The sun glowed red in the evening haze, its fiery color magnified and reflected in the sweeping bends of the Nile. The ferry was making one more languid trip across, angling into the current to negotiate the landing on the other side. Glancing down toward the river, I spied a trio of elephants about a hundred yards below, tugging at tree leaves, and flapping their large African ears. The weary day of travel was redeemed.
We had left Kampala at about eight with Patrick driving and his friend Jared along for the ride. From heavy Sunday morning traffic through busy suburbs and into the countryside headed north. By the time we reached the turn to Masindi, the jungle had given away to savannah and Jared came to life. We were entering the homeland of the Bunyori and it was clear how happy he was to be home, even though he had just visited for Christmas,
We inspected the map over goat stew and kalo in Masindi, but did realize just how long and rough the road was into Murchison Falls. We could only go 30 to 40 kilometers per hour and the washboard road savagely rattled Patrick’s Toyota. Along the way, we saw groups of baboons sitting on the road, they scurried into the bush as we came close. Some large birds with long beaks ran down the road in front of us looking nervously over their shoulder (Abbisinnia Ground Hookbills). At one point, some biting flies got into the car and Patrick pulled over so we launch a serious counterattack, swinging wildly with hands and handkerchiefs. Luckily the 4 pm ferry was still shuttling back and forth when we got there at a quarter past– loading up people, land cruisers and even a goat carried by motorcycle. We said goodbye to our new-found traveling companions and set across the mighty Nile.