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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Uganda - 11 February, 2001

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Mpanga Forest Reserve N0012.369' E03218.084' 1,225 m
Kampala
Masindi
Finish Murchison Falls National Park (the falls) N0216.691' E03141.131' 664 m 362 km

Total:

24,593 km

3,673 km

 

Weather: Early morning began with rain, but it stopped raining by 9 AM.  Clouds cleared throughout the day until it was clear and sunny. Cool, then hot.  Cool at night.

 

 

Daily Journal Entry:

Today we are up early as we have a long drive ahead of us.  This morning it is also raining, but the rain fall is lighter so we do not have too many difficulties taking down out tent.  Today it is our turn to prepare the meals, so we get the breakfast ready.  Luckily there are a few small shelters, so we are able to put all the breakfast things under cover.  After packing up the campsite, we are off before 7 AM and head towards Kampala.

 

We arrive in Kampala before 8 AM and we need to go shopping for food.  We head off with Sammy in a taxi and go to the supermarket.  The problem is that today is Sunday and while the supermarket should be open, it is closed.  We then decide to head off to the fresh food market (but not before we had bought the taxi driver some gas - apparently they keep the gas tanks very empty so in case it is stolen, the car and thief will not get too far).

 

The fresh food market is just opening and we are only able to buy stuff from one or two stalls.  But after a bit of searching, we are able to find what we need.  We carry the stuff back to the taxi - but he is gone.  We had not yet paid him, so it did not matter and we jumped into another one.  This one had troubles starting his car and he cruised down a few downhill streets (crossing traffic and such) until he got to a gas station.  He put a couple liters in and then tried to start his car  - it would not start.  

 

So we got out and found another taxi.  After transferring our stuff from one to the other, we headed to the supermarket.  It was still closed, so we headed to another.  It was closed, so we headed for a third.  It was also closed.  So we headed back to the truck, but decided to drive by the first supermarket we had tried - and it was open.  We rushed in and did our shopping, getting back to the truck a bit late - but with food for the next few days.

 

We left Kampala shortly before 10 AM and headed north.  Along the way we stopped for lunch on the road side.  In mid-afternoon we stopped in Masindi to pick up some beer and soft drinks for the truck bar.  At 3:30 PM we arrived at the entrance to Murchison Falls National Park.  After paying our fees, we headed up to the falls, where we will be spending the night.

 

We got to the campsite at the falls around 5:30 PM.  We straight away went to look at the falls.  Murchison Falls have been described as the most spectacular thing to happen to the Nile along its 6,700 km length.  The mighty Nile is forced through a gorge only 6 meters wide making for an incredible surge of water.

 

Uganda01_Murchison1_River_2201_Web.gif (237489 bytes)

We start off looking at the river at it approached the falls and here there are some amazing rapids.

 

Uganda01_Murchison1_Falls_2209_Web.gif (247164 bytes)

We then wander down to the actual gorge where the water is forced through such a narrow opening.  The sound is just awesome - it is hard to speak and be heard.  While the falls are not too high, the sheer magnitude of water forcing its way through makes it a stunning waterfall.

 

Uganda01_Murchison1_Falls_Sunset_Tents_2212_Web.gif (250812 bytes)

We head back to do some of our duties.  First taking down the tents and then starting to cook for the night.  In the meantime, Lars runs off to see the sunset and to set up our tent.  As our tent is free standing, we are able to set it up right overlooking the falls.  While it may be noisy, it should make for an amazing campsite.

 

Uganda01_Murchison1_Falls_River_Sunset_2219_Web.gif (168391 bytes)

Lars returns and continues with cooking and Jacqui then heads down to get her glimpse of the sunset.  It is a great one.

 

Dinner is bangers and mash along with beans and stir fry.  After cleaning up, we hang out by the fire for a while, but then decide that we should take advantage of our great campsite and retire to our tent.  We take a drink with us and head off.  The walk to the tent is a bit scary, but amazing.  The noise of the falls is tremendous and we are walking near the river for a couple hundred of meters.  A few wrong steps, and...  But we make it safely to our tent.

 

After putting our sleep gear in our tent, we sit on one of the rocks overlooking the falls.  We can see that the moon is just beginning to rise and it is an incredible sight.  At first we see the glow of the moon on the horizon.  As the moon rises over the horizon, it begins to light up the river and the falls.  As there is a lot of white water, the effect is amazing.  Lars takes some time exposure photos with the SLR camera.  We sit there and watch the water and the falls for almost 2 hours.  It is mesmerizing.

 

We then head off to our tent to go to bed, brushing our teeth on the cliff edge overlooking the falls.  We have left the front half of the tent rain fly open, so we get an excellent view of the falls.  There is a nice, cool breeze that is generated by the rush of the water.  We are afraid that we will not be able to sleep because of the tremendous noise being generated by the rushing water.  But our fears are ill-founded.  We soon fall asleep and have a great nights rest.

 

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