To view photos related to this post, check out our FACEBOOK ALBUM from this day.
We had to get up crazy early to leave for our safari. We were going to Murchison Falls National Park, which was about a 7 hour drive from Jinja. We rented a big bus to hold all our luggage plus us, and we packed it to the hilt. At 5:30 am, we said Goodbye to Terry and we were off. We got to watch the sun rise in Africa, which was pretty cool. Most of us spent time in the car sleeping on and off. Once we entered the main gate at Murchison Falls, we still had a 2 hour drive to the boats so we could take a boat tour of the Nile. On that drive we already started to see animals! Baboons crossed the road a few times, and we even saw birds and a warthog!
We stopped at our hotel to drop off our overnight bags. Our hotel room was a little cabin-hut-thing among the trees. The bathrooms and showers were a short walk away. There were lizards, spiders, ants, and centipedes everywhere. And apparently at night if we are walking through the grounds, we need a security escort because water buffaloes roam the property. Neat!
Back in the bus, the guys decided to energize by doing “coffee shots” – straight instant coffee packets in their mouths. Ridiculous. Hahaha! At the water’s edge, we had to use the bathroom, which was inhabited by bats, spiders, and at least one rat. We tried not to think about it. :::shudder:::
We boarded the ferry and took a 3 hour ride on the Nile River to the base of Murchison Falls. While on the boat, we saw all sorts of hippos, water buffaloes, elephants, and even a Nile crocodile! It was absolutely amazing. And the falls were incredible! All of the Nile River comes down those falls in a canyon that at some places is only about 6 meters wide. The power of the water was truly awesome.
On the way back, we got to enjoy a gorgeous African sunset and then dinner at the hotel. Dinner was good. The rooms, however, were pretty sketchy. From the bats that flew around there, to the giant geckos, to the tsetse flies, to the centipedes (that I mistook for a small snake at first), to the ants, to the spiders, to the potential for water buffalo attacks, to the showers that would not properly drain, to the toilets that didn’t like to flush, we realized just how spoiled we had been the past several days at the Nester’s house. Sleeping in the room, which was hot and sticky, was a challenge under mosquito nets that weren’t exactly free of holes. There was only power for three hours – 7pm to 10pm – and no cell or internet service. Oh and did I mention we discovered that our bus was infested with cockroaches? Cause that was pretty awesome too. All of us were pretty skeeved when we went to bed and we hoped we would have a good night’s sleep, free of creatures visiting while we dreamt.
Want to see pictures of the safari day one? Check out our FACEBOOK ALBUM to see them all!