July 31 – Murchison Falls
We awoke early today and my stomach felt much better. We were packed and on the road by 7:30 AM and headed to Murchison Falls. We have been told that the falls are amazing and the park is beautiful. Deb asked us if we would take Robert, one of the sponsored students from Gulu, with us. We were happy to do that as the kids have enjoyed their time with Robert. Robert met us at our hotel at 7:15 and we were all off to see the animals. Sampson was right on time and it was time to get some gas and get on the road.
Our next stop was for breakfast. We stopped in Kamdidi on the roadside and ordered some Chapatti with eggs. Now, if you meet my kids tomorrow and ask them what their favorite food in Uganda is they will say Chipatti. It is basically fried bread that looks a bit like a tortilla but tastes like bread. We have had it 4 or 5 times already but never with eggs. When we stopped on the side of the road to get the Chapatti the young man did not have any eggs and he asked Sampson to get some eggs and he will make them. Sampson gave the young man a look and told him to go get the eggs!
When the young man came back with 8 eggs he started making the food. It smelled really good and by the time everything was done the kids were digging in. For those of you who know our daughter Drew, she is a pretty picky eater. She finished her Chapatti and egg sandwich faster than anyone, she loved it! I am sure we will have Chapatti and eggs a few more times before we leave.
It took us almost 4 hours to get from Gulu to the paid entrance of the Murchison Falls National Park. We drove through the park for at least an hour before reaching the paid gate. On the road to the main gate we saw a family of baboons just hanging around on the road and some monkeys that we can to learn as Patas Monkeys. They were very cute and their faces looked like they had sunglasses on. When we got to the gate of the park we were met by a guard and he said the money man will be here shortly. A man came walking toward us and asked us how many people and how we wanted to pay. We could pay in Uganda Shillings, US $, Euros, he didn’t care, he had a price for each one J
Once we entered the park officially, which was about 11:30 AM, we had planned to drive straight to the river boat which was scheduled to depart at 2:30 PM. It takes about 1 hour to get from the entry gate to the river boat so we had some time to spare. Well, we passed another tour bus and the driver told Sampson, our driver, that they had spotted a family of lions not too far from where we were and it was worth taking a look. So, Sampson set off to find the lions. It turned out to be a 1.5 hour excursion and we did find three female lions on the prowl for something to eat. Watching the wildlife respond to the animal that is at the top of the food chain is really interesting.
We saw every animal within a few hundred yards perk up and take notice of these three female lions looking for food. Many of the animals were making noises so everyone else would know what was happening. It was truly amazing. On the ride we also saw dozens of giraffe and a number of elephants (Noah’s favorite animal). I got some amazing pictures that will be posted on an album when we get back (hard to upload pictures when mobile do to such slow internet connections).
This post is starting to get long so I will discuss our river trip in a separate post.
‘Til next time ….