Ugandan Road Trip Day Nine and Ten – Hippo’s, elephants and sleeping beauty.

Up at a reasonable time, packed the tent away, had breakfast, collected Karl from the Bates Motel, as he was still alive, and headed off to Murchison Falls. It was a relatively good journey and I think the rangers at the entrance had got their pricing wrong as I thought we were going to be stung $150 dollars for having a non-Ugandan car – but we paid much less than that – result.  It was about 80km of dirt road from the entrance of the park to our two night stop: Red Chili in Murchison Falls.  All quite uneventful apart from stopping for a group of young Asians, along with their written off vehicle by the side of the road. They were very sheepish and we reckoned that they had been driving too fast (40kph speed limit) and lost control – judging by the state of the vehicle they were lucky to be all alive – which was more than can be said for the honey badger we drove past…….aah!

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Murchison Falls where the Nile Squeezes through a gap 7m wide.

So we arrived at Red Chili by lunchtime, had some lunch and a drink then headed to the Paraa river crossing – this was the ferry which took us to the side of the reserve which had the most animals.

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Just in case we weren’t sure where we were.
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View from Red Chili -someone has to live the life!

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It wasn’t working so we decided to head to the top of the Murchison Falls – only about 30km but it took and hour as the ‘road’ was so bad.  It certainly was a spectacular view but I’m not sure it’s on a par with Victoria Falls – sorry Paul.   Picked up two men who’d had a mix up with their driver – he was 30km away at the ferry.  Made it back to Red Chili for dinner and then watched a great electrical storm over the Albert Nile valley.  Decided that we would head down to the ferry in the morning, hoping it would be working again, pick up a ranger and head into the deepest part of the park hoping to spot some animals.

Woke the next morning and was in time to get to the front of the queue for the ferry and to witness a beautiful sunrise.

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Sunrise over the Albert Nile.
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First on, first off – and in need of a wash.

Crossed the river and picked up Janet, our ranger, and off we headed. It was a great safari as we saw many different animals (and birds): hippos, elephants, hyena, African Kob, warthogs, giraffe, lion and cub, wildebeest, Jackson’s hartebeest and probably a few more I can’t remember.  It was  great 4 hours driving around the bush spotting whatever we could see.

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IMG_0531bIMG_0547aIMG_0531aAfter the safari we dropped Janet off and headed to Paraa Safari Lodge so Gil could have a swim and we could all have lunch. Not wanting to go into it in too much detail but the swim was expensive and lunch didn’t materialise.

In the afternoon Gil and I headed to the river again as we had organised to go on a Nile cruise to see the river from water.  Gil immediately went to sleep – sad really as we saw some great animals – countless hippos, elephants and crocodiles and also Murchison Falls from the river.  After the cruise we headed back to Red Chili and an early bed – after having watched Nigel the hippo walk round the camp and another electrical storm!! Another magical day in Uganda.

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What animals – I didn’t see any !!
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