Travels

Murchison Falls National Park

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Hiram Bingham is known as discoverer of Machu Picchu that we already saw that DAY 11 of the trip to Peru 2010, Jean Louis Burckhardt like Petra's, that we already saw that DAY 6 of the trip to Jordan 2006 or DAY 13 of the trip to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan 2009, ... but what about the great explorers of Africa? David Livigston, the Scottish missionary is possibly the best known. But today, next to Samuel Baker, we introduced ourselves in some falls that were considered in 1864 as "the most important object in the course of the entire Nile". We are in the Murchison Falls.

And yesterday we unconsciously crossed the course of the Nile to reach one of its most unique points, a waterfall that leaves an invaluable habitat at its feet and that today we can enjoy

It's not even 6:30 when, after breakfast, we set course for our first gamedrive in Uganda. Although we already realized yesterday, this has nothing to do with anything before seen. We are in a place of dense forests, green vegetation, clayey roads ... and really photogenic.


Murchison Falls is one of the most majestic parks in all of Uganda. This park and its waterfalls caught the attention of Sir Roderick Murchison who commissioned on the last trip of the doctor and missionary, the famous David Livigston, to confirm that the sources of the Nile were on Lake Victoria that we flew over two days ago.

It is Juve and Ruth's first gamedrive, and the day will not disappoint. The first thing that catches our attention is the multitude of curious antilopes, a certain resemblance to the wildebeest head and the body of the topis, calledLelwel Hartebeest (What do you remember the "bugs" of Star Wars?)



But what is an unparalleled picture, and we will never get tired of seeing them, are the more than 30 giraffes They are eating these trees at this time. Here they have a real feast.



They are Rothschild giraffes with that matrix of bright colors (the darkest males). There are also many young. Here they rule, so you have to respect when they cross the road in Indian queue, looking for new places for breakfast


With our eyes open as dishes we are still looking for new animals, today we have the open roof of the van and we can see them better


At our side we find some Bufalos, defiant and missed, they look at us as letting us know that we are in the wrong place. If it wasn't for the car, I don't think we dared look him so straight in the eye while we took the pictures. This animal when it is old is relegated from the pack and will have to live alone until the end of its days.

Another curious "local" is the monkey legs (Erhytrocebus paws - thanks for the correction Pedro Victor-), a small monkey that has a ghost face and walks on 2 and 4 legs



The fauna has nothing to envy to other places visited in quantity and diversity, but there is still no trace of the big cats.

As we enter Lake Albert, which separates Uganda from the DRC, we leave the deep forest area to meet huge meadows full of life


We see as in them, some newborn babies of cobos, the national antilope of Uganda, who are already taking their first steps ...



We stopped and got out of the car to see a group of hippos doing his morning games. Despite how aggressive these animals can be (it is the animal that causes the most deaths in all of Africa) we take the photos just a few meters from the shore and do not seem to worry.



And finally we found them. Behind the thickets of a great acacia a little head appears ... !! seems stuffed !! She is a newborn lion, who watches us shyly


Behind her appears her mother. A calm lioness, which a few meters away from us rubs his head with the baby as a sign of affection. It is a scene much more tender than the hard "snacks" we saw in Kenya


But there is still another "guest". It is another puppy, very small too, that comes with playful attitude and begins to bite the first little one. They are not immuted because we are watching them, they know that their mother takes care of them very closely. !! Paula and Ruth would like to go down for them! They are not many bigger than Tom, the grandmother's dog cotters, which surely continues to accompany us throughout the trip


We left the touching scene excited to go our way. This one, and while we prepare a sausage sandwich brought from Spain that tastes like glory at this time of the morning (thanks Loly), leads us to see one of those who never miss his appointment, African elephants with that ear so peculiar with the shape of the continent that it differs so much from the Asian.



The head elephant stops. We are in the middle of your path. This old elephant, with a sad look, seems to tell us to separate so he can follow his path to the water. We move a few meters and pass the small pack. Magic scene not to forget


The return to the Paraa Lodge leaves us more images to remember, full of countless birds, more monkey legs, warthogs and water antelopes With its imposing horns.




The gamedrive has lasted about 4 hours, and has been one of the best of the trip. Ali puts land in between, between the beautiful places of a km2 of true nature



It is time to rest, collect moments and memories, buy a gift (50,000 UGX) and eat with the Nile in the background (4000 UGX per couple),

Not too late, we will make another type of visit. It's about a boat trip leaving a small jetty near the Lodge, which will take us 17 km up the Nile towards the final prize of the day


From here we have a privileged place to reach those areas where we would never arrive, bordering cliffs, forests and seeing much more wildlife a few meters from us

This is how we see documentary scenes again, such as those hippos playing, or that mother with her baby which will defend any predator and crocodile that comes (only dare with the offspring and except man, the hippopotamus has no enemies)



Let's see guys ... how do those hippos do? !! We are already integrated !! Blast of the day ...



The proximity to a great gorge It allows us to see birds that we never saw before. Some green and red, some blue, and of course ... that fish eagle




Although we already saw Nile crocodiles previously, Juve and Ruth see them today for the first time and in their true habitat., the Nile. The ribiera is full of them waiting for their moment, always on the prowl, with that half-open mouth and their eyes that do not know where they look or if they are in a slight lethargy.


They are huge animals of up to 6 meters and weighing more than 1 ton. We don't even want to imagine the strength of his jaw.



In the background we begin to intuit a huge force of water. We have arrived and in the distance we see them



Are the Murchison Falls that give the park its name but the ship can no longer get closer. The current is very strong and there are very dangerous whirlpools, so they leave us on one of the banks to continue on foot




There are really two waterfalls, the Murchison proper, with 47 meters of fall, and the Karuma, somewhat smaller.



The Nile carries strength at this point and circulates along the path traveled to a delta that opens to Lake Albert that we saw this morning, separating the park into two distinct areas.



Ernest Hemingway, whose stories accompanied us on the adventure through Cuba or on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, was also moved by this panorama, being one of the places that inspired him for his novel "The Green Hills of Africa", greener than Never in this fascinating country, Uganda.



After a good walk we reach the top where there is also a good view (and refreshing water for sweat that we bring since there is much more humidity here than in Kenya and we drip) ... The force that carries the water is scary.



A ranger calls us. We have enjoyed the hike so much that we may miss the last ferry back to the hotel. Ali takes us and we return by car along the winding roads. 18:55 !! We have arrived for 5 minutes !! We already saw each other swimming, hahaha.

It has been one of the most magical and fascinating days of this African adventure, and we will surely forget it. And but not to do so, these stories that we already write on our way to Kibale will remain with our Orange skewer that is behaving. Family, friends and readers ... as always phenomenal. We miss some comment from the Pope of Isaac (how are you doing there?), Miriam, Miguel, Tilo and Fito. !! You have abandoned us!

Tomorrow long way ... but after dinner (5000 UGX drinks) the dream catches us


Ruth, Isaac, Paula and Juve, from the Murchison Falls (Uganda)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 9,000 UGX (approx 2.33 EUR) and GIFTS: 50,000 UGX (approx 12.92 EUR)

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