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    • Day 210


      July 10, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 31 °C

      A lot of my time in Uganda was spent recovering from something - a cold in Lake Bunyonyi, and then a stomach bug in Kampala. So with time getting on before I had to get my flight out of Kenya I decided to only make one stop - to Murchison Falls National Park.
      Murchison Falls (or Kabalega Falls for the Ugandan name before the Europeans "discovered" it), is on the Victoria Nile before it reaches the white Nile. The entire river is forced through a 7 meter gap at 300 cubic meters per second. This makes it the most powerful waterfall in the world, on the longest river in the world. The sheer power of the water churning when you're standing at the top of the falls is amazing, and of course you get a good drenching from the spray.
      The following day we had a couple more game drives in the National Park, which is the biggest and oldest in Uganda. I saw a family of hyenas really close up, which are my favourite animals in Africa after the elephant. I also saw loads of giraffes, a leopard with an antelope in a tree, buffalo, bucks, and warthogs. We also went on a river safari where we saw more large herds of elephants and pods of hippos. We went to the bottom of Murchison Falls to see the power from that direction, and the current of the river was so powerful that the boat could only get so close, and struggled to keep even.
      Finally we headed back to Kampala where I had to get a night bus onto Nairobi!
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    • Day 16

      Murchison Falls part 1

      August 6, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      Redelijk korte rit van Ziwa naar Red chili hideaway (onze lodge). We slapen twee nachten in een banda (eindelijk, we kunnen ook wel eens wat luxe gebruiken na al dat kamperen...)
      Emely knock-out tijdens de rit, zeer moeilijk om ze wakker te krijgen. Ken moest vlees kopen voor een ranger, dus we zijn even gestopt aan een lokaal marktje. Een beenhouwer hier is verre van eentje in België... het vlees hangt gewoon buiten, vol vliegen en wordt met de losse pols & een kapmes op een blok hout gekapt. Ook vissen ondergaan dezelfde behandeling 😱. Wij waren ondertussen wat gaan rondsnuisteren op zoek naar een leuk souvenir. Uiteindelijk alleen kleine bananen meegenomen voor onderweg 😀.
      Eindelijk onze eerste schildpad gespot! Even gestopt om het van dichtbij te bekijken, maar dat bleek nogal traumatisch te zijn voor het beestje want het plaste van schrik...
      Volgende stop waren de Murchison Falls zelf! Het was echt een warme dag in de auto, dus de gratis douche was écht welkom! Wij waren volledig onder de indruk... Het zijn weliswaar de krachtigste watervallen ter wereld! 300 kuub/sec in een breedte van 6m. Genoten van het uitzicht (de zon ging bijna onder), wat gelachen met Ken & met onze voetjes in het water nog wat plezier gemaakt. Beter kon het niet zijn!
      Vanavond zal Ken zijn eerste nacht in onze tent tegemoet gaan, want alle drivers voorzieningen waren volzet. Hij is alvast benieuwd... 😜
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    • Day 5

      Safari Boat Cruise!

      February 9, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

      At 2pm we went on a River Safari down the Nile! It was slow paced and incredibly relaxing. We rode 1.5 hours to the base of the Falls (our first view of the Falls) and then 1.5 hours back. Over the course we saw over 100 elephants, 100 hippos (the “rocks of the Nile lol), 2 Nile Crocodiles, and a gazillion birds. Lisa stood at the front of the boat using her amazing binoculars to get a good look at all the birds and even helping fellow passengers get a look as well :) Her favorites were the red throated Bee-eater, 3 varieties of King Fishers and the majestic African Fish Eagle. It was a blessing the wifi wasn’t working as it got us to bed by ten. We were extremely grateful but exhausted from our full, glorious day and got some good rest in order to be in the car by 6am once again.Read more

    • Day 13

      Mächtige Murchison Falls!

      January 17, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

      Heute ging es in den Murchison-Falls-Nationalpark. Unser erster Halt waren die mächtigen Wasserfälle des Nils, die Murchison Falls 🌊. Es sind die kraftvollsten 💪 Wasserfälle der Welt, wobei pro Mikrosekunde (oder einer Makrosekunde) eintausend Quadrillionenkubikhektometer (oder etwas mehr) Wasser💧💧💧 durch eine 5 Meter enge Schlucht schießen. Das ist ganz schön viel...und die Kraft des Wassers ist Vorort spürbar.

      Wir fuhren dann direkt in unsere Unterkunft im Norden des Nationalparks, entspannten drei Stunden und ließen den Abend mit einem dreistündigen Game Drive 🚙🦒🐦🐘 ausklingen. Das Hühnchen zum Abendessen schmeckte uns wahrlich gut. 🤗
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    • Day 6

      Top of the Falls

      February 10, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ 🌩️ 36 °C

      Murchison Falls is known for the spectacular falls! It is the most powerful waterfall in Uganda and second largest in Africa. From the boat cruise we saw it from the bottom but this time we saw the top it begins from! At every viewing point there is a stunning rainbow made by the reflection of the light in the water droplets as they spray up against the rocks. It even gave us a nice shower to cool down from our trek!

