A Game Drive and Boat ride in Murchison Falls National Park by John Rackleff – 6/30

Amahoro! (An East African word for peace)

Uganda is about the size of Oregon and rich in wildlife and flora.  About 5% of the country is national parks or game preserves and the overwhelming majority of the wildlife is found roaming in these preserves. Murchison Falls is the location of a famous meeting (“Dr. Livingston I presume”) and is one of the Ugandan national parks.

The Nile flows through Murchison Falls National Park and Murchison Falls is the world’s most powerful water fall, moving the entirety of the huge Nile River through a narrow 26-foot-wide crack in the rocks.  After the falls, the Nile completes its 4,000+ mile journey through Egypt into the Mediterranean.

Located on the bank of the Nile is a resort called Twiga Safari Lodge and it is here our day begins.  Almost immediately upon entering the park in the morning, our guide became very excited and took us to the location of 5 wild lion cubs and their mother. The cubs were extremely cute but would become dangerous predators within a year.  Mom was protective and always watching to assure the safety of the playful cubs.

As the day continued, it got even better…giraffes, cape buffalo, huge herds of various antelope and more lions were available for viewing.  We even saw a black mamba slither across the road in front of us. It was about 8 feet in length.

In the afternoon we boarded a boat for a tour of birds and beasts of the Nile and immediately found ourselves in the midst of a large group of hippos.  Although they look peaceful and calm, they are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, taking more lives than any other animal in the country.  Looking much more sinister were large Nile crocodiles sunning themselves on the banks.  Birds of various colors, shapes and sizes were out in numbers all afternoon. There were so many types of birds that the list of names would be into the hundreds.  Elephants were along the shores and the trip culminated with a downstream view of the violent Murchison Falls coursing through the narrow outlet.

The day ended with an excellent dinner and sleep to prepare for what was to be an even more exciting day to come.

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