Thursday, January 1, 2015

Murchison Falls

For our 10th wedding anniversary, Chad surprised me by planning a trip to Murchison Falls for us to go on safari. We left the kids behind for 3 nights - which was definitely a first for us. In hindsight I'm actually really glad we never took the kids with us on safari. It was an amazing trip, but they would not have enjoyed it at all (LOTS of time in the car).

So I'll tell you a bit about our trip. Our package included a ride from Kampala to Murchison leaving Tuesday morning, so we had to drive to Kampala on Monday. We got to go out to eat that night at a nice place and go to the movies. We never get to do that so it was really special.

We met our guide early Tuesday morning. Here's what the truck was like that we drove in for 3 days:

We went first to a rhino sanctuary. Sadly we learned that rhinos were poached to extinction in Uganda in 1983. The sanctuary has 15 rhinos and they are trying to breed more. This was really cool because we were allowed to get out of the truck and get really close to 4 wild rhinos! 

We then drove to Murchison Falls and the first thing we did there was drive to the top of the falls. It was pretty amazing.

The next day we left early to go on our first game drive. The best time to see animals is in the morning and evening. This wasn't like visiting a zoo. We zig zagged throughout roads in the savannah portion of the park looking for animals. The wide open savannah, dotted with trees and animals was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. We saw over 20 different kinds of interesting animals. 

Here are a couple of highlights:
  • We saw a herd of about 30 elephants. One was close to the road. While were we watching him and taking pictures, he suddenly trumpeted loudly and started to charge! We quickly drove away.
  • We saw a jackal (like a wild dog) chasing some crested cranes. It was kind of far away so we didn't get a good picture.
  • We saw two Uganda Kobs fighting.
  • We saw a hartebeest that had been eaten by a lion. The skin and bones were still intact, but his insides had been eaten out.
  • We saw a herd of at least 200 cape buffalo.

After lunch, we were scheduled to go on a boat ride down the Nile to look at water animals. I decided to opt out of this because by then I was exhausted and just wanted to take a nap. But Chad went and really enjoyed it. He saw hundreds of hippos.

At about 5:30 that evening we went on another game drive. This was my favorite part of our trip. We were the only car (I could see) on the savannah. We watched the sun set and enjoyed the cool evening air. It was just magical. We were a bit disappointed that we never saw a lion or a leopard (we sure looked!) but really the game drives were more than we had hoped for.

The next day it was time to head home and we were very ready to see our little guys. They did a great job at our friends' house. We are so proud of them both. 

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