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National parks of ouganda

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I want to know something about the national parks, especially about Bwindi and Murchinsong Falls. These parks are safe?

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    In 1994, my wife and I spent a week at Lake Mburu National Park and another week at Murchison Falls. We also drove through Queen Elizabeth National Park. Back then, Uganda was largely undiscovered in tourist terms, and we had some of our most memorable experiences in these parks. Lake Mburu, a small park, has no lion, elephant, or rhino but it is lovely countryside and you are guaranteed sightings of a wide variety of antelope, plus hippos, crocodiles, and buffalo. When we were there, we were the only visitors, and had the campsite, right on the edge of the lake, to ourselves. Lying in bed at night, we could hear hippos grazing right around our tent, and my wife was imprisoned for a while in the outhouse by a herd of buffalo that parked themselves right outside. Lake Murchison, believe it or not, was even more magical. You can take a boat tour up the Nile to Murchison Falls and the game along the banks is phenomenal: lion, elephant, enormous crocodiles, scores of hippos, plus waterbuck and other antelope. Away from the Nile, however, the game is fairly scarce. The falls themselves are awe-inspiring, with the Nile narrowing to a mere 7 meters across. Once again, we were the only people in the campsite for an entire week, and the campsite is literally just yards away from the top of the falls. We would have stayed longer, but the stench from a dead hippo that was killed one night by another hippo eventually drove us away. The security situation back then was fine but I have heard reports of sporadic fighting in the region north of the park. Check with the State Department before you go. A final reminder: our trip was three years ago, and Uganda has seen a surge in tourism, so things may well be different from what I have described.

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    I visited Bwindi Ntl park last Oct. The purpose of trip was to trek gorillaslocated in the park.The trip was successful even though the experience was physically challenging. There was an incident which we were aware of but not involved in. A check point on the border of Zaire and Uganda was blown-up.I would contact a travel group such as A&K to verify the present situation.

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    I lived in Uganda for 1 year. The most parks are safe, but check before since a kind of tribal and civil wars are going on along the borders. One of the most beautiful NP's is Mount Elgon. It is the biggest crater in the world and the highest peak (> 4000m) is covered with some snow. The sightseeing is lovely, but it is physically heavy. Check in what time of the year you are planning to g there, because of the occurence of the tse tse flies. Mount Elgon NP is visited by less than 30 tourists a month. During the trip to the crater floor all kind of vegitation will be seen, bamboowoods, tropical rainforest and so on. The area is on the border with Kenya and it is an old smugglers route, which is still in use, therefore you need to be guidede by one of the parc rangers (with big guns). They are very helpfull and if you are lucky they can provide you some marihuan, to feel a bit warmer while you are sleeping in the caves. If you go in a wet period I recommend you to hire a carrier, since walking with a backpack containing food for the rangers, carriers and guides is heavy for a week or so. On the way to the parc many small authentic villages (coffebeans all over) are passed. By passing the crater floor and crossing a little river (up to your breast) you will be exited to step in the hot springs. One weird story about this trip.

    I was busy hiking on terrible heavy muddy steep path, when a bare footed man dressed in deerskins and carrying a spear on his shoulders was running along me. I couldn't believe my eyes! My guide told me that he was going for hunting. It was so strange looking at myself, so well equipped and that guy hunting like we did a thousand years ago. I had the feeling that it was a funny slapstick of a movie or so.
    If you have time, you have to visit some of the islands in Lake Vitoria, it beautiful (on Kalangala some waterfalls and everywhere small fishing villages. The transport will be in on the back of pick-up cars etc. but it is definitely worthwhile to go there

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