Murchison Falls is an amazingly diverse ecosystem. Walking safari trips could take full advantage of this to explore various unique corners in this wilderness. Our second walking safari trip aimed to explore Nyamsika Riverbed. We set out our camp near this stunning viewpoint – excellent for sunset watching.
When I first seen it during the last trip, I thought of it as “Little Luangwa River” reminding me of Zambia. This river has same high winding riverbanks, small trickle of water, colonies of bee-eaters, and plenty of wildlife around. This stunning river bed literally calls for walking there.
We did two walks there: the first one in the evening going downstream…. Evening weather was perfect and the setting sun yielded very long shadows and excellent light… also seen plenty wildlife around (kobs, few elephants, hyenas, hartebeest, buffaloes), plus hippo bones and tracks, and plentiful birds. Unfortunately, we had to return to the camp before dark – so more to be explored in this downstream direction in the upcoming trips.
The morning walk next day was so far the highlight of exploring this amazingly diverse park. Weather was cool yet sunny – best time to walk – all walks with the guests will end before 11 am. The river meandered left and right, we heard baboon alarm shrieks, and the banks were frequented with some elephants. One had to be alert what lies ahead the sharp corners to not surprise for example an unassuming herd of buffaloes. Our guides did a superb job scouting ahead. Also, it seems like this area must be a haven for hyenas, we’ve seen at least six in three hours.
We exited the river at a place with wider valley to the north after finding some crocs in a nearby pool. This “exit” valley led to the higher hills, from we were able to observe a large elephant family and other wildlife (kobs) enjoying a salt lick on the valley bottom. Spent about 30 min there watching or was it 1 hour :-)?
Since the grass was burnt about a month earlier during the regular controlled burning exercise, the terrain was easy to walk. It also attracted lots of antelopes to its fresh grass. On the way back to the vehicle, we were also amazed by large flocks of Abdim Storks (migrants from Europe) by some remnant water pools – hundreds of them gathered together! We came there again in the evening to enjoy the sunset.
Walking in Murchison is very rewarding – sometimes it is not easiest as the terrain in a few places may be challenging or the weather getting hot midday. But these walks are not marathons or sprints, we simply enjoy nature and explore the beauty it offers.