Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Monday, April 25, 2011

Entering Murchison Falls NP

The campground at Nile Safari Camp had a primitive outdoor bathroom and shower with tin siding for privacy. While I showered I was accompanied by several Vervet Monkeys that scampered all around the shower stall and tried to make off with the toilet seat. I'm just glad they did'nt make off with my clothes.
Instead of Blue-headed Agamas, the place had equally awesome Orange-headed Agamas. These are the names I gave to both species. I have no idea what their official names are. I just know that they are agamas.
Another new bee-eater, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater. One of seven species of bee-eater we saw on the trip. Five of them lifers for me.
Murchison has really good savannah habitat which is loaded with wildlife. Not more animals than what occurs in forests, just much easier to see. In the photo above, our final guide Taban stands beside our landcruiser.
Shortly before this photograph was taken, these elephants displayed great agitation at our car because we drove up too fast for their comfort. We were afraid they were going to charge us.
I guess they were feeling protective of the little one. Later that night elephants came up to the edge of our lodging and got quite agitated at another driver who was only trying to get to his room. They bellowed and grumbled well into the night.
Another new antelope species, Jackson's Hartebeest.
Their tall foreheads and long snouts are so odd that it's almost majestic.
Yet another new antelope, the dainty, Oribi. This is the female.
The tiny male Oribi. This guy was so comfortable in the road that he would'nt move out of the way.
The Oribi is smaller than an Impala, but bigger than a duiker. About the size of a Bushbuck. We saw lots of duikers and Bushbucks who would not stick around for photographs.
We saw good numbers of Abyssinian Ground Hornbills in Murchison. A sign of a healthy ecosystem. Ground hornbills are scarce in most of Africa.
A prime male. We saw nine species of hornbill in Uganda. Seven of them were new for me.
Another new bird for me on this trip, Whinchat.
Murchison was loaded with raptors. A new one for us was Grasshopper Buzzard. We saw many. More raptors are coming.
Before I forget to mention it. This was the hottest place we visited in Uganda. Midday was nearly unbearable, 100+ f, everyday. Even the nights were stifling. We slept with the door propped open in spite of all the nocturnal beasts roaming around.
After we left the lodge and crossed the river on the ferry, we entered the park proper, where we stayed in the student's centre. No students, tour guides and safari drivers stayed in the spartan rooms. They charged us double what the others paid. Our fee was $9.oo a night.  The lodge next door charged $400.oo a night. Meals at their restaurant started at $30.oo. We ate at the park employees canteen, very inexpensive and good, wholesome food.

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