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Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

So after our discussions about education and success in Uganda driving to and from Murchison, which I shared HERE, and our gorgeous sunrise on the Nile, now I'll share with you some of the animals we encountered on our game drive in Murchison Falls National Park. The thrill of safari hasn’t remotely left me after my experiences in South Africa. Here we encountered most of the animals at quite close range and the ecosystem is drastically different, so it's interesting to see some of the same animals in such different habitats.

I saw very little in the way of hippos in South Africa, so it was fun to see piles and piles of them here, and a few crocodiles, too.  

Lone hippo walking with egrets and an oxpecker along river bank. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Pair of hippos submerged in the water and an egret perched on top. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Many hippos tightly packed together submerged in a pool in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Nile crocodile cooling off along the river bank, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

Here was a very interesting fellow we encountered, the Abyssinian ground hornbill. Quite a snazzy red cravat he's got on! And a nice blue mask to accompany it. Strolling toward some flowers ... maybe he's about to put one through his buttonhole.

Abyssinian ground hornbill, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. Red neck, blue patch on head.

Elephants came up very close to our vehicle to check us out. 

Lone elephant sniffing the air to learn about us in our vehicle. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Elephant passing close to our vehicle. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Mother elephant approaching our vehicle with family in tow. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Elephant standing at a water hole. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Elephant greeting us with ears at full attention. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

Giraffes seem well suited to this lush environment. Loads of tall trees to stretch their necks up to. It was kind of neat seeing the giraffes from afar, looking down on them instead looking up at them. 

Giraffes in the forest in the distance at Murchison Falls national park, Uganda.

Giraffe walking through lush green savanna at Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.Two giraffes munching tree leaves together. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

The landscape is quite striking from up high, looking across the green plains with the mountains behind.

Landscape of Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

Though they might not be the cutest and cuddliest of African wildlife, I actually am quite fond of warthogs. 

Warthog mom and babies tromping through a field of purple flowers at Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

The cape buffalo were notoriously unpredictable and frightening creatures to encounter on foot when I was doing the census survey in South Africa. Here, from the comfort of my vehicle, they seemed rather docile. This guy seems kind of sleepy ... maybe he's just settling down for a nap and too tired to be grumpy.

Cape buffalo sitting peacefully in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

This pic makes me chuckles a little because the two skinny twigs sticking up behind the buffalo's head look like little antennae. An alien buffalo! Or else he's trying to get TV reception. 

Cape buffalo sitting peacefully in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, with two sticks behind his head like antennae.

Trio of young cape buffalo, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

These baboons also seemed rather friendlier than the psychotic baboon Ngugi at the UWEC!

Two baboons sitting on a tree limb, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

A red hartebeest greeted us. Not sure how he got mud on his face! Below him is the Ugandan kob. (a bit blurry, sorry)

Red hartebeest, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

Ugandan kob dotted the hillsides of Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

And a great triumph occurred, which is that I saw two leopards in a tree together. This was the one iconic animal I had very much wished to see in South Africa and did not. I felt very happy over this. They were quite far away and visible only in patches owing to the leaves of the tree branches on which they were residing. So my photos are hardly worth publishing here. But here's one anyway, if you can make it out. :-) Still, I was overjoyed to have seen them. 

Leopard in a tree, barely visible, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

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