We’re going on safari! We’re going on safari! I don’t think I slept well the night before because I was so excited! That, or the dorm bed was not the best. Either way, we had to be ready by 7:15, so we were up and at ‘em early, storing our big backpacks in locked storage, storing our computers in the locked office, ordering coffee, and attempting to check email before we boarded the bus to Murchison Falls.
We were told the drive would be four hours. It ended up being more like eight. Due to traffic mostly, but not aided by one passenger trying to change money at a small bank along the way. That took forever. “Africa…” seemed to be the general consensus when he returned frustrated at how long it took and how long we had waited. We didn’t arrive to the Falls until after three.
Apparently you can’t be in the park without a guide, but he really didn’t do much, and we would have been able to see the views had he simply pointed out the trail to us. At first, Andrew and I were afraid this was going to turn into another Kampot – but when we walked up to the overlook, we were glad it was a real vertical waterfall opposed to the horizontal “waterfall” we were shown several months ago in Cambodia.
We walked all around the falls and took turns taking pictures and then we headed towards our campsite. Through the park there seemed to be different pockets of areas full of Tste Tste flies. These flies are known to carry the sleeping disease and are just as (maybe more?) dangerous than malaria carrying mosquitos. To combat these flies, we had to roll up the windows and wait until we were out of the infested area. So for about twenty minutes we were riding through the park- in the late afternoon hot sun- with the windows rolled up- with no air-conditioning sweating like you would not believe. When we opened the windows up it felt like a blast of cold air after being so warm for what felt like forever.
If you look closely, you can see the Momma Maribou stork feeding three or four little ones. By little I mean the size of a small child because the Momma Maribou was gigantic, coming up to my shoulder if we would stand side by side. They were feeding when we got back into camp and were quite the noisy bunch.
At the camp, we were paired up and put into some pimped out safari tents and then had dinner before nearly everyone went to bed early to be up and ready by 6 AM to catch the ferry across the river and see more animals in the early morning hours.