Before we even opened up our Uganda guidebook we heard that we had to go to Murchison Falls National park. This is where the Nile is pushed into a 6 meter wide gorge which results in the falls. It was Brendon the ranger of Tarangire Safari Lodge in Tanzania that gave us the tip and said it was a beautiful park. After spending three days in the park we simply had to agree.
On the Nile
Murchison Falls is situated in the North Eastern part of Uganda. The park is divided by the Nile into a Southern and Northern part. Since the South doesn’t attract that much game you’ll have to be in the North for a proper game viewing experience. To get to the North we had to cross the Nile with a pontoon! How cool is that. The Nile is one of the most important rivers of Africa, is about 6.000 kilometer long and flows from Lake Victoria towards Egypt. A very special feeling to cross it with your own car.
After crossing the river it was time for a game drive. Within minutes we saw rolling hills and beautiful landscapes. The first animals were also spotted a bit later. We saw five species which we had never seen before. The most interesting one was the Shoebill. This endangered and huge bird looks like it walked out of the set of Jurassic Park. Other pretty animals were the Patas monkeys. These red-brown creatures were quite skittish however. We also saw dozens of the dark Rothschild giraffes, the little Oribis and Jackson’s Hartebeest.
Into the wild
After seeing all these lovely animals it was time to find a place to camp. While you officially have to take a ranger along to camp in the wild we thought we could do without one. After all these game parks and bush campings that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. With the help of the iOverlander app we found a great spot right next to the Nile! It’s hard to top this spot. We pitched our tent just before sunset and saw the sun disappearing ‘into’ the Nile. What a great spot!
Thunder and sunshine
With the sound of the hippos grazing next to our tent we fell asleep. During the night a huge thunderstorm decided to pass by our tent. When we almost got hit we decided to spend the last few hours of the night in our car. As soon as it was dry for about five minutes we packed our tent and went on an early morning game drive. Since it didn’t stop raining we decided to head to the pontoon and have a good lunch at a ‘real’ lodge. The luxurious Nile River Lodge had a great view over the Nile and shortly after our lunch the sun started to appear. We were happy with this since we had booked a boat trip that afternoon.
Cruising to Murchison Falls
You haven’t been in the park if you skipped the Murchison Falls. One way of doing this is a boat cruise on the Nile. Since we don’t plan anything anymore we were almost too late because everything was fully booked. The only boat that was still available was an old rusty one from the government. The only downside was that it wasn’t that steady but nonetheless it did the job. We saw the prettiest things. Hippos in a circle, an elephant drinking, relaxing crocodiles and more birds than we could count. The highlight was seeing the Murchison Falls from the river.
One more time
We jumped in the pool when we were back at the lodge and had a lovely four course dinner at the restaurant. We simply had to enjoy the view on the Nile one more time. At our campsite the security guy made a huge fire for us so that we could warm up while enjoying the amazing Milky Way right above us. How can you not love Africa?
What we also did one more time was visiting Murchison Falls. This time from the top of the falls. If you happen to be in Uganda this National Park is a must!