Murchison Falls National Park
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999 Days Around Africa: The Road Chose Me
In need of some down time and non-driving days, I head into Murchison falls National Park and meet up with my buddy Tiaan who I met driving across Tanzania. A few cold beers during the hot and humid evening help relieve the stress of the last couple of days.
The weather here is entirely different than what I have experienced since leaving the coast in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The humidity is intense, and the afternoon thunderstorms are a huge relief as they drop the temperature enough to allow sleep.
Early the next morning we set off on a boat cruise down the Nile River to Lake Albert, spotting wildlife as we go. I don’t consider myself a bird enthusiast, though the variety and number of birds here is extremely impressive. We also see hundreds of hippos, a few large crocs and elephants and giraffe on shore.
The highlight of the birding day comes in the form of seeing a couple of Shoebills. This bird is extremely old and unique, and here where the Nile flows into Lake Albert is one of the best places to actually spot them. It’s hard to believe the bird is actually real – it’s so large and looks ancient.
Over the next couple of days we tool around the area, eventually taking up boat up to the waterfall itself where I get out and hike from below the falls, past a bunch of lookouts and eventually get to the very top of the falls where the water is seething whitewater. Here the entire Nile River flows through rock that is only eight yards wide, and the spectacle is impressive.
On the final day Tiaan and I head out fishing for the afternoon. After catching some live bait we setup massive roads and rigging and Tiaan soon catches himself a monster Nile Perch – the guide guesses it weighs about 80lbs. I think it’s actually the biggest fish I have even seen caught in real life, and the whole fight is seriously entertaining. Just as the sun kisses the horizon we call it a day, and I’m amused to look up and spot an elephant just ten yards away from us on the shore – he snuck in while we were distracted with the fish. They have a knack for being completely silent when they want to be!
I had no idea Murchison Falls has so much to offer!