Murchison Park Safari – Part 1 Morning Safari

To get from the camp to the park we had to take a ferry, and to do that we all had to be in the van no later than 6:30AM! Why? Because the ferry ran once an hour, no matter how many vehicles were waiting. So you did not want to miss it!

Globe by the ferry dock – I guess they wanted to make sure you knew where you were!

 

At 6:30 you get the sunrise over the Nile.

Finally got on the ferry and across into the park.

Flat boat ferry across the Nile.

Once into the Park the safari began.

Joshua demonstrates the best place to sit for the safari.

The savanna is spectacular.

In Uganda it’s characterized by an amazing diversity of animal life, especially the birds. The claim is that there are about 1000 species of bird there.

As you might expect, there were plenty of predatory birds.

A Hawk watching the road.
Although the African Fish Eagle was more impressive.

But then when there are predators, there are scavengers too.

This vulture was waiting for leftovers.

On a somewhat smaller scale there were the Carmine Bee-Eaters.

A couple of Bee-Eaters watched us go by.
This one decided to show us how they got their name.

There were also birds that spent a lot of time on the ground.

I thought this male Hornbill was spectacular.
This Bustard was also impressive.
And then there was the Egyptian Goose.

And those were just some of the birds.

While we were driving along, our guide, Ronald, got a radio call and told us to all sit down and put on our seat belts. Then he took off along the dirt road, promising us something special. And how right he was. A pride of lions was crossing the road.

Just as we got to the spot they were approaching the road.

This was unusual because they usually are all resting under trees once the sun comes up and the temperature climbs.

The female leader had been radio collared so the pride could be tracked.
They ignored us, walking at a very leisurely pace right in front of our van.

A little while later in the day we finally came across old Leo.

The King himself, taking it easy.

Of course, amongst all the life there is death. The previous night lions had killed an aardvark only to find they didn’t like the taste.

Our guide Ronald (in white shirt) and two Park Rangers examine the late aardvark.

You might note that the Ranger on the left was carrying an AK47. I asked if it was in case of poachers and he laughed. No, it was just in case some hippos got too friendly.

A group of hippos was lounging in the lake.

When one decides to move it can be impressive.

No, it wasn’t chasing the Egyptian Goose and goslings. It probably didn’t even know they were there.
Of course everyone’s a critic. This Vervet monkey did not seem the least impressed with me or my camera.

And then there were the common animals.

Among them, believe it or not, were the giraffes.

This one found us mildly interesting.
A group of giraffes is called a ‘tower’. It’s not a social grouping. It just means there’s food in the area.
Here was another treat – a juvenile giraffe. It’s very light coloring is the first give away as to its age.
Of course its age becomes obvious when you see it next to an adult.

There were also abundantĀ Hartbeast, a kind of antelope. We saw herds of them.

A herd watching as we drive by.
Beautiful animals with odd antlers.
Although they do look somewhat regal.
These two males were putting on a very lazy display. Not really fighting, just exercising in a very languid way.

There were also herds of kob, a deer-like critter.

They’d watch you carefully, standing perfectly still, but if the van got too close they’d take off.

Even this picture didn’t get the entire herd in the shot.

There was also Waterbuck

I thought this was the most regal looking animal. Life is tough out there though. If you look closely you can see the wound under the ear, and all those little black spots in front of his face are flies.

Lastly, there the warthogs.

Unlike the ones from Disney, I think they are ugly as sin.

Go to Murchison Park Safari Part 2 – Safari Along the Nile.

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