Murchison Falls State Park, Uganda
So in Part 2 we take a ride down the Victoria Nile, which is the SAME Nile that Moses floated down a few thousand years ago up near Cairo way. This cruise was NOT like this familiar cruise…..
….but it wasn’t far off (tour guide on our boat was not so quick with the jokes). So let’s get started!
We, David, my trusty driver, and I, hopped on the boat which isn’t actually this one. I’m not really sure why I have a picture of a boat that isn’t ours, but there it is. Ours was a bit bigger. Our journey takes us up river towards the amazing Murchison Falls. Do you see how big that river is on the above shot and the cover shot? Now imagine all that water getting shoved into a tiny rocky crack about 7 feet wide. That’s what Murchison is. You’ll have a chance to see this all a bit later in the show. With movies!
For now, let’s just take a look at the animals I was able to point my camera at and snag. If you read the previous post, you’ll know that David felt it was his duty to keep me alive by keeping me in the truck. He could relax on this, since I wasn’t going anywhere off the boat. Well, except for the rocks that we bumped up to but…more on that later.
As we move up the river with Captain Thomas at the helm, he pretty quickly yells and points up at the tree. If you look in the top left hand corner you’ll see a Colobus Monkey,which doesn’t do much except sit in the tree and look like a Colobus Monkey, as far as I could tell. If you read that link, you’ll learn that the Colobus Monkey has no thumbs. Which kinda puts Darwin’s theory in all sorts of hot water.
And then we have this guy. The notorious Nile Crocodiles. Claimed in the Bible book Leviathan to be aquatic, untameable, strong, possessing teeth and having a scaly back immune to sword, spears, sling stones and arrows. (look it up) And our favorite ancient pundit, Pliny the Elder, once famously – and bit controversially at the time – said of the Nile Croc: “It is a four-footed evil thing, as dangerous on land as in the River. It is the only land creature without a tongue and the only one that bites by pressing with its movable upper jaw”. Take a look at that top picture. Do YOU see tongue?
Momma crocodiles lie on their eggs and protect them from Evil Doers such as…..
…the voracious and none to considerate Monitor Lizard., who likes to steal and then eat, Nile Croc eggs.
One of the delightful scenes along this part of the Nile is seeing several cool animals together – here is a croc and a waterbuck. I dimly recall seeing National Geographic shows where a croc such as this would actually ambush a waterbuck such as this, much to the waterbucks dismay and indignation. These two seemed to get along well enough that day.
I don’t show many pictures of myself because I’m usually holding the camera and, well, I’m just not the selfie type. But to prove I have been to a certain place, I must offer, uh, proof. So here’s me in our boat, with Murchison Falls in the background. If the boat sank I’m really not sure which of the carnivorous animals would respect that orange life vest, but fortunately it did not. Sink.
And there is Murchison Falls from the down river side. See how narrow it looks? Well take a look at what it looks like from the top!
This is at the top of the Falls, and all that water is rushing downstream and then crashes into ….
That. Maybe 4-5 feet across.
For maybe 100 yards. That is a LOT of water going into very small crack in the rocks.
Had to prove I was there, too.
And of course I need to prove that David, my trusty driver, was also there. That’s him. If you want to really experience the falls, check out this 40 second video I made.
Back on the boat!
So, back on the downriver side of the falls….we’re floating along, going with the current and I see movement out of the corner of my eye.. And look what I see, two of these guys just hanging out, foraging. And there were more!
Three animals! Elephant, egret and – look carefully in the middle – hippo!
And then I spot an elephant HERD frolicking and wallowing in the water!
I’ve saved the funnest for last…..hippos!
This is what a pod of hippos looks like from afar. I must have seen 15 or so of these pods in a pretty short stretch of river. Let’s see if we can get a little closer….
Awwwww….. I’m now wildlife expert, but it doesn’t seem to me that hippos are in that much trouble here. Lots of them.
Even OUT of the water!
So in the past two posts you’ve seen pretty much all the animals saw on the trip to Murchison. Lions, elephants, hippos, cape buffalos, monitor lizard, baboons, warthogs, warthoglets, Colobus “I got no thumbs!” Monkey, Nile croc, a variety of ruminants and so many birds I can’t count. Not bad for a 24 hour period, right?
As we’re leaving to get on this ferry across the Nile…
…three enterprising young men started up some music. I recorded it, but can’t figure out how to put it on here. I will. It was really pretty good! So I dropped some Ugandan shillings in their bucket.
Thanks, Murchison! You’re the best!