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  • Day417

    Down to the waterline

    February 6 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

    Bsss! I want to move south through Murchison Falls National park but the ferry crossing the Victoria Nile is not operating since July 2020 due to … flooding. Again! Lake Victoria and Lake Albert have higher water levels than usual. I decide to enter the burning park anyway and spend around 270 km on self-driving safari within 1.3 days. The Murchison Falls themselves are not accessible from the north but from the south only. The northern path is so overgrown that I rip off my right mudguards with protruding, low bush branches and have to reverse 1.5 km before the falls. Again a poor view because the guys are also burning parts of this national park. But there are tons of Uganda kobs, bushbucks, waterbucks, Jackson’s hartebeests, Rothschild’s giraffes and buffaloes around which are not impressed by my car at all. My extended catch list: baboon, warthog, tsetse, southern ground hornbill, hippo, vervet monkey, black/white colobus monkey, patas monkey, elephant, jackal, Rüppell’s vulture, Adim’s stork, a tree-climbing African harrier hawk and one rare, shy bongo in the morning! The second night I want to spend wild-camping at the shores of Lake Albert but my designated places are flooded and I decide to go for the ruins of an old lodge but am interrupted by a broken bridge. Luckily a safari tour vehicle comes by the same way and the driver guides me through a secret detour over freshly burned grass to the far too expensive Pakuba lodge. They want 120 USD for a room, camping not allowed. Up your asses. It is dark already and as I am about to leave for the nearby ruins one of the staff approaches me and offers an unofficial campsite in front of the rangers’ headquarters. Splendid! I learn that they are burning parts of the park for various reasons. First of all the antelopes prefer low grass for safety and would move out of the unfenced park towards human areas because the humans are keeping the grass low through burning. Also they prefer freshly growing grass after burning over the older dry one. But the bordering humans would simply eat them. Allegedly the burning also controls the ticks and tsetse which I consider a poor argument. The last argument probably is the most important: Animals are better seen by tourists in low grass. In the end a national park is just another form of governmental and private income source. No animals, no tourists, less money.

    At midnight we hear nearby lions roaring and in the early morning, shortly before sunrise, I naively point my low-glooming headlamp around while brushing my teeth and suddenly see a pair of yellow eyes staring at me without being able to make out a silhouette of the starer. I switch the lamp to full power and see a huge lioness standing on the small access road just around 30 m away from my car. The next moment she disappears. Or was it a leopardess? But I didn’t see any pattern on the fur and this thing was huuuge! At sunrise I leave some Trinkgeld for the rangers and continue my safari after a great shower! All antelopes and buffaloes are migrating to the lake shore for a morning drink. I again meet a tour vehicle from this noble lodge. The same driver! He tells me that they saw two lions far away in the grassy valley and points me in the right direction. These guys are amazing! No human on earth can see anything in this grass on this distance and even with binoculars these two lions resemble more what I would nowadays call “pixel noise”. The good thing is that they are moving in direction of a branching track. So, I just drive around the corner with my car where I think they are heading, stop next to a tree, climb on my roof, sit down and wait. They are approaching some gazelles against the wind and are coming nearer but stop at some point. Very funny to watch that the gazelles are aware of the lions veeeery early but do not move at all. They let the lions approach to something like 50 m before galloping away. But maybe the cats are not hungry? Who knows ...
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    Stefanie R.

    Wie cool 🙌🏽

  • Day55

    Perfect day

    February 25, 2016 in Uganda ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    What a day! Private driver, a 3 hour "game drive" as they call it, a 2.5 hour boat ride and an hour hike up the side of a powerful waterfall.

    We weren't thinking of doing a safari game drive in Uganda, but since the Murchison Falls NP entrance fees were 40$us, we decided to take advantage of a full day in the park. On this drive, we saw Jackson Heartbeats, waterbucks and a hippopotamus out of water - all in the first 10 minutes! The drive was absolutely beautiful, Savannah type landscapes, beautiful shining sun. By the end, we had seen waterbucks, African buffalo's, hippos, Jackson Heartbeats, elephants, Rothschild giraffes, Ugandan kobs (antilopes), warthogs (Gen! Pumba!) and a few gorgeous birds.

