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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Murchison Falls National Park Part 1, Uganda: January 10 - 12, 2023

Sunrise in Murchison Falls NP
While in Murchison Falls National Park, we had three morning game drives and one afternoon game drive. For the morning game drives, we met Richard, our guide, every morning at 6:00 am to drive to the park. It was dark, very dark, at 6:00 am, but the air was cool and fresh. The first morning just meters from the hotel we saw a group of elephants thinking about crossing the road. Their massive bodies loomed out of the darkness and they seemed just as surprised to see us as we them. A good omen for our stay, I believe. On the main road Richard pulled to the shoulder and turned off the engine and lights. We sat in darkness listening to the sounds of the savannah. Soon we heard the cry of a hyena. We got back on the road and the hyena ran across the road and into the bushes.

Sunrise was about 7:00 am but it took about an hour for the sun to rise above a dense layer of fog. It was interesting being the first vehicle in the park and happening upon animals just waking to daylight. The first animals we saw were Ugandan Kob (Uganda's national animal) emerging from the tall grasses, playing, and happy to have survived the night.

Ugandan Kob at first light

The graceful Ugandan Kob was the most plentiful animal that we saw.

A Male Kob with Lake Albert in the distance
There are a lot of giraffes in Murchison Falls National Park. They are Nubian (formerly Rothschild) Giraffes. Murchison Falls has the largest concentration of Nubian Giraffes in the world. These are the tallest Giraffe and the tallest land mammal. Despite their height, they have just seven vertebrae in their neck just like humans. They can weigh 2800 pounds/1273 kg and run as fast as 35 mph/56 kmh. Their patches of brown and orange stop at their knees. Below their knees, their legs are white.

In 2010, Nubian Giraffes were listed as Endangered. Because of poaching during many turbulent years in Uganda, there were only about 250 Nubian Giraffes in 2010 found in Murchison Falls NP. At present there are over 1,600 in Uganda.

From a long distance giraffe necks and heads could be seen emerging from the other side of the grassy hills. They looked like sea serpents swimming through waves. 

Nubian male giraffes become darker with age
Pregnant Females

We saw quite a few elephants, but most were beyond the distance our cameras could capture. 

As we were leaving the park after a morning game drive, Richard stopped the car, got out, and picked up a Leopard Tortoise to show us. We were constantly amazed at how knowledgeable he was about the animals and how good his eyesight was. He could spot animals even in darkness.

Martial Eagle-the largest eagle
Palm-Nut Vultures having an argument
African White-Backed Vulture
Rüppell's Griffon
Oribi are so small I wonder that they can survive in a savannah full of predators. Their height range is 20-30 inches/51–76 cm and weight is about 31 pounds/14 kg. Oribi are beautiful animals. We often saw them hanging out with other vegetarians. 

Lodging/Food: We stayed at and ate our meals at Paraa Safari Lodge. Their staff is very helpful and friendly. The lodge has seen better days and needs a lot of maintenance. Our guide nudged the staff to solve most of the issues with our room. Meals were substandard. Unfortunately, Paraa Safari Lodge may be the only place to stay in this area.