Saturday, June 2, 2012

MURCHINSON FALLS!


For the past two nights we have been off the grid at Murchinson Falls National Park. We experienced a completely new level of darkness, an entirely new environment and a lot of different animals. The campgrounds itself were a very interesting sight. Upon our arrival, there were wart hogs to greet us. That is when it dawned on most of us that we were in the middle of nowhere. Once everybody settled in, we sat around the lawn looking up at the stars and were awestruck by how vivid they were. The next day, we woke up bright and early for the sunrise and to cross the Nile to experience an African safari! The safari was phenomenal! We sat on top of our safari vans and snapped thousands of pictures of the wildlife that we encountered. After a tiring 4 hours of the safari, we experienced a 3 hour boat ride down the River Nile to view Murchinson Falls. The day was near perfect with the views and the magnificent Ugandan weather.

During our time on the safari, we learned that oil was found in the park. What do you believe will happen to the park in the next 5 years? 10 years? Will it make Uganda more sustainable or less sustainable? What was your favorite part of the safari/boat ride? What would have made your experience even better? 

8 comments:

  1. Everything in Murchinson was beautiful! I loved all of the sights we got to see. It was so excited when we first entered the safari and all got on top of our vans! I couldn't believe all of the different kinds of animals that we got to see up close. The only thing we didn't get to see in my van was a lion, we looked hard but we knew it was going to be hard to find one. When we got on the Nile, we learned that they had found oil and were soon putting in lines to get the oil. I think this will cause a major decrease in the animals around that area in the Nile. Ecosystems will be disrupted and some animals will die. Because this is a national park, I don't feel like they should disrupt the natural habitats in the park. On the other hand, I see that this might give Uganda the push it needs in the economy to become more of a sustainable economy. This will create more jobs, which will bring in more income of the average Ugandan. I still believe that they shouldn't disrupt the park because this will change the animals behaviors and living environments. What happens if when they put in pipelines, they find more and more oil and want to take more of the park away? I just think that its more beneficial if they don't disrupt the park and its wildlife.

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  2. I loved Murchison Falls! It was absolutely beautiful and a lot of fun. I was a bit disappointed too that my van didn't see a lion but I really enjoyed the giraffes. I think the oil could help the country gain some more outside income but like Lauren said, it could cause serious problems for the wildlife. I am sure there is more oil in that area and what will stop them from continuing to get rid of the national park for more oil. There is the possibility of the animals moving to another national park area but Murchison Falls is the largest and does bring in some tourism. Tourism is not the most sustainable market but I think it does well enough along with the wildlife to bring up a good point to not continue with the oil expansion. On a last note, my favorite part of the Nile boat ride was seeing the bottom of the falls and all the hippos!

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  3. well not to be repetitive at all, but honestly it was GORGEOUS. It was one of the things i was most excited for when coming to Uganda, and it lived up to my full expectations. I was hoping to see a lion as well, and maybe elephants a little closer; but overall it was even prettier than i would have thought. I thought it was amazing how many baboons and giraffes there were everywhere. On the topic of the oil - i am not a fan of the idea. From the minute i saw the oil trucks driving recklessly past us i was already frustrated. They seemed inconsiderate of everyone around them and oblivious to everything they were doing to the environment. I agree with Kristiana and lauren that even though oil has the potential to bring in lots of money for their economy , i do not think it is worth destroying all the animals natural habitats which intern effects tourist rates.
    It made me mad because the tour guide with us was not very well educated on the issue. She thought that the oil would not be any problem or disturb the animals at all. She somehow thought that there would some how just be pipes underground with no big machines used and animals left un affected. This just shows how little the public is informed of true problems. They almost seem brain washed to believe whatever they are told. I really hope that in 5 or 10 years the natural park is still just as gorgeous and has the same abundance of land and animals- even though this is unfortunately probably very unlikely. More animals are already becoming endangered every day, and disturbing their habitats (in somewhere that is supposed to be protected for them) is just going to increase the possibilities of other animals following this trend.