      The entire day I was also on the hunt for the Black and White Colobus Monkey (another one of my favs) and our driver Godfrey knew how much it meant to me! He was searching for it all day long and spotted it from the road!! I could have watched them swinging through the trees for hours. I was on cloud 9 :)

      We made our way back to lodge, had an hour to eat and refresh (Lisa says thank God for Yoga Nidra 😂) and headed back out for our last game drive in Murchison Falls!
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    • Day 4

      Visting the Community

      February 8, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 35 °C

      We selected Murchison River Lodge as our accommodations for many reasons- their glowing reviews, their location, the beautiful accommodations. But the thing that stood out to us the most was their mission behind the business. A quick excerpt from the website: “Sustainable conservation combined with the empowerment of the local community is something Murchison River Lodge has, in recent years, spent time focusing on. We offer staff training programs, host a women’s group, work closely with the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and the Ugandan Conservation Foundation and promote local businesses. Never has it been more important to be aware of our impact on the world than now.” They also offer the option to visit the local community and efforts to guests staying at the lodge and you KNOW we said yes!

      We specifically requested to join the women’s group whose purpose struck a chord with us. It is a program for young mothers who have not be afforded the opportunity to go to school. They focus on learning English (reading and writing), math and practical skills (such as sewing) that would open so many doors for them. We quickly ate lunch and rushed off to meet them! When we arrived they stood and began singing a welcoming song and Lisa and I were instantly in tears. We spent almost an hour practicing English together- the months, days of the week, sight reading words, basic greetings (which Lisa acted out with them) and each participant even sang the alphabet song and we all applauded them. Talk about a music teacher and a speech pathologists dream day?!

      Then our friend Immaculate who leads the program asked them each to share their motivation for being a part of the group/learning and translated their answers for us. We all were in tears as they opened up and shared the most moving and inspiration reasons they want to learn. We then got to share words of encouragement that were translated back to them. English is the official language of Uganda it is comprised of over 20 different tribes, each with their own language, so learning English for these women can truly transform their lives and the lives of their children. Just a few examples:
      - In order to advocate for themselves and their children at a hospital.
      - In order to know what their child’s teacher is saying to them.
      - In order to make a living to support her 8 children after their husband past away.
      - In order to run a business and not be taken advantage of.
      - In order to support their extended family and their community.

      What an experience this was. We were deeply inspired by their desire to learn, resilience in the face of hardship and their support of one another. It reoriented my own thoughts around the opportunities for education I and so many Americans have been fortunate to have.

      As we closed, they expressed their gratitude that we came to join them and for the encouragement with many rounds of applause, hugs and their radiant faces. Lisa brought a box of Girl Scout cookies to share and we closed with a group photo ❤️ It was an experience we will never forget.
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    • Day 4

      Ended the Day in Paradise!

      February 8, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ 🌙 28 °C

      We were already on cloud 9 and then the day came to the PERFECT end!! As you know, my favorite animals are monkeys. We came to cool down in the pool and one of the guests says “did you see the monkey?!” to which I feel out and start recording the monkey. Then I saw a 2nd… 3rd… 4th… and before I knew it I was surrounded by 20 monkeys! Lisa enjoyed them but from a safe(r) distance 😂 We swam in the pool with the monkeys all around us while watching the sun set. What a DREAM! We made our way up to the watch tower to catch the full sunset just in time. As beautiful as the photos are, they don’t even begin to do it justice!

      Our driver was able to get the car fixed and joined us for a delicious dinner 🙏🏽. We don’t have much wifi here so if we don’t respond to messages or calls during the day, don’t be alarmed! Off to bed now to wake up early for our first day of Safari 🎉🎉🎉
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    • Day 88

      Murchison Falls

      February 21 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 35 °C

      Die Wasserfälle geben dem Nationalpark seinen Namen. Obwohl gerade Trockenzeit ist, sind die Fälle sehr beeindruckend. Und nass! Bei der Wanderung zum Fuß der Fälle von innen 🥵, am Aussichtspunkt von außen 🌊😂Read more

    • Day 14

      Auf dem Nil Richtung Murchison Falls

      January 18, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      Nach einem sehr entspannten Frühstück 🍳🍞🍍🥭☕🍉 gegen 08:00 Uhr teilte unsere Gastgeberin uns mit, dass die Boot-Safari für uns 11:00 Uhr möglich wäre. Also begaben wir uns unmittelbar auf den Weg zum Bootsanleger 🛥️ am Ufer des Nils und starteten in Richtung Murchison Falls. Auch diese Tour war wieder sehr kurzweilig und schnell bekamen wir Krokodile 🐊 zu Gesicht, die hier bis zu sechs Meter groß werden können.

      Flusspferde, Elefanten, allerlei sonstiges Wild und eine Vielzahl sehr schöner Vögel gestalteten die Fahrt sehr abwechslungsreich. Erholsam 🧘‍♂️ war sie zudem. Den Nachmittag entspannten wir in unserer schönen Lodge, genossen das Abendessen und den Blick auf den Sonnenuntergang 🌅 über dem am Horizont gelegenen Nil. 🤗
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    • Day 7

      Final Breakfast at Murchison River Lodge

      February 11, 2023 in Uganda

      We attempted to sleep in but the excitement for another day couldn’t keep us in bed long! We enjoyed our first (since we always took it to go) and final delicious breakfast at the lodge. We were lucky to be joined by the hotel manager! We expressed our gratitude, learned more about her story (she has spent decades as an international tour guide) and connected in our shared belief about the oneness of mankind. Saying goodbye to the hotel staff felt like leaving lifelong friends, it’s hard to believe we only met each other just 3 days ago.

      We promised every person we met (guides, rangers, hotel staff, community members) we would encourage everyone we know to come and visit!!
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