Friday, June 5, 2015

Murchison Falls

During our time in Murchison Falls National Park we got to experience two game drives, a hike to the top of Murchison Falls, and a boat tour of the Nile River.  The experience as a whole was really incredible, and I can’t imagine that any Safari I might go to in the future could compare. 

The first day we arrived, after driving the 6 hours to get to the park we went on a game drive that took us into the Savanna of Africa, something the Drake students had yet to really experience.  On the road groups saw Elephants, an adult Lion, Giraffes (my personal favorite), antelope, the Ugandan Crane.  That night we were also met by several boars walking around Red Chili, and even later a Hippo.  Needless to say we were very excited to go on the second game drive and the boat drive the next day. 

On the second game drive we got to see lions again, but this time it was two adult female lions and three of their cubs, which was a real treat.  The boat ride on the Nile also had us seeing even more Hippos, weighing in at up to 3 to 5 tons.   The waterfall was really something to see as well.  On the hike the last day in Murchison we got all the way up to the top, and were able to see the remnants of a bridge someone had once tried to construct crossing over then.  Of course the rapids of the longest river on Earth are far to powerful for the small bridge someone had made on the waterfall.


On of my favorite takeaways (apart from the amazing pictures) was hearing about some of the stories my safari guide could tell the group.  She told us able watching an elephant give birth, as well as witnessing a lion trying to get into a van to attack a woman who had apparently scarred away her prey.  My questions for the group are: What was your favorite part of trip? What was your favorite animal? And what was the most interesting thing that you were able to learn while in Murchison.

11 comments:

  1. The trip to Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP) is always a highlight of the seminar. Seeing the lion cubs was a very special treat. I have been on probably 15+ game drives in the park and have only seen cubs twice. The last time was on my first game drive in 2005 - surprisingly we had the same guide for that experience as our van did this year! The guides at the park are amazing, and over the years we have had many different individuals hep us. This year we were thrilled to talk to four different guides that had helped us over the years. All remember the Drake MUBS team which is surprising given how many people they work with in a given year. The warmth and excitement they showed in greeting us again is a great example of the warm and generous nature of the people of Uganda. While the park and animals are beautiful, the people and the caring spirit are perhaps the greatest asset of the country.

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  2. The trip to Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP) is always a highlight of the seminar. Seeing the lion cubs was a very special treat. I have been on probably 15+ game drives in the park and have only seen cubs twice. The last time was on my first game drive in 2005 - surprisingly we had the same guide for that experience as our van did this year! The guides at the park are amazing, and over the years we have had many different individuals hep us. This year we were thrilled to talk to four different guides that had helped us over the years. All remember the Drake MUBS team which is surprising given how many people they work with in a given year. The warmth and excitement they showed in greeting us again is a great example of the warm and generous nature of the people of Uganda. While the park and animals are beautiful, the people and the caring spirit are perhaps the greatest asset of the country.

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  3. Being in the same van as you I had the same experience, so I agree with everything you have said. I loved hearing the story about our guide seeing an elephant give birth and the lion trying to attack her van. My favorite part of the trip was when we got a flat tire, and had time to get out of the van and walk near the giraffes and take pictures. It was a truly amazing experience to be so close to my favorite animal. Muchsinon Falls overall was by far my favorite part of the trip.

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  4. I agree, Murchinson was so amazing!! I was so amazed every time I saw an animal on the safari. I never dreamed of seeing an elephant, lion, hyena, or hippo with only the barrier of a car between us. I was happy to find out the strict laws they have about poachers at this park. Our safari guide told us that if a poacher is found in Murchinson, he or she will be arrested. The same is true of any person is found in possession of any weapon. If someone kills an animal at Murchinson they will be arrested an imprisoned for three to four years. With these laws, the amount of animals in the park is rapidly increasing. I think laws like these are important in maintaining order in the park, and it is nice to see Uganda enforce laws so strictly. With such a corrupt government such enforcement is often rare.

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  5. One thing I always hope for is that these parks stay the way they are, or even become in better condition, as time moves on. My dream as a kid was always to see the African landscape and witness the true beauty of the animals it held. My dream came true while at the park, and I can only hope that other children have that dream fulfilled in the future. However, that may not be able to happen with the circumstances of poachers still hunting and killing animals. Also, with the recent discovery of oil deposits within the park, I worry that economic strain could drastically reduce the measures put in place to protect the park.

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    1. My favorite part of the trip was anytime I was on a safari :) Seeing the animals was always the best. My favorite is the Elephant. They are such large and amazing creatures. Interestingly enough, like I said before, I was surprised poaching was still happening in this day and age.

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  6. Murchison Falls National Park was an amazing experience and it is something I will never forget! Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of going on a safari in Africa and my dreams finally came true! My favorite animal was the elephant, and I was so happy to see a little elephant calf. It was very interesting to learn about how poachers who are caught are sent to jail for a few years. I think thats great and it will help out the national park with any animal population problems. This was one of my favorite parts of this trip and I hope I have the chance to come back someday.

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  7. The experience at Murchison Falls National Park was amazing. I had so much fun living in the tents and being chased by a Warthog. Murchison Falls was a great way to interact with nature and understand the flow of the nile river. The animals at Murchison Falls National Park were very interesting as we had seen a large variety!

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  8. I always have wanted to go on a real African safari and I was definitely not disappointed! During these days I really felt close to nature and was able to recognize the importance of the environmental stewardship pillar of sustainable development. Although Murchison Falls has recently been discovered to have oil that would help Uganda economically, it would be horrible to harm the delicate ecosystem in place. Being away from technology was so refreshing in this day and age and it gave me time to reflect on my experiences without any distractions from the outside world. It was so unreal to see animals in the wild that one would normally see in the zoo. I couldn't wrap my head around the fact that this was real life!

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  9. Murchison Falls was an experience i will never forget. We saw so many different kinds of animals and even got lucky and saw a lion with her cubs. I didn't realize how different and better it is to see these animals in there natural habitat compared to seeing them in a zoo. Safe to say i will never be as excited in a zoo anymore. Like Chintan, i had a blast camping out in the tents with warthogs and hippos surrounding us.

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  10. Absolutely unforgettable experience! Seeing all of these incredible animals in their natural habitat up close and personal was one of the most incredible things that I have ever seen. I think my favorite part was getting out of the van and walking with the giraffes when we got a flat tire! Another memorable and slightly terrifying moment was almost walking right in front of a hippo on my way to the showers one night at the camp site.

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