Africa Animal Tourism Travel Uganda

Uganda Journals Week 4: Murchison Falls Safari & Chimpanzee Tracking

July 22, 2013

So it’s been a few weeks and I have a lot to catch everyone up on about my travels. Since I last blogged I went hiking at Sipi Falls, which consisted of a relatively steep and muddy hike to three different but equally beautiful and magnificent waterfalls. The landscape was lush, and we passed through a few villages with excited children shouting “jambo”! We also saw many animals including a sheep that appeared to have five legs!

The day was wonderful except for a small mishap when I pulled something in my back attempting to do a backbend for a picture in front of one of the waterfalls. The lesson being: don’t do yoga on mountains (especially when you are out of shape and clearly have no flexibility). The day finished with a wonderful Ugandan style feast at a lodge overlooking the falls.

This weekend I went on a 3-day safari at Murchison Falls. The trip included an evening game drive, a morning game drive, a river cruise, chimp tracking, and a visit to the rhino sanctuary. The whole thing was incredible but the highlight was definitely seeing a family of elephants all walking in a single file line off into the sunset. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped when I first spotted them.

The giraffes and other animals were great too, but seriously nothing tops the elephants. We also saw baboons, monkeys, antelope, gazelle, several other deer-like animals, water buffalo, Pumbaa (wart hogs), hippos, crocodiles, a leopard (which is supposedly really rare because they’re shy), almost a lion, and several bird species. During the river cruise I was a bit disappointed to only see a plethora of hippos and crocs, when I was promised elephants drinking from the water, but unfortunately, the rain had caused them to find alternative drinking places. However, it was nice to see the animals and the falls from a different perspective.

Then we pretty much walked into the jungle book to track chimpanzees on foot, which consisted of following their scent and extremely loud and expressive chimp calls to one another. We finished at the white Rhino sanctuary where there are currently 13 white Rhinos, which were once extinct in Uganda. After signing my life away, we got to get about 20 feet from them while they were resting and grazing. The safari truly was an experience of a lifetime and one of my top 3 best moments, up there with sky diving, and rafting on the Nile.

water buffalo

Anna French

Anna is an optimist with pessimistic tendencies who enjoys making a short story long, her coffee black, and watching Friends re-runs. These days you can catch her in her natural habitats wandering through forest roads in her van, hiking to a waterfall or glacial lake, and learning about off-grid living the hard way.

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