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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 417

      Down to the waterline

      February 6, 2021 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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    • Day 13

      Bush camping

      November 18, 2021 in Uganda ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Ein absolutes Muss, wenn man mit Campingausrüstung bzw. Dachzelt unterwegs ist! 10/10!!
      Man bekommt einen Ranger zur Seite gestellt, der mit uns zusätzlich einen Abend-, Nacht- und Morgen-Game Drive machte. Also muss man das nicht zusätzlich buchen. Preis fürs Bush Camping: 40$ für den Ranger + 40$ Eintritt p.P. für den Park + ~5$ fürs eigene Auto (einheimisches Kennzeichen).
      Unser Ranger hieß Xavier und war superfreundlich! Er war ausgestattet mit Fernglass, Zelt, Isomatte, etwas Wasser, einer AK47 und einem Strahler, der über den Zigarettenanzünder im Auto funktionierte. Freundlicherweise kauft man ein bisschen mehr Essen und Getränke und lädt den Ranger ein. Linda machte super Abendessen und Xavier zeigte uns in der Nacht noch eine Python, Hasen und eine Art kleinen Wüstenfuchs. Er war absoluter Tier- und vor allem Vogelexperte und kannte sich perfekt im Nationalpark aus. Wir sahen 4 Arten von Antilopen, 4 Löwen, ein Nilpferd und eine Vielzahl von Elefanten, Giraffen und Vögeln. Und nachts ist das Grunzen der Nilpferde auch überall hörbar. Früh gabs noch ein kurzes Frühstück direkt in einer Giraffenherde. Ein tolles Erlebnis.
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    • Day 13

      „Simba“ Swahili für 🦁

      November 18, 2021 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

      Wir fanden eine Gruppe junger männlicher und weiblicher Löwen und konnten ihnen ganz nah kommen. Sie haben sich nicht stören lassen. Gejagt wurde, nachdem alle Touris ihre Bilder im Kasten hatten 😄

    • Day 4

      Prime 2 ore di safari

      September 14, 2023 in Uganda ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      Continuano le emozioni targate Uganda. Speriamo di vedere tutti i Big 5 (Leone, Rinoceronte già visto, Leopardo, Elefante e Bufalo / Spoiler: ce la faremo 😉)

      Il safari, soprattutto se fatto per la prima volta, è la cosa che più si avvicina ai sogni di un bambino, naturalisticamente parlando. Sembra di essere proiettati in un mondo animato, rimani stordito a guardarti intorno come se fosse la prima volta che apri gli occhi.

      Per fortuna le nostre mitiche guide ci segnalano ogni animale, che per noi è quasi impossibile vedere ad occhio nudo, ad una velocità di 40 km/h
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    • Day 250

      Murchison falls NP

      February 6 in Uganda ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      Uganda's ten national park contain a fabulous variety of habitats,ranging from snow capped mountain peaks and vast papyrus swamp,to dark tropical forests and open savanna plains. These diverse setting are home to an impressive range of wildlife including over 1000 species of bird ,with many central Africa species at the eastern limit of their ranges. Mammals include numerous forest primates, among them chimpanzee and the rete mountain gorilla, while big game animals are to be found in the savanna parks.Email info@divineafricantours.comRead more

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