Wild Trips: Murchison Falls.
I think the campsite at Murchinson Falls must win the most beautiful campsite in the world competition…. The steep, rocky path down to river edge was a little daunting. One of those tracks that you get out and assess, even with the might of a Hilux behind you. But the beast made it, climbing down, suspension creaking, stretched to its limits. Tyre by tyre. Down to a grassy area surrounded by wild vegetative growth, with nice flat secluded sections just right for a tent. We camped under a tree, disturbing some disgruntled helmeted Guinea fowl… Their regular roosting spot deserted for the night.. They flew to the next tree just a few metres away; telling us with their calls they were not happy about the move. A few metres down a little trail led to the banks of the fast flowing Nile. Hippos lounged in a less turbulent section of the cool water. One mother had a very young baby, it’s tiny ears and nostrils occasionally breaking the surface. While mum kept a very close eye on the humans having a wash.
As the light fell, the stars turned on in the vast African sky… Millions and millions of them. And then the fireflies. Like miniature shooting stars, flickering on and off, filling the space between the ground and the heavens. It was some kind of magical light show, designed by nature. As the light faded, more and more came out That’s stars and fireflies! So as my gaze rose from the ground to the sky high above me it was full of mesmerising pinpoints of light. All this to a backdrop of hippo grunts echoing across the water.
And then there were bats… 6.45, the UWA man said so we waited and it got darker and darker and 6.45 came and went and 7 came and went. A little after 7, the bats started to talk to each other. Their chattering muffled by the thunderous noise of the waterfall. Then they came, half an hour late but just in time to clearly make them out against the sky… Thousands of them pouring out of one small cave entrance, filling the sky with their silhouettes. In just a few minutes they were gone, distributing themselves throughout the savanna in their nightly hunt for food….