Monday, March 3, 2014

Murchison Falls (Uganda #8)

I left the Uganda updates here with the last one on the reptile village and the oldest's birthday. That put us into our second to last week in Uganda. By that time we had completed everything except the last interview with the U.S. Embassy. We were waiting for the embassy to fix a glitch in their system so that we could fill in a certain online form. 
So, it was the perfect time for a safari, right? With one other family from the guest house and our fearless driver, we headed up north to Murchison falls. After traveling most of the day over bumpy, dusty roads, we arrived at the beautiful falls. 
It is hard to describe the beauty and power of the entire Nile river crashing through this narrow gorge.
It was overwhelming!


We were told to make our hike around the falls quick because if rain found us by the falls, our bus would not be able to make it to the next stop because the rain would too badly wash out the dirt roads!
So we soaked in the beauty with a brisk hike and then headed to our next stop:
the boat ride down the Nile to the bottom of those same falls.

A small ferry took our bus and many other cars across to where we met our boat.

hippos

two of the boys enjoying the breeze and the views

bird nests drilled in the side of this cliff

elephant!

We were told by our driver that we couldn't say we had seen the falls until we had seen both the top and the bottom! Here's our proof that we truly saw the falls!

When we finished our boat ride, we made our way back to the bus. The bus driver opened all the windows and the door so that the kids could climb back on the bus. Our bus driver apologized that he had to keep the windows closed during our boat ride--the baboons would get in the bus and steal our stuff! Just then a huge baboon jumped in through the driver's window, grabbed our bag of sandwiches that were literally a few feet from where our oldest boy was standing and jumped back out and ran away! I had to laugh, but I was also mad! There was no where to just "pick up some food," and that baboon had taken our dinner for the next day! After that I was determined to get a good picture, so I just walked up to another baboon (not the greatest of ideas; they are pretty unpredictable animals), but I got a good shot of the baboon anyway. There were baboons everywhere!

Sunset from our lodge on the Nile river

The next morning we woke before the dawn to take our bus on a 2 hour drive through the Murchison Falls park. We saw many different kind of antelope,

beautiful views

and the only remaining thing that I desperately wanted to photograph after our boat ride the day before:
giraffes!


These are the crested crane, the Ugandan national bird.

I highly recommend visiting Murchison Falls park; it was beautiful! The kids enjoyed our little whirlwind trip, and we hoped that letting that be one of the last things they did in Uganda would be helpful. We returned to the guest house the next day after nearly 10 hours in the bus! (2 hour safari ride, ride to another lodge for lunch and then the ride home through night-time Kampala traffic) The hubby and the biological kids rose the next morning (Monday) and said good-bye. They flew home with our original return tickets. The two new boys and I would follow them the following Friday. We were all sad to see them go and very eager to join them in America!

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