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  4. I believe that Murchison Falls National Park is going to suffer as a result of the finding of oil. In my opinion the government will go to extreme measures if it means economic gain and so while they value their wildlife money to them will come first. It was very interesting to see how upset just seeing the trucks made our drivers and guides. It’s evident that there are two very different opinions when it comes to the oil situation. In the next five years I think drilling for oil will take place and the animals will try to avoid them as much as possible, which may impact the little tourism they do have. In the next 10 years, I envision the park to be largely taken over by the search for oil and it will no longer be the absolutely breath taking place it is today. I think that this is going to make Uganda less sustainable in the long run. While they may experience economic growth originally, if/when they run out of oil they will have destroyed an environmental aspect of their country and most likely impacted tourism as well. I loved every minute we spent at Murchison Falls and will treasure the memories as some of my favorites from the trip, if only we had seen a lion.

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  5. I will never forget our trip to Murchison Falls National Park! Everything was so beautiful there, pictures do not do it justice! The safari is one of my biggest highlights from our trip to Uganda! I will never look at a zoo the same way, it was so cool seeing the animals in their natural habitat. Even though we did not see lions, I only had one true disappointment and that is the oil trucks. While on our safari (about three hours), three oil trucks passed by us and I saw a few others. The discovery of oil is fairly recent, I was shocked to see it already having an affect on the park. I did not hear about Emily's story, but I find that interesting. Our group was talking to our driver (go Sula!) and he said that he has already seen a decline in tourism in the area; this saddens me!!! I honestly think the oil is going to hurt the sustainability of Uganda, dramatically. Yes, it will bring in income now, but it is going to only hurt them in the long run. Pumping the oil is going to hurt the wildlife, which is bring in tourists! Tourism in Uganda is low...a lot lower than it could be. They have the potential to have better tourism rates, yet they have failed to do so. I feel like they are not putting enough emphasis on tourism and not seeing it as a strong factor of sustainable development. Another thing that I worry about the oil is that it is going to cause war with the surrounding countries. Uganda cannot afford to be in war right now! I hope to see the park remain the way it is 10, 20, even 50 years from now, I just worry at this rate it is not likely!

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  6. I thought Murchinson Falls was an exhilirating experience. Between riding on top of a safari van and sleeping in a tent, I filled the little sense of adventure I have. I thought Murchinson Falls was a great place to do a safari, but apparently it is not the most popular spot for that in Uganda. Another park has already taken the tourism side of safaris. With this lack of use, of course the government is going to see that it is ok to drill oil there. I don't like the idea of it, because in years to come they are going to see they destroyed beautiful land that was home to many animals. Where will the animals go anyways? Its not safe for them to be around all of the big trucks and oil. I understand Uganda's economy is hurting, but there are other places to find the money. For instance maybe they should stop putting so much money into their military. I think Murchinson Falls is a gorgeous place that the government is going to ruin this by drilling for oil.

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  7. I loved the safari and boat ride! The events of those days i will never forget! I think it was great to see the animals not locked up in cages or in the circus like in the USA. They were free in their natural environment. That is why i hope that the oil digging doesn't continue because that can put the animals life/ environment at risk. it was great to see the cast of the lion king especially on top of a safari van!!! i only wish we saw simba up close =( I thought one interesting aspect about the safari trip was many of the MUB students have never been on a safari till they went with us. I wonder what their view is on the safari and oil issue?

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  8. Bimenyimana LawrenceJuly 3, 2012 at 3:22 AM

    @ Lauren. if there wasn't corruption we would think of reaping enough from the oil. but because of that MAN called CORRUPTION. we may benefit less from it. we hope jobs will be created from that investment and it will reduce on un employment.
    My group saw a lion. it was pretty good.
    oil may create enough revenue to the Government if not embezzled, jobs will be created and even the products related will be availed to the people. so if part of the MFNP is removed it may cause change to the country.

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