Where the wild things really are

As the sun rises, so do the Impala.
As the sun rises, so do the Impala.

For my first experience of an African safari, I took the advice of a friend and opted to go on tour with Red Chilli Safari, beginning from their hostel in Kampala. It has quite a spectacular setting given its nearby location to the hecticness of the city. Dinner and meeting new people on my first night there, after watching the sun go down over the hills whilst sipping a cold Nile Special, led me to an early bedtime, ready for an early rise.

Each of the following three days continued in the same manner, with each one beginning around 6am. It is not for those who want to lie-in that is for sure!

The trip involved a walk around the magnificent Murchision Falls and its partner, Freedom Falls, (said to be of special significance for spiritual healers). The second falls actually only came into existence in recent years, during a wet season wherein the water flow became too expansive for the original falls to manage. The guides repeatedly remarked on the power of Murchison Falls, stating it is the most powerful of all, including above Niagra and the likes. This is due to the extreme water pressure at such a height and likewise very narrow mouth from which the water drops; no one would ever whitewater raft this flow and live to tell the tale.

The falls also have Ugandan names, and those given to them by previous political leaders. It is of particular note to me however that the English names dominate, and this applies to the great lakes of the land too, such as the nearby Lake Albert, the world’s second largest lake, Lake Victoria and so on. The continued presence of British colonialism resonates across all of the places I have thus far explored in Uganda, and it stirs up different sensations for me. Knowledge is ours to share, I agree. (A spectacular film “Embracing the serpent“, set in the Amazon and based on a true story, gives this message in an evocative way indeed). But to dominate and imply that native heritage is not worthy of status and value. Well, that it is something I would argue strongly against. Thus I am observing Uganda through as many lenses as I can, absorbing the effects of the many different people who have visited this land and who now combine to make up its oh so colourful tapestry and languages.

Anyhow, returning to the safari. There were two game drives on the trip, one boat cruise along the nile, and two nights spent enjoying the very well-facilitated base camp, run in support of the Steve Willis fund.

A plethora of animals were seen and despite my best efforts, the below photos cannot begin to encapsulate the multitude of wonder that I witnessed, or the awe I felt in my heart. I was repeatedly heard to exclaim: “this is a blessed life“, and “we are really here, can you believe it? What a privilige this is!

Of course I also didn’t want to spend my time behind the view of a lens, and miss out on seeing it all before my very own eyes! Photos help capture some of the moments for memories’ sake, especially if like me you have a photographic memory. However, words tell their own tale and minds are far better at encapsulating images than a camera can ever do, in my opinion.

That said, I was eager to learn and curious to note, where possible, the animals observed (the amazing guides answered my every question with passion and enthusiasm!).

  • Baboons
  • Water buck
  • Giraffes
  • Shoe-horn bill
  • Jackson’s antelope
  • Water buffalo
  • Rothschild giraffe
  • Warthogs (Pumba)
  • Hornbill
  • Elephants
  • Hyenas
  • Guinea fowl
  • Red bishop
  • Oribou
  • Palm nut vulture
  • Stab eagle
  • Bata monkeys
  • Kingfisher
  • Jackal
  • Black Uganda cob
  • Tilapia
  • Egyptian geese
  • Ibis
  • Yellow weaver bird
  • Hippos
  • African Jacander/Jesus bird (named because they appear to walk on water)
  • Great white egret
  • White whistling duck
  • Red-throated bee-eater
  • Nile crocodile
  • African fish eagle
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Hadada Ibis
  • Grey heron
  • Yellow-billed stork
  • African darter/snake bird
  • Red-headed agama lizard
  • Goliath heron (the biggest heron in the world)
  • Purple heron
  • Pied wagtail
  • Rock pranticole
  • Red-tailed monkey.

No doubt there was even more in my sights than this amazing list! Scroll over the pictures below for captions detailing some of these sights in colour, where my words maybe cannot do the imagination justice.  Soon I will return to the safari experience, as there are many national parks here in Uganda, and I don’t think I could ever tire of being so close to such magnificence from the Mother Earth.  I am here to work of course, but above this I chose to be here so I could learn about Africa, the motherland, and Uganda, its people, its lands, and its nature.  So I aim to work well, but learn more.  To pass on my skills and give support, but to gain deeper strength and vibrancy.  And to learn from a nation that has a smile in its heart.

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2 thoughts on “Where the wild things really are

  1. Maren

    Such a delight to re-visit through your story and pictures! hihi, the wardhog visits at camp 😉 made me a bit nerveous at first… The list of animals is quite stunning. Crazy bubbles on the nile, aren’t there?… slightly disconcerning. Hope you’re also enjoying the city animals on two legs… 😉 Lots a love Maren x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John G Oliver

    Oh my God what do you look like in your pink hat…lol
    And them toes i would recognize anywhere…
    some lovely pics though little one, You are beginning to make me jealous.lol

    take care
    love you lots
    me
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

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