Liz's Uganda Trip

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Murchison Falls NP

Murchison Falls National Park

Rock Pratincole

Our final 'main destination' was Murchison Falls National Park, only very shortly before the park was regarded as safe for tourists to visit.
We stayed at Paraa Lodge, and had excellently situated rooms, with views overlooking the White Nile.
We hoped to have another chance at seeing wild Shoebills, but this was not to be. Another much-sought-after bird of this National Park is the beautiful Rock Pratincole, Glareola nuchalis. Famously, there are some at the top of the Falls. We did see them, at the other side of the river and through the mist, but we also saw one on a rock near to the base of the Falls (maybe the same family flying up and down?) and we got close enough for me to photograph it.

I was interested to see the Piapiac, a member of the crow family. I didn't get very close to one, but caught this one, standing on the shoulders of a Cape Buffalo. Buffalo with piapiac
Male Uganda Kob During our game drives in the reserve, we saw a selection of land mammals, including several more Uganda Kob Kobus kob thomasi, such as this handsome male.
An antelope which we only saw here was Lelwel, Alcelaphus buselaphus lelwel, considered to be a subspecies of Coke's Hartebeest.
This one was photographed from the boat trip on the Nile.
Oribi We saw quite a few Oribi, Ourebia ourebi aequatoria,, a small antelope which I'd only previously seen in Ruma NP, although they are distributed throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa.
Oribi are attractive little gazelles, 20 - 26 inches tall. Oribi
Crocodiles The river which flows through the Park is the White Nile.
We took two boat trips, one afternoon trip upriver to the Falls and one morning trip downriver to look for Shoebill and other birds.
Going upstream, just at the bend before Murchison Falls, there's an area where big Nile Crocodiles, over 5m long, like to haul out together. So it's known as the 'Crocodile Bar'.
This Nile Crocodile was right at the edge of the river, and in fact slipped into the water a few seconds later. Nile Crocodile
Hippo entering water As with most bodies of water in Africa, there were plenty of Hippotamus at the sides of the Nile.
Some Hippos, Hippopotamus amphibus, kept a careful eye on us from the river. Hippos in the White Nile
Great Egret Birds seen at the side of the Nile included this Great Egret, Egretta alba.
Northern Carmine Bee-eater
Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Merops nubicus .
We also saw Southern Carmine Bee-eater in the same place, only the second ever recorded in Uganda.
Pin-tailed Whydah
An adult Pin-tailed Whydah, Vidua macroura, in full breeding plumage against an early morning blue sky.
As usual, there were lots of Olive Baboons, Papio anubis, especially near Paraa Lodge and around the ferry site.
These mothers both had young babies, one of whom had an insatiable curiosity about all the people.
Olive Baboons grooming
Olive Baboon This adult male Olive Baboon had 'worked himself up' and was trying to interest passing females in mating, without much success.
Looking down Murchison Falls Looking down the White Nile from the top of Murchison Falls The top of Murchison Falls

We also had the thrill of going to the top of the Falls, which was very dramatic.
The noise is incredible!
At this point, the mighty White Nile is squeezed into a 7m wide chasm!

The top of Murchison Falls
Murchison Falls This is the 'classic' view from a boat in the river.
You can hear the falls before you see them!
Chimpanzees Entebbe
Botanic Gardens
Entebbe Wildlife
Education Centre
Mabamba Swamp Bwindi Impenetrable
National Park
Queen Elizabeth
National Par

Text and images © Liz Leyden, 2008
Email: liz [at] lizworld [dot] com
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