig at Bristol Airport
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

In the departure lounge, the message for our flight which was taking off in 10 mins read 'please wait'. Mum said that we needed to ask someone, whilst trying to do up her boots. Dad found a security man who told us we should wait, but dad insisted that he phone someone.  A phone call later and sure enough they were waiting for us at the gate and were about about to remove our bags from the plane. Not the most stress free start to our journey.

In Brussels, we had a two hour transit which should have been long enough.  But with a delayed arrival, rubbish signs and a long way to go, we arrived at the gate just as the flight was being called.  We were all starving but the only cafe sold sandwiches all with bacon in.  Europe is useless for veggie Muslims.

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on plane from Brussels to Kampala, Uganda
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig 

Our flight was 10.5 hours with Uganda being 2 hours ahead. As it was a daytime flight, I was allowed to catch up on new films plus one or two old ones like The Big Year about 3 American guys doing a year list. It's really fun (especially if you have done a Big Year like me).

Wife "Am I supposed to put my life on hold for a year, like a pathetic golf widow?"

Bostik mad birder "Your not a golf widow, your can't compare golf to this, golf is a hobby.  This is a calling."

From the film The Big Year

It was evening when we arrived in Entebbe, ready for our tour to start the next day.

We were met by our guide Robert and our driver Paul.

Tomorrow was going to be an early start.

About the Writer

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig 

Mya-Rose Craig is a 13 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She is looking forward to going Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa in the summer and watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. She has recently been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol's most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter

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