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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.

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Lizard catching some sun

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Kingfishers are everywhere – I love watching them dive

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.

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This guy can walk on water, and is often called the Jesus Bird

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Cool colorful bird

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.

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The mighty shoebill

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He really posed for us

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.

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Murchison Falls from a distance

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Massive, massive whitewater at the base of the falls

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From the top it’s a seething mess

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!

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Keeping a close eye on our fishing

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Tiaan with his impressive Nile Perch

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An elephant right on the rivershore

I had no idea Murchison Falls has so much to offer!

-Dan

4 Responses

  1. Sheldon says:

    Hey Dan. How do you manage to keep valuables safe such as the passport?

  2. Joan Collell says:

    Hace ya un tiempo te pase un mensaje diciéndote que estva siguiendo un poco tu ruta con una vieja Yamaha XT 600.
    la ultima etapa fue de Camerún hasta Lusaka en Zambia.(8500 kms) atravesando Gabón,Congo Brazzaville,RDC,Angola y Norte de Namibia.
    Estuve en Luango Lodge con Jan que se portó extraordinariamente bien conmigo ya que llegue al Lodge a pie después de haber caminado 12 kms al haber encallado la moto en un gran charco y fue mi “angel guard”
    Segui también tu ruta en buena parte para atravesar RDC,sin pasar por el ferry de Luozi pero atravesando el país de norte a sur atravesando los puentes y charcos que parecen imposibles de atravesar como tu ya bien sabes.Atravese el rio Congo por Matadi,todo bien.
    Gracias por poder seguir tus pasos.
    Preparando la próxima etapa por Namibia,Botswana y Sudáfrica el próximo mes de Mayo.
    Saludos y suerte en tu aventura vital.Afortunadamente el incidente con el coche fue poca cosa por lo que podía haber sido !!!

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I run a K and N Air Filter so I can wash it out and re-use it again and again. From $54.44 on Amazon