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Home » Africa » Uganda » Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls | #pipikikitour2021 ? (4)

Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls | #pipikikitour2021 ? (4)

Chris goes in part 4 of #pipikikitour2021 completely loose in Murchison Falls NP with his drone. The day before we didn't have enough time to make a really good scooter safari, so today we leave early. We were able to capture the herds of elephants and buffalo beautifully from the air. Watch the video at the top of the page!

Also read:

pikipikitour2021 ? (1) Buying a scooter in Uganda & ViaVia Guesthouse
pikipikitour2021 ? (2) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Refugees & Scooter Breakdown
pikipikitour2021 ? (3) Murchison Falls NP | The first scooter safari
pikipikitour2021 ? (4) Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls
pikipikitour2021 ? (5) Bad luck in Pakwach and Gulu Central Market
pikipikitour2021 ? (6) Struggling through the mud in Uganda (video)
pikipikitour2021 ? (7) Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin

I also film Chris when he comes riding on his scooter (he didn't know that a buffalo was crossing the road right behind him. (Large) game traffic always has right of way. Especially when it concerns a whole herd of elephants that are about ten meters away. suddenly thinks you have to cross the dirt road from the forest…

Lots of wildlife along the 'highway'

How beautiful can a National Park to be? Although it feels a bit strange, we are very pleased that the Chinese are halfway through the construction of an asphalt road through Murchison Falls NP. We see swaying palm trees and a lot of game along the 'highway'.

Roadworks in Murchison Falls NP
Roadworks in Murchison Falls NP

Blubber and Buffalo

Oh well, and a bit of mud on the dirt road that is only 10 km long. It also has its charm. The many buffaloes lazing along the road in mud baths don't really know what to do with us, two crazy people on scooters. I know from previous trips that they hear us rather than see. So they always come a little closer. To convince themselves with their bad eyes that what they have heard poses no danger. Keep calm and wait at a distance is the credo. The buffalo (almost) always goes elsewhere at a small trot.

Relaxed buffalo see two blue scooters with mzungus in Murchison Falls NP
Relaxed buffalo see two blue scooters with mzungus in Murchison Falls NP

Well and when I film Chris as he drives from the plain over a hill towards me, he doesn't notice that a buffalo is crossing the road behind his back…

Two idiots on scooters

It is clear that our presence does not go unnoticed by other safari-goers. Just imagine it yourself. After all, you had to pay a considerable amount to go on a jeep safari in a wildlife park. Getting out of that jeep is prohibited. There are even hefty fines. Then to see that two 'crazys' just drive around on scooters and stop and get off their scooter… We get enough strange looks from the safari vehicles.

Drone images Murchison Falls

Chris is busy with his drone in Murchison Falls NP
Chris is busy with his drone in Murchison Falls NP

Meanwhile Chris is having fun with his drone. Incidentally, the use of drones is 'in principle' prohibited in Uganda, just like in Kenya. Unless you go through all kinds of lengthy administrative procedures and put down the necessary knots, of course. It feels like a new cash cow to collect money from tourists, just like paying an extra $150 during a safari to drive straight through the landscape (off the trails) to the lions…

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We have not done this hassle of paperwork (because this takes months…) and are therefore very careful. We use zoom function for the drone photos and of course we keep enough distance from the animals.

We are in any case lucky that there are hardly any other safari-goers. So Covid-19 is still good for something.

giraffes

The giraffes are a story in themselves. On the one hand they are very curious and first look at you in surprise for a while. After that they also hobble at a gallant trot elsewhere. They also find the drone interesting. When Chris circles around the giraffes, they keep a close eye on the drone, while the drone remains about 100 meters away from them. She doesn't miss anything!

Some Giraffes in Murchison Falls - Right a Rothschild Giraffe
Some Giraffes in Murchison Falls – Right a Rothschild Giraffe

Herds of Elephants

Elephants are also plentiful. 'Pole, pole,' is our advice when elephants cross the road again on our scooters. Keep calm, keep your distance and always stick to the rule: all animals have priority.

A herd of elephants calmly observing two mzungus on blue scooters in Murchison Falls NP
A herd of elephants calmly observing two mzungus on blue scooters in Murchison Falls NP

When they have calmly crossed the road, Chris launches his drone again. The elephants definitely notice the drone, but don't seem to care. They happily graze on and some time later we get the whole family beautifully aligned in one photo. Wow!

Villagers in Kapedo look in amazement at that mzungu and his pikipiki
A herd of elephants in Murchison NP
Elephants seen from the air in Murchison NP
Elephants seen from the air in Murchison NP
A herd of elephants walking in Murchison NP
A herd of elephants walking in Murchison NP

We can't believe our luck. What a wonderful scooter safari! In a few hours we were able to admire herds of elephants, dozens of gallant giraffes and thousands of buffalo on our scooters. And that in a unique landscape with waving palm trees and sometimes poisonous green grass. Quite a difference with the often arid and yellowish savannas in many other national parks in Africa.

