Sleepy faces. Slow movements. Few words. A common scene from an early morning. A nice breakfast put us all back on our feet, ready for chimp tracking.
For the tracking, we had to go into the thick forest, moving slowly and staying together in a group. This is necessary in order to not be considered a threat by the chimpanzees; scattering around would give them a feeling of being surrounded, frightening them.
It took us a good hour (or so) before we could see a chimp. Until then we could hear them calling each other (chimps have a sort of language; there are up to 30-40 sounds used for indicating different actions, i.e. food, anger, danger…).
The first one, was a rather sleepy one; he stayed most of the time laid down on a large branch and chilling under the sunlight, turning around at times.
After the refreshing lunch break, it was time to finally head to the falls.
To reach the bottom of the waterfalls, we had to take a boat ride on the Nile. Truly great! There were hippos, crocodiles (some really close by!) and loads of birds. Too bad I lost most of the pictures from that tour;
Pro-Tip: Never ever delete stuff from the camera if you aren’t 100% sure you made a copy somewhere else.
I managed to save some pictures, but most of them are just present in my mind.
The boat ride brought us just right under the Murchison falls. Now just a long climb was between us and the top.
And as you can understand from the pattern I use in the titles, the game drive ended without us being able to see any lion.
Our guides also went to get a ranger for tracking the felines, but luck wasn’t on our side this time. Once we got to the place where they were supposed to be staying, we just found lonely bushes and grass, without any sort of cat.
After an hour, we just gave up as it was time to catch the ferry which would bring us to the other side of the river Nile for lunch.
Today I will publish 2 posts as tomorrow I will leave for my Rwanda-Burundi trip and I will not be able to publish anything for few days.
I can say we have been both lucky and unlucky; lucky because we managed to see some elephants, unlucky because they were quite far from us. I know it is not much of a big deal, but other tourists had the chance to see them really close to them.
Due to them being far, I couldn’t grasp much of their behaviour; but I am pretty sure I will see them again some time soon!
I must say I was quite surprised when I first saw a giraffe in real life. Of course, I knew they were very tall, I read it gazillion of times and saw loads of pictures, but being just few meters away made a huge difference. Even the smallest one, a baby giraffe, was tall compared to us (or our van).
We saw them in 2 occasions and got to take pictures both from afar and very close-by. Although they tended to not get too close to us, they seemed to be very interested in us; especially the baby giraffe, which literally stood on the road in front of us, just facing us.
After a well-deserved rest at the lodge, our group woke up at 6am for the game drive. Our group was split in 2 safari vans (with a very large sunroof) and we moved around the park.
The drive, more or less 3 hours long, had very exciting moments, such as seeing giraffes and buffalos from very close, and other much more quiet ones, where we would just drive on the dusty road in search of some new animal.
We got extremely close to a herd of buffalos, they didn’t seem to much bothered by us taking pictures or the vans themselves. They mainly stood there looking at us with our cameras.
After the Rhino Sanctuary, we headed for a short stop at the Karuma Falls.
From this point on, we will be more or less following the river Nile to get to the Murchison Falls.
On the way to the falls, just after the bridge which brought on the other side of the Nile, we met a congress of baboons just next to the road. They were not scared at all, we were literally 1 mt away from them; and, among the group, there were also a mother with 2 young baboons.
It was just amazing, I was so close to them and, thanks to the zoom of my lens, I could get even closer. We had just few minutes before the group moved on and so did we.
The waterfall was very large and loud. They are planning to buy an electric dam just on it, so we might be among the last people to see the falls in its natural beauty, before being spoiled by man-made constructions.