Uganda part IV – Murchison Falls

Our next destination was Murchison Falls where all the water of the river Nile has to go through a narrow gorge of just a few meters. On the map it looked pretty far away and when talking to some other travellers they said that it took them two days to cover the distance. And it was also not 100% clear which was the best road. We had the option to take some gravel road which can be very comfortable if in good condition. But it can also be an extremely bumpy experience which is going to test the inlays in your teeth to the max in case you encounter an washboard road of the bad kind. In order to make such a road somehow acceptable you need to drive 60 or more at which point your are flying over to road, but if that road is combined with deep wholes you basically doomed to slow down to 20 or less. The other option was to take a tarred road. This sounds very tempting but you need to know that we are in Uganda and tarred roads are not necsserally tarred roads but can also be a rather irregular combination of holes, tar and speed bumps combined with gravel and stones. Bottom line is that whatever you seen on the map doesn’t mean anything and sometimes the roads lead to different places.


We made the right decisions and made good progress towards our target Murchison Falls. The roads were smooth gravel roads.


And the dust was already everywhere. If everything is already covered by dust there is no point in trying to avoid it any longer. 


Kind of big horns. Must be a hard live with them … Ankole-Cattle.


At some point we recognised that we are actually going to make it from Kidepo Valley to Murchison Falls in one day. The car was flying from one speed bump to the next and the dust behind us must have looked like a snake moving forward. We reached the river in time for the 6’o clock ferry. There was another one at 7, the last one for the day, but that would have meant to setup the tent while it was already dark, something we tried to avoid. Maybe when I mention the word “Ferry” some people have different pictures in mind. Here the ferry consist of a couple of swimming rafts tied together and one engine on both sides. Works totally fine! But you‘d better not google about ferries in Uganda as they get shut down regularly in order to “improve security” Winking smile 


As only 2 cars wanted to cross the river in this direction to loading was quick.


While approaching our camp we could see some giraffes on the horizon aligning their necks with the sun. Guess there were there to have a sundowner for themselves.


We arrived at the camp site with just enough time to get up the tent in time before sunset and it was getting dark. Again the camp was in a beautiful spot. You could also walk in 5 minutes to the lodge where this camp site belongs to in order to have dinner or a drink. I skipped the “taking a shower before dinner” part as the sun was already down and there was only one type of water available, the one which was left in its natural temperature …


Sundowner over the Nile.


The following picture shows the restaurant of the lodge. The food was really delicious and as there were only 4 guests in the restaurant we had nearly a private service. After the dinner a guard was bringing us back to our tent through some rather dark forest. Ooooh, Uuuuhh we were in a park with lots of wild animals. But I had by new super bright Ledlenser headlights. The guard eventually turned off his own lights as it was not adding any additional value in bringing light into the dark forest … Winking smile Any lion would have immediately retreated as he it would have thought the sun had fallen from the sky.


And this is a mandatory picture: Drinking Nile beer on river Nile


So far I haven’t even explained why we were here. Well, The Murchison Fall National Park is Uganda’s third largest park. So that is at least a reason as you can do game drives. But we had decided for this trip not to “hunt” anything special. This includes me not spending any extended time for wildlife photography. We wanted just to enjoy the landscape and if there were any animals that was an added value. Another reason to visit this park was to see the famous “Murchison Falls” which are located around 20 kilometres away from our tent. First we wanted to go there by boat and after that drive there by car in order to see it from a closer distance.

Dramatic scenery with the raising sun.


Now some pictures for our game drives. To not create any false expections: We didn’t see any cats. But we saw lots of other stuff.




Two security guards with the water but. Actually the birds are just walking next to the Waterbuck in order to pickup anything coming out of the ground.



In the afternoon there was time for a boat trip to the falls. This is another nice way of doing a game drive as you can get very close to animals coming to the river for a drink or two.


Let’s have a drink!



You could also get on the roof of the boat


This is not a picture of Loch Ness but a so called “snake bird”.


This river is obviously not for suitable for swimming unless you are looking for a very personal and memorable meeting with this guy.


Hippo in the water. Looks calm?


They can do different. Even though Hippos have very short legs you would not be able to outrun them.


Difficult to rate this dive appropriately.


With the boat you are not able to approach the falls any closer as the current gets too strong.


Still I had my long lens with me to get a photo from a distance.


While waiting for another ferry crossing we got some music from the local band.


Next day we went to the Murchison Falls by car. There you can walk just to the water.


The guide book is indicated that 300sqm/s of water are flowing through this section.



The falls from a close-by viewpoint.


And last but not least a glimpse behind the scenes to show the great risks which were taking to make this series …. Winking smile 


Overall the Murchison Fall National Park has been a dramatic change in environment compared to Kidepo Valley. And now we are heading further south were we expect a much greener landscape.