Arrival in Pakwach

Then the scooter safari for today is over. We have completed the 10 km of dirt road and drive the next 10 km on a perfect asphalt road. Brand new. A few Chinese stand by the side of the road giving directions to Ugandan road workers. There are even warning signs in Chinese that point to a Speed ​​Bump (unfortunately I can't read what it says in Chinese). Because if something suddenly pops up everywhere and nowhere on a Ugandan (just like in Tanzania and Kenya), it's those damn thresholds. There are huge thresholds even on barely passable dirt roads.

We leave the park and drive on the bridge over the Nile and arrive in pakwach† Pakwach is a town with about 30.000 inhabitants and is not too far from the border with Congo. We have to go through a roadblock first. Here Ugandan soldiers control all (freight) traffic to and from Congo.

A large number of itinerant traders are also active here. Armed with souvenirs (especially carvings), dried fish and soft drinks. They storm any vehicle that comes to a stop. We too are overwhelmed by the sellers.

Souvenir and refreshment vendors in Pakwach
Souvenir and refreshment vendors in Pakwach

I found a new local hotel via the internet. There we take up residence in a beautiful rondavel. Then we explore Pakwach and while I'm busy supplying half the city with lollipops again, Chris decides to show his football skills.

Chris shows his football skills to some Pakwachers
Chris shows his football skills to some Pakwachers

Then we are all set again. For a moment, an innocent photo of Chris (whom I had already warned that you should absolutely not photograph (strategic) bridges, military objects and the like in Uganda), seems to cause problems. Before he knew it, the soldier is already there. Chris has to delete the photo of the bridge over the Nile from his phone and then we can continue after a small admonition.

Delay on the way to the Paraa Safari Lodge

After a few hours on safari, it's time for a bite to eat. We drive along the new bridge towards the exclusive Paraa Lodge. As we drive up the dirt track, I see an adult elephant emerging from the bushes. I warn Chris who is driving behind me. Elephants have right of way at all times (turn on the sound and you'll hear how we react).

Literally: wild crossing on the way to Paraa Safari Lodge
Literally: wild crossing on the way to Paraa Safari Lodge

The first elephant is only a harbinger of a herd of about twenty pachyderms that are on the move. I grab my cell phone and capture the spectacle on film.

Eric | Wereldreizigers.nl

Then we realize that our scooters have very little fuel left. Although the fuel consumption of these scooters is 1 liter per 30 to 40 km, only three liters fit in the tank. We drove quite a few kilometers in the park without noticing and we are now finding out. Fortunately, the Paraa Safari Lodge has a tiny Shell Station. 'You have to pay first at the hotel reception. And hurry because we close at four thirty.'

The Shell station of Paraa Safari Lodge
The Shell station of Paraa Safari Lodge

Well and then it's time to enjoy the beautiful restaurant of the only five-star Lodge of Murchison Falls NP: the unsurpassed Paraa Safari Lodge. We take a delicious meal and enjoy an ice cold Nile (Uganda's national beer).

Of course you drink a Nile (the local beer) on the Nile
Of course you drink a Nile (the local beer) on the Nile
View of Paraa Safari Lodge and the Nile
View of Paraa Safari Lodge and the Nile

Chris turns on his whatsapp video and treats his wife, who is sitting cold in the Netherlands, to a fantastic preview. Including a couple of hippos that are rolling around a little further down the Nile.

Whether his wife really realizes how crazy or genius our scooter adventure is… She will land in Uganda in two weeks to take Chris on a tour of southern and western Uganda. I think she actually wants to jump right on the plane to come to the unsurpassed Pearl of Africa!

Swimming pool at Paraa Safari Lodge
Swimming pool at Paraa Safari Lodge

The beers have tasted good and it is time to drive back to Pakwach. Along the way we encounter a lot of big game, including elephants. It's just starting to get normal, there's something to see everywhere here.

Elephants along the road near Pakwach
Elephants along the road near Pakwach

What a great day this has been. It tastes like much more and there will be. In part 5 we first make a last scooter safari in Murchison Falls NP and I have something to do with my scooter again. Then we drive to Gulu where Chris works remote for a day Wereldreizigers.nl and I take a look at the market.

Until part 5, see you ever from Uganda.

Also read:

pikipikitour2021 ? (1) Buying a scooter in Uganda & ViaVia Guesthouse
pikipikitour2021 ? (2) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Refugees & