Robin's Adventures

Expedition to Africa
Safari Adventures

Giraffe

Murchison National Park is home to a very large population of Rothschild giraffe. This particular species tends to be taller than other species and can be up to 20 feet tall. They are also easily recognized by their \"white knee socks\" as they have no markings on the legs below the knee.

We greatly enjoyed parking the game drive vehicle and watching the giraffe go about their business. They move very gracefully and almost in slow motion as they walk.

Graceful Giraffe

Monkeys, Hartebeest, and Oribi

We got the biggest kick out of the Patas Monkeys. These are ground dwelling monkeys that live in grassy savanna environments. The grasses are often taller than they are, so the monkey frequently stands up on his hind legs, looks around and checks things out, and then disappears back into the tall grasses. It was comical to watch the heads pop up and then disappear.

Jackson's Hartebeest was an old animal with a new twist for us. It looked exactly the the Topi we had seen in many other places, but without the black face or the dark knee socks. This variation always made us pause and take a second look.

The oribi is another variety of African savanna antelope. They tend to be smaller and more sleek than the other varieties of antelope we have seen.

Warthogs and Cape Buffalo

Warthogs are not among Mother Nature's most beautiful creatures, but they are sturdy animals that spend most of their time grazing. They use their tusks to dig for roots and bulbs. They can run up to 30 mph when they are frightened and they hold their tail upright as a signal to keep the herd together when they run.

Cape buffalo herds were also common in Murchison Falls National Park. These animals are four times stronger than an ox and they are known to have exceptional memories. They are also responsible for killing more hunters in Africa than any other animal.

Big Birds

Ground Hornbill are large birds that average about three feet in height. They use the big red wattle on their neck to amplify their calls. They tend to live in groups and spend much of their time on the ground foraging for food, such as insects, lizards, rodents, and small birds.

Busy Birds

We saw lots of different birds while exploring the park. Among those that we saw were the Red-Throated Bee-Eater, the Pintail Whydah, the Wire-tailed Swallow, the Northern Carmine Bee-eater, the Black Flycatcher, the Greater Blue-Eared Starling, and the Spur-Winged Lapwing.

More Busy Birds

Some of the larger birds that we saw were the African Grey Hornbill, the African Fish Eagle, a vulture, and the Pale Chanting Goshawk.

Nile River Cruise

During the afternoon we took a cruise on a small boat up the Nile River to the base of Murchison Falls. This is where the classic Humphrey Bogart movie African Queen was filmed and the scenery was amazing.

The boat ride was a relaxing way to see the falls from a different perspective and it provided us an opportunity to see an abundance of large and small animal life in and around the river. We sailed right by many large pods of hippos enjoying the cool water of the Nile.

Hippos

The name hippopotamus comes from the Greek for "water horse." Although hippos spend much of their time in the water, they come out of the water to graze on grasses. In order to keep from getting sunburned, the hippo secretes a red colored liquid that coats its skin.

Nile Crocodile

The Nile crocodile can reach up to 20 feet in length and can weigh up to 1,600 pounds. Although the croc mostly eats fish, it will kill and consume virtually anything that is unfortunate enough to get too close. They often rest with their mouths open to help them cool off, sort of like panting in a dog.

These animals move very quickly and we saw them make running leaps into the water that took them very far, very fast. One animal lunged so quickly and his feet were still moving so that he appeared to be walking on water for quite a distance.