    As if that wasn't enough, we had a quick packed lunch and off we went on a boat tour along the Nile! 2.5 hours of wind blowing, cooling us down, drinks being served, and again all along the shores incredible animal watching! More hippos, one girafe, tons of elephants, birds and crocodiles! Beautifully sunny day. Incredibly warm.

    The boat stoped at a dock somewhat far from the falls themselves, but you could definitely appreciate their power and beauty! Jack and I were the only ones to get off as we planned to do the hike up to the falls, and the boat turned back around. Our hiking guide was waiting for us when we got there, arranged by our wonderful private driver Moses. The hike was super easy and it gave us a closer look at these falls. To be honest, they weren't very high, not the prettiest falls I've ever seen, but definitely powerful. I wouldn't want to fall in... Honestly the world's easiest walk, and I managed to fall. Yep, my first true reason to open my massive first aid kit! A bandaid and polysporin... Considering the size of my medical kit, it's kind of sad. I scraped my knee when my foot slid forward in a dry sandy downhill part. Honestly the lamest story ever. I'll be going with lion's bite from now on. This lion's bite was just deep enough to have people concerned about the bleeding, but just superficial enough to make me feel like an idiot. Meh.

    This is probably the most luxurious day we've had to this day, yet with our skills we are paying the same amount as advertised on a poster for a group of 8 people. We found a driver willing to take us for a good price. And by calculating all the fees along the way we paid the exact same amount as groups do, but we had a private driver doing exactly what we wanted... We want to stop for a photo, we ask. We want to go, we go. Easy.

    Fantastic day. Worth the pretty penny it cost. And now onto the capital! Kampala tomorrow should be quite the change of pace.
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    Helene Drouin

    vraiment de belles photos!


    Il y a de ces jours ou je n'aurais pas changé de place avec vous, mais aujourd'hui à cette journée de safari je vous envie. Tant mieux pour vous. Wish you more perfect days. D.L.


    Super beau Véro. J'espère que vous avez apprécié votre safari autant que Pierre et moi. C'est vraiment impressionnant. xoxo

  • Day3

    Murchison Falls, der Victoria-Nil

    January 20, 2020 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Beschreibung mit einem Wort?

    Wir fahren durch den Park bis zu einer Nil-Fähre, dort befindet sich auch die Ablegestelle für Boote, die Touristen zu den Murchison Falls bringen. Wir sind hier heute allerdings die einzigen Touristen, die das in Anspruch nehmen.

    Erstmal ist natürlich Pipipause angesagt, auch hier macht die Natur nicht Halt, in meinem Klo wohnt ein Minifrosch (den ich aber erst beim spülen bemerke😬)!

    Auf der Bootsfahrt bekommt man dann mal vom Wasser aus eine andere Sicht auf die Tiere, die sich hier am und im Wasser aufhalten... Giraffen, Elefanten, Massen an NILpferden (ach, daher kommt der Name), Krokodile an jeder Ecke etcpp und natürlich auch Unmengen an Vögeln, Seeadler etc., wofür Uganda ja auch bekannt ist.

    Das Boot bringt uns ca. 1,5 Stunden bis zu einer kleinen Anlegestelle, dort steigen wir aus und machen eine Wanderung entlang des Wasserfalles (bergauf!). Und, was soll ich sagen? Iloveit!!! Es ist giiiigantisch!! Nein, die Wasserfälle sind nicht hoch und auch nicht breit, im Gegenteil, der Nil quetscht sich hier durch eine 7 Meter breite Felsspalte... das ist KRAFT!! Nicht umsonst sagt man hier auch „The most powerful waterfalls in the world“.
    Soweit ich das beurteilen kann: stimmt!!
    Es ist traumhaft!!! (Und warm ist es auch😂)

    Hier lernen wir auch die interessanten Tsetse-Fliegenfallen kennen, die Viecher (die die Schlafkrankheit übertragen) werden durch die Farbe blau angezogen, fliegen dann in den Netzen hoch und Bäääm... gefangen!!
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  • Day3

    Cruise on the Victoria Nile

    February 2, 2018 in Uganda ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    In Murchison Falls National Park. The Victoria Nile feeds into Lake Albert. When the Nile leaves Lake Albert it is known as the Albert Nile. It becomes the Blue Nile when it gets to Khartoum.
    This is mostly a wildlife viewing cruise as many animals come to the river in this, the dry season. These pics are of birds.Read more

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