After a 6 hour drive North of Kampala, our 5 safari vans arrived at Murchison Falls National Park. Named for the famed 43 meter high water fall, Murchison Falls, the park was established in 1952. The park is home to a wide variety of species including lions, giraffes, and elephants. We were able to see all of these as well as the many species of antelope and birds during our early morning safari. Many students were also visited by hippos and warthogs overnight in our Red Chilli tents and bandas. After our early morning safari we toured the Nile by boat and saw even more hippos, elephants, crocodiles.
One of Uganda's major industries is tourism, an industry that Murchison Falls and other national game parks help support. However a recent development means that Murchison Falls is now also supporting the oil industry; as of right now there are approximately 450 oil rigs in the park. Overall the park rangers are currently dealing with the conflict between oil and wildlife and which is more important for the future of Uganda. Currently it's difficult to predict the future behavior of the animals in the park, it's much easier to put a dollar figure on each barrel of oil exported from the park than it is to out a dollar figure on the effect of potential animal migration. For now due to the uncertainty the government will likely continue to favor oil over the protection of the important biodiversity within Murchison Falls.