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Jinja – At The Source Of One Nile

The Sources of the Nile, Jinja, Uganda, Africa - In 1862, the British explorer John Speke identified the geographical Holy Grail, the very place where the White Nile leaves Victoria Lake to start its three month and 6.650 kilometer long journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Sources of the Nile, Jinja, Uganda, Africa – In 1862, the British explorer John Speke identified the geographical Holy Grail, the very place where the White Nile leaves Victoria Lake to start its three month and 6.650 kilometer long journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1862, the British explorer John Speke identified the geographical Holy Grail, the very place where the White Nile leaves Victoria Lake to start its three months and 6.650 kilometer long journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Back then, its exit from Lake Victoria was a bit more dramatic than today. It parted from the Lake via Ripon Falls, as Speke named them. However, these have disappeared in 1947 when the Own Dam went into business and swallowed them all up. So we basically marveled at the myth of this legendary place that now presents itself as a very normal river gliding along. Also Speke’s trip was quite different: he was stabbed, speared and became temporarily deaf and blind. Continue Reading →

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Poaching In Uganda

Alpha Male, Northern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum Cottoni), Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, North Uganda, Africa

Alpha Male, Northern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum Cottoni), Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, North Uganda, Africa

Only a casual conversation with Johann, the South African manager of the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, made us aware of the true dimension of this problem. Of course, we knew that rhinos had been hunted down for their horn and brought close to extinction. But we had no clue how bad the present situation was. Continue Reading →

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Meeting Obama In Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Northern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium Simum Cottoni), Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda

We were not quite sure of what to expect – some kind of zoo or rhinos roaming around in the wilderness? Even after we arrived it was hard to tell. Apart from passing a guarded gate, nothing hints at the extreme measures necessary to protect the 10 rhinos that live in the 77 hectare large park. All we knew was that we could not wait to see these massive animals. Only once had we caught a distant glimpse of them in Tanzania. So within an hour after checking into our modest little room near the park head quarters, Raymond Opio, our guide, was directing our jeep along dirt roads. The longish trip increased our suspense. The park seemed huge! Continue Reading →

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Coughing Chimpanzees at Budongo Forest

Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes), Budongo Forest, Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes), Budongo Forest, Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

Lucky us – famous Sauda was assigned to be our guide! She has become a bit of a celebrity as she became the first female ranger in Uganda 17 years ago. This bit of news even found its way into the Lonely Planet. The night before our chimps track, it had rained heavily. So when we finally found them in a huge fig tree, most of them where still in their nests, many coughing, feeling cold, wet and miserable… None of them felt coming down. Waiting high up for the sun to dry them off seemed more rewarding. Continue Reading →

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Nile Safari Lodge – Just Like Paradise…

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus Vocifer), Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus Vocifer), Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

The Nile Safari Lodge, overlooking the Victoria Nile, is probably the most service orientated place we have ever stayed at. To give a few examples: cool, wet towels are handed to the dusty travelers every time you drive into the parking lot. While you enjoy your superb dinner your bed is being “prepared”, which means the wide mosquito net is lowered, ready for you to crawl into your bed. These are in large wooden bungalows on stilts, with a bathroom and an adjacent outside shower. Warm water is delivered upon request and filled into a bucket high up. Continue Reading →

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Murchison Falls From Below And On Top

Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

A tiny boat stirred by Captain Nelson navigated us slowly and gently up the Victoria Nile, heading to Murchison Falls. A bit of wildlife wandered along the banks, but otherwise it was the smooth ride and the witty co-passengers that made the trip special.

Near the narrow gap, where the Nile forces its way through the rocks, our boat stopped midstream, giving us a few minutes to click away. The gushing waterfall was announced by small foamy chunks floating downstream. Informed passengers explained that these “white horses” are caused by the immense pressure the water is exposed to. Continue Reading →

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Outstanding Game Viewing In Murchison Falls NP

Lion (Panthera Leo), Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

Lion (Panthera Leo), Murchison Falls National Park, North Uganda, Africa

A tiny roll on / roll off ferry takes a maximum of eight cars plus passengers across to the western banks of the Nile. This is where most of the animals are. Shortly before 07:00 am, all jeeps rush for the first ferry. Who would want to miss the lions? Chances to find them early morning are best, and they did not let us down! On both drives we saw two young males, one munching an antelope! Buffaloes, Antelopes, Jackson’s Hart Beasts, Waterbucks and Giraffes roam the park in abundance. Continue Reading →

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Butiaba – Smuggler’s Nest On Lake Albert

Fisher village of Butiaba, on the shores of Lake Albert, North Uganda, Africa

Fisher village of Butiaba, on the shores of Lake Albert, North Uganda, Africa

“Butiaba is the prime port for smuggling goods in and out of the Congo”, Paul confided to Heidi. This was back in Rwanda, where she met the Australian biker. Only a few words, but enough to awaken our adventurous spirit… Fate had it that weeks later we met Paul exactly in Butiaba. Our original plan was to join him in northern Uganda, where Paul was filming a documentary on former child soldiers. But time restrains and road conditions in the rain made it impossible. Continue Reading →

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Semliki – So What?

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica Regulorum), also called "The Pride of Uganda", Bigodi Wetland, near Kibale Forest, West Uganda, Africa

Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica Regulorum), also called “The Pride of Uganda”, Bigodi Wetland, near Kibale Forest, West Uganda, Africa

Semliki makes you sweat! The sudden difference in temperature when driving down from chilly Fort Portal is overwhelming. With 660 meters above sea level, it was the lowest point we reached in Uganda. Known for its vast variety of birds, Semliki National Park has attracted an increasing, but still small number of nature lovers. In 2010, about 3.000 visitors were counted. These include lots of local school kids, who primarily come to see the hot springs. We shared the mini – geysers with such a group, about 100 teenagers from a Muslim private school. Even with whiffs of scorching hot steam blowing into their faces, they were incredibly well behaved: none of the pushing and shouting you would observe in our country. None of us questioned the guide’s argument that you can cook an egg in boiling water in six minutes. Continue Reading →

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Monkey Business Goes Eco

Black and White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza), Bigodi Wetland, near Kibale Rainforest, North Uganda, Africa

Black and White Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza), Bigodi Wetland, near Kibale Rainforest, North Uganda, Africa

Kibale Rain Forest has turned into a very successful ecotourism project that benefits all parties involved. The animals of course, the marveling visitors and the community, which receives all the income from the budding grass root tourism initiated back in 1992. Neighboring Bigodi Wetland, a high altitude swamp, hosts a large population of different kinds of monkeys and lots of birds. The local celebrity is the Great Blue Turaco. In flight its bright blue feather show best and give it a truly majestic look. Continue Reading →

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