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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 .

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and Murchison Falls, Uganda: January 9-10, 2023

Sleeping Rhinos
It takes about 5 hours to drive from Entebbe to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Richard, a great guide from Adventure Consults, picked us up in Entebbe and stayed with us until we flew to our next location.

At Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary we met Simon Peter who led us on foot through the Sanctuary's grasslands stopping to whisper in David Attenborough style details about the Rhinos. 

Simon Peter
The sanctuary was created to re-introduce Rhinos to Uganda after the extinction of the indigenous Black Rhinos and Northern White Rhinos in 1982 due to human conflict and poaching. The sanctuary began with six Southern White Rhinos (six from Kenya and two donated from Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, and as of March 2022 they have 32 Southern White Rhinos. They aren't actually white but due to a misunderstanding of Afrikaan’s, a West Germanic language, where the word “weit” means wide, they are known Southern White Rhinos. 

When we found a few rhinos, they were fast asleep under a shady tree. We moved on in search of another group which was also asleep under a shady tree. 

There are three alpha males now who have divided the sanctuary into territories regularly patrolled to guard their females. 

Simon Peter led us back to the first group and this time a couple of Rhinos were grazing. The male approached the female and made a display of courting her. She wasn't in the mood, quietly declined, and went back to the shade of the tree.

Rhino Courtship

It was thrilling to be on foot so close to these huge creatures. The ranger guides have a good grasp of Rhino body language, and there were armed guards nearby.

Cape Bushbuck at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
There were quite a few roadside baboons as we continued toward Murchison Falls. We stopped to take photos of the young ones. Turns out baboons are the most disliked primate in Uganda (perhaps everywhere). We soon found out why.

Murchison Falls is Uganda's largest national park. The falls were named for Roderick Murchison, the then President of the Royal Geographical Society. The source of the Victoria Nile begins in Jinja on Lake Victoria. Three hundred cubic meters per second from the Victoria Nile squeezes through the narrow gorge that is just 23 feet/7 meters wide before plunging 141 feet/43 meters and toward Lake Albert. 

Ever Present Mist and Rainbows at Murchison Falls

View of the Devil's Cauldron from the top of the falls looking toward distant Lake Albert
The next afternoon, we took a cruise on the Victoria Nile in a double decker boat. The boat went as far as that small island visible in the above photo. Beyond that, the water would have been too turbulent.

Looking toward Murchison Falls and the Devil's Cauldron
The boat slowly plied its way toward the falls stopping at the small island with nesting long-tailed cormorants. The Devil's Cauldron is the stretch between the rock island and the falls.

Both Pied Kingfishers and Red-Throated Bee Eaters create nests by making holes in the sandstone walls along the water.

Red-throated Bee Eaters on the rock face
Hippo Mom and Baby
Euphorbia in Bloom