This is mostly a show-and-tell post (because I wanted to share my pictures with you all, and because my computer decided to crash a few days ago… which makes extensive blogging rather difficult. It has to go Stateside in order to get repaired. I am not a happy girl). But in the meantime, here are some pictures to enjoy from my recent excursion up north to Murchison Falls National Park, the biggest national park in Uganda! We left early Friday morning (thanks to Uganda Independence Day, we had a three-day weekend), and spent most of the day driving up to Murchison. In our group of four, there were three IJM interns/fellows and another friend working here in Uganda with girls rescued from the commercial sex trade (check out the links at the right-hand side of my blog to learn more about what they do!)
As we finally got out of Kampala traffic, the Ugandan countryside started to expand with big blue skies and green fields all around. We passed through small villages and trading centers with young kids milling around outside and old women selling billions of bananas. I thought to myself more than once, “this is the real Uganda!!” We made it up to to the park that evening and practically ran down to the Nile to catch the sunset.
After sleeping in our luxurious safari canvas tents, we woke up bright and early the next morning for our safari drive through the park. Although I’ve seen giraffes, elephants, and hippos in the zoo before, the wonder of really seeing them in the African wild was thrilling. It’s one thing to see a lone hippo sitting by itself in the little stinky pool at the zoo, it’s an entirely different matter to see a harem of hippos cavorting around in the Nile, with their funny little ears, big ugly bodies, and hilarious honking laughter erupting around you. We also saw families of elephants – our guide thought that this particular group of elephants may be guarding a mom and her newborn, but we couldn’t see what exactly was going on. They are huge creatures, big silent giants solemnly walking through the brush as if in slow motion.
That afternoon we continued our exploration of the African countryside with a boat launch up the Nile, to Murchison Falls. This awe-inspiring waterfall is the most powerful spot on the Nile, where 30 metres of water is forced through a 6-metre crevice in the rock. Along the way we spotted crocodiles, antelope, warthogs, and lots of exotic birds. We even caught a tiny glimpse of a leopard on the prowl (friends who have grown up in Africa say that seeing a leopard is a huge accomplishment!) Our safari group also included four other visitors to Uganda – coming from Kenya, Denmark, and Australia! It was fun to exchange stories about our respective experiences in East Africa.
In short, it was a great experience and I feel blessed beyond measure to have seen the beauty of God’s creation so vividly spread across the African wild. I did feel hopelessly like a tourist the whole weekend, but even being a tourist can be fun for a weekend.To see the rest of my pictures, click here (it’s a link to my facebook album, but you don’t have to be on facebook to see them!)