The Roar Was Incredible

Rainbows constantly appeared and disappeared as the water swirled around and churned after the whole Nile River plunged over the falls.

Video Still

The water rushing through the gap at the head of Murchison Falls is so powerful that the spray soaked me and my camera as I tried to shoot this video on my recent trip to Africa…

It wasn’t exactly easy to get up there. We had to take a boat just to get to the place where we could start to hike up. And they don’t land the boat on shore. They don’t even anchor it. They just pull up close, and you have to jump onto the rock cliff.

Then you start climbing.

But we had to climb by ourselves, because we were with a guide who we didn’t see after we hit the shore.

We had to just hope he was somewhere off in front of us. We couldn’t tell because of the nature of the climb. You have to hike along a narrow little creek bed with bush pressing in from both sides. You can’t see more than a few feet in front of you before there’s another turn.

Problem is, in Murchison National Park they have Cape Buffalo (the same buffalo I wrote to you about that chased the lions off in Ngorongoro), rhinos, lions, and hyenas, which are all among the most dangerous animals in Africa…

We had no way of knowing if any one of those animals was waiting for us in a clearing around the next bend, ready to attack. We’d round another bend into an open area where you could spot the falls, and then submerge into the bush again.

It’s not a trip for everybody.

I was relieved when we go to the top, then stunned when I saw what was in front of me. Murchison Falls is truly a natural wonder.

I took out my phone so I could record a video for you.

“Here we are at the top of Murchison Falls… the sound is incredible!”

I had to yell just to hear myself.

“It starts across the gorge and pours over the falls, starts to plummet, gains force and then the entire Nile is forced through this little gap here…”

I still wasn’t sure I was getting it all, but I was trying….

“The water is roaring, and there’s a strong mist, and my camera is getting wet…”

I was trying to narrate so I could give you a good sense of what I was experiencing. But it was so loud you can hardly hear me. And the water is so powerful that even though I was standing at the top of the falls, the spray was everywhere. It soaked my phone as I tried to shoot the video.

It was a hot and cloudless day, though, and to be honest, I enjoyed getting soaked by the Nile.

From there I headed to Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

The area is so big it has two different game preserves and the Murchison Falls National Park inside of it. It covers more than 2,000 square miles – bigger than the state of Delaware.

As our group traveled, we saw flocks of Uganda cranes, the national bird of Uganda. And we rode along next to quite a few elephants making their way through the park. Except the ride was so bumpy that even though I took some video, you can hardly see the elephants the camera was shaking so much.

We stopped for gas, and across the road there was a group of warthogs lying in the mud. I guess they felt pretty safe that there were no lions up where we were. They certainly didn’t care about us. I got right up next to them and had the camera rolling, and they just lay there without a care in the world.

I also saw lots of Cape Buffalo hanging out under the canopies of trees. Those are the buffalo I wrote to you about that chased off the lions in Ngorongoro Crater. But because it was so hot that day, they barely moved as we drove by.

When we finally stopped for dinner at the Red Chili Lodge, it was a little tricky getting up to the restaurant, because there were warthogs lying around all over the place. They were pressed up against the base of the patio where all the outdoor tables were set up.

As I was eating, one warthog got curious enough about the kitchen that he started to come up onto the patio.

Did you know they’re called warthogs because they have these thick pads that look like warts on either side of their face for protection?

I took out my video camera…


“Nobody’s bothering him… he just walked up and is standing there… I’ll walk over to him and see what he does.”

I headed toward him… he must have weighed 300 pounds, I was thinking.

“If you see the camera drop to the ground, that means I’m running away.”

But as I got closer I thought he was backing off… then I saw what he was really doing.

He turned around and lay down. Took a nap right there in front of me.

I let him sleep.