Murchison Falls and the white Nile
Uganda may be is not the first country you think of when safari are planned. But this country have many great national parks. Murchison Falls is one of the best located along the White Nile also called Victoria Nile. Murchison Falls has a lot to offer, like beautiful grass plains north of the White Nile and dense forest with tse tse flies on the south side of the river. The Victoria Nile Delta is located by Lake Albert and ha a great variety of animals and flora.
Murchison Falls is one of Uganda`s oldest national parks created in 1926. Probably because Winston Churchill when he visited the area as early as 1907 boasted glibly about the nature, landscape and fauna. Large parts of the movie “African Queen” is filmed in this area and all the british royalties have been here. So have we! In 2010 we went to Uganda with a group of friends. We arranged the trip ourself and during our 2 week stay we visited many of the national parks.
First stop was Murchison Falls where we stayed at Paara Safari Lodge. Paara was a great place with good food and particular the fish from the Nile was among the best fish I have ever tasted. The best part was the localization. Paara was situated only a short walk downhill from the ferry and the riverside. That meant that we could take walks on our own and meet people and see the animals unfold on the riverside. The Baboons was cheeky and a bit aggressive, but as most monkeys they were always funny. The Baboons walked effortless between all the people waiting for the next ferry. The ferry across the Victoria Nile was typical African. It was powered by two engines with 120 HP compressors. These were attached to each side of an iron platform so the whole ferry could be driven up on the beach at each side of the river. The ferry cold take 6 cars and a lot of people. From the ferry we could se hippos in large quantities and some times a crocodile. Bird life was exceptional. The big marabou stork was everywhere and in the reed it swarmed with colorful small birds. From this ferry point all the boats up the river to the big falls started.
Take the boat up the river to the falls
Murchisons Falls NP has many highlights and can offer a lot of activities. A boat trip up the Nile and then a walk up along the big falls is absolutely a must! We were set ashore not far from the waterfalls and were supposed to be met by a guide. He never turned up so we took the walk by ourself without problems. The paths were well marked and it was a lot to see and explore on our way. Some of us went lost and the walk became a bit longer but it was no crisis. Very often on safari you sit in a car all the time so getting out in wild nature is always exciting. But its important to wear good shoes and carefully look were you put your feet. It can be snakes and other kinds of ugly creeps around. We have never experienced this. Snakes normally flee when they feel the vibrations in the ground when someone is approaching.
We probably used too much time on this walk because our driver who waited on the top of the water falls with the car was desperate when we came so late. But then he never told us when he expected us to turn up. He was so afraid we would not reach the last ferry across to Paara. Last ferry went at 19.00. Everything went well – we reach the ferry and I am convinced it would be sorted out somehow anyway even if we had been late.
Murchison Falls grass plains:
The grass plains are situated on a peninsula with Victoria Nile in south and the Albert nile in north west. At the end is Lake Albert and the Nile Delta. On the grass plains you can see all the big animals and big herds of giraffes, buffaloes and all kinds of antelopes. The biggest antelope here are the Hartebeest. They often call it Jackson Antelope. From Paara Lodge you can go game driving with safari cars from the hotel. We had our own car for the whole stay in Uganda and our own private driver. Our driver was an expert in finding predators and other animals. With our own car we felt free and could stay out for as long as we wanted.
Nile Delta and Lake Albert
We spent an entire day down in the Nile Delta and we also had with us a ranger from the hotel. He had a gun and local knowledge. A very angry male elephant came when we had lunch. He did not like our presence and at that moment I was very happy we had company of a well armed ranger. We had to sit in the car for some time before the elephant moved away from us. But he was still nearby and no and then he roared load.