If you didn’t manage to read the first three chapters then here are some links: If you missed the first Chapter then click here, and for Chapter Two click here, and Chapter Three click here.
After our wonderful time at Fort Patiko Pauline and I started the long drive back to Kampala and our flight to Mombasa. We were very keen to take a major detour though and see Murchison Falls inside Murchison Falls Game Reserve.
The first two hours of the drive were on decent roads, we travelled from Gulu to Purongo where we filled up with fuel then onto Tangi which is the northern entrance to the Murchison Falls National Park. These places are not like normal wildlife parks where you drive around from compound to compound. Murchison Falls Conservation areas, which cover two wildlife reserves, is over 1400 square miles. After paying our fees at Tangi gate we had an hour and a half drive through the park, where we saw some lovely elephants crossing the road and giraffes munching on acacia trees.
We then arrived at a small river crossing called Paraa. After a forty-minute wait in the burning sun, an ancient-looking ferry arrived to take us across the Nile. Then it was another two hours of safari driving along dusty roads and tracks until we finally made it to the legendary falls.
The falls were a must-see for me as they were first seen back in 1862 by two intrepid explorers John Speke and James Grant, but then later on in 1863 Samuel and Florence Baker came and spent time there recording the fauna and flora. Baker actually gave the falls the English name of Murchison Falls after the geologist Roderick Murchison, and he wrote that he considered the falls as “the most important object on the entire course of the river”. I actually prefer the Ugandan name Kabalega Falls. The national park is sometimes referred to Kabalega National Park as Kabalega was the Omukama or king of Bunyoro Kingdom from 1870 to 1899 and fought the English colonization of the area.
The falls are incredibly impressive and very noisy. The water from the Nile is channelled through a narrow gorge, which is less than thirty feet wide, within the Albertine Rift Valley gorge. The water cascades down almost one hundred and fifty feet over a distance of less than a quarter of a mile. The thundering water is a real sight to behold with clouds of water vapour reaching hundreds of feet into the air. Words cannot really describe the power that was exhibited by the water travelling through this tiny gap in the rocks.
It is also the scene of the famous movie “The African Queen” with Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.
Once we had sat and enjoyed the falls it was time for us to get to Kampala and then on to Entebbe. The drive took another five hours and we arrived in the exhausting traffic of Kampala at around nine o’clock that evening. We managed to fight our way through the traffic and drive to Entebbe where our hotel beds welcomed us. The following morning, we were taken to the airport and flown back to Mombasa and home.
We will never forget our wonderful adventure crossing Uganda twice in a week and the fantastic sights we managed to see on the Gulu Road trip.
I hope you have enjoyed this short series. If you would like to email me about this or any other subject, then please do: my email is [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you. If you would like to follow me on Instagram or Facebook, I post most days just click on the links below to join the community.
Bye for now.