Thursday, August 09, 2007

road trip: kla - masindi - murchison

Murchison Falls is the sole must-see location in Uganda in my "1,000-places-to-see-before-you-die" book. We tried our best to set up accommodations from Kampala, but everyone we called kept saying "just go up to Murchison, you will be able to set up accommodations from there." We took their advice and hopped on the 6 AM bus from Kampala to Gulu, which dropped us at a random juncture in the road with little more than a few shops and some street food. We found a matatu driver and started the haggling - they wanted 400,000 shillings to take us to Masindi - we talked them down to 150,000 and began the bumpy journey through the bush to Murchison Falls National Park and Red Chilli Rest Camp.

We arrived at Red Chilli - on the south bank of the Nile River - at 2 PM on Thursday afternoon. After what could have been a disaster, the surprisingly easy bus ride and matatu trip left us quite pleased with ourselves. We plopped our things down in the safari tents (basically a regular tent with an actual bed camping with no electricity, if you will). We heard scratching on the outside of our tent and discovered a family of warthogs rubbing their little tusks against the side. Apparently they reside at the camp - we saw them everywhere - eating, napping, copulating, you name it. We ordered some lunch and began the negotiations for activities...

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