Animal Magic at Murchison

August 3, 2011

After having lived in Africa for three years, our safari brought me so much closer to the wonders of this continent and has inspired me to travel and learn more. We would have missed the adventure of a lifetime had we not engaged the service of a knowledgeable and passionate guide. Journeys Discovering Africa went above and beyond in filling this need.

Our safari took us into Murchison Falls National Park, one of the most prolific wildlife parks in the world. The long dirt road we were traveling on was teeming with baboons that leisurely took leave from the middle of the roadway after first lazily taking in the sight of the ‘mzungus’.

Along the way, our well-traveled friend and guide, Kenyan born Patrick Shah, pointed out rare and exquisite birds and Vervet monkey’s hiding in the dense bush. He was magnificent at spotting the most remarkable sights for enjoyment!

The sights were brilliant but didn’t prepare us for the breathtaking display as we reached the top of the explosive Murchison Falls…The thunderous pounding of the water force is mesmerizing…watching it whirl and dash splashing downward into piles of white foam and raining a fine mist over you.

With all the wonder and awe at every bend and peering through every bush, we felt as though we had just descended into a real live Jurassic Park. Who could imagine witnessing this abundance of wild animals in their natural habitat?

Just moments after driving into the park we found ourselves absolutely amazed by the abundance of Cape Buffalo, herds of Jackson’s Hartebeest, the normally elusive and strikingly handsome Bushbuck and Uganda’s national antelope, the graceful Uganda Kob.

Although we knew they were near us by the uprooted trees, it was thrilling for us to see the mountain size elephants lumbering along in their clans. Our guide reminds us not to be fooled by their slow movements… with the presence of so many babies the moms are on high alert.

Rare in most places, but decidedly not so in Murchison Park is the Rothschild’s Griaffe. These somewhat gangly, but beautiful, majestic creatures thrilled us as we just gazed on them peacefully munching on acacia leaves. Too many to count…every size and color imaginable!

When we came upon an open area where the Nile is visible we found an amazing scene…Dozens of pairs of eyes peering at us, with enormous bodies bobbing just below the surface…Giant herds of Hippos. We all clamored out of the vehicle in excitement while our amused guide cautioned us.

Our guide was not just extraordinarily proficient in animal taxonomy, but eagerly identified constellations and planets for us. The night sky in Africa is stunning. It’s doubtful you’ll ever witness a sky so impressive as here.

Deb Gilbert.

Posted by Anne-Marie Weeden

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