Murchison Falls, Uganda

This is a special place in northern Uganda where the Nile River passes through a gap in the rock of just nine meters. The result is a torrent of African water that no one at any time could pass through alive.

It is the most ferocious piece of water I have ever seen. It is not suprising to me that I found it here, near the heart of Africa. For a long time I have seen Lake Victoria, with it's shape and location, as the heart of Africa. From Lake Victoria the Nile River flows northwest for many kilometers until it hits this wall of rock.

And then, after centuries and perhaps millennium of aggressively pushing it's way through that tiny crack in the rock, the Nile River in 1962 finally had enough. Perhaps because of high water levels, or perhaps because rivers have bigger minds than we give them credit for, the Nile River (technically the Victoria Nile in this stretch of it's journey) punched through a second passage. Now Murchison Falls is two: the one on the left is the newer falls.

But how is it that one ends up at such a place? There are many ways, but I chose a great backpacker type of tour company called Red Chili, out of Kampala. We drove in a minibus from Kampala and our first stop was the falls as you've just seen. But the two day tour continued with a game drive the next day, and then a trip by boat up the Nile to see the falls from below. Here's how it went.Getting away from the river the land opened up to some vast and beautiful plains (with the usual predators on such plains in Africa).

And, somewhat sadly, there also lives an abundance of prey on that beautiful savanna.

Even the birds seem particularly attentive to possible danger (or off-road drivers).

Even though you may feel away from other non-animals as you roam the savanna, when there is something to see, the non-animals congregate. But that is ok for me, because I have accepted that we are tribal, social beings. And besides, to survive in Africa as humans, we need friends.

In the end, I have no conclusions about the interconnection of beast and man as it plays out in Africa. But I can say that the border between the two sometimes disappears.

 









About This Place…

"This website is dedicated to the many people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have suffered and died."

 

The writer was a journalist, prosecutor, and Canadian soldier who is now trying to help the people who live in the DR Congo.

 

The photographs and the commentary here are solely those of the writer and his pet dog named "Bark." The United Nations and MONUSCO have nothing to do with this website.

Similarly, the township of Puskokum in eastern Tennessee is equally not interested.