Next day, we took a slow leisurely drive to Murchison Falls. Hadn’t been travelling long, when the Landy, started to judder violently, our hearts sank, but we drove on to the campsite site, regardless, as not alot could be done at this point, tried in vain to make contact with Mugisha, our mechanic from Kampala that had been doing repairs on the vehicle for a week,so decided to wait until morning, in the hopes of finding somewhere with reception.
Popped in for a delicious meal at Nile Safari Camp, fish (Nile Perch) with rice and veg, cooked to perfection , something of a treat here and helped ease the pain of yet more problems with the motor.
Despite the car shaking like a wet dog,we drove to the top of the falls next morning, the viewpoint at the waterfall’s head was an impressive sight, it’s here that you can truly appreciate the power with which the Nile crashes through the narrow gap in the escarpment, not to mention the deafening roar and mighty spray, we got absolutely soaked and with no fence and slippery underfoot, it’s all a bit treacherous really, So much for health and safety, the UK would love it!!
Later in the day we abandoned the car for The Nile launch trip, basically a boat trip from Paraa to the base of the falls. Following a stretch of the Nile, banks lined with Papyrus and borassus palms and a fair ammount of game lots of birdlife, including fish eagles, pied kingfisher and red-throated bee-eater’s. We had been hoping to catch a sight of the little seen shoebill, but failed miserably.
Plenty of Crocs, Hippo’s etc, all very scenic, until the sky turned black, the heavens opened and once again we took a soaking!
The torrential downpour was shortlived though and after a couple of hours we arrived at the base of the falls. We were slightly dissapointed not to get a little closer, but not as much as the rather eccentric old German lady whom Michael had befriended, she wanted the boat to go right up to the falls and couldn’t understand why this wasn’t possible and why we were’nt going faster, and also why we couldnt go past!! Michael tried his best to explain. But she was obviously barking.
Very hot, humid and sticky, but nice to be on the water instead of on the road.
Finally made contact with the Mechanic …..(Michael not a happy bunny) he agreed to find parts in Kampala and come and meet us to repair whatever needs repairing (the Panhard rod and bushes are totally buggered, plus front crankshaft oil seal, which he supposedly replaced is leaking badly ) this means that when we drive on a smooth road the vehicle shakes like a crazy beast and we have to drive with the left wheels down the verge which frightens the locals somewhat…….. the.only problem being, Mugisha was currently about 300 km away when we contacted him and he would have to order the parts etc, etc, this was going to take some time!
Decided to leave Murchison, stopped for breakfast at Kanyiyo Pabidi site for breakfast, within the Budongo forest reserve,this place is supported by the Jane Goodall institute and here you can organise chimp related activities. Very pleasant, although we had to supply the eggs for breakfast as they had run out! Saw a few big spiders here some with enormous thick webs, this pleased Michael no end.
Headed on to Masindi, where we await the arrival of the mechanic, camping just outside town, at New court view hotel on a busy main road so quite noisy, though a pleasant enough place to be stuck and I can certainly think of worse……..our roof-tent seems to be keeping everyone highly amused here,we are quite surprised to find they haven’t seen one before.
PS- experienced the dreaded Boda-Boda this morning, have to say I was nicely surprised, though the streets here aren’t as busy as in Kampala……and I did insist he went slowly, he kindly obliged and I had the pleasure of another man’s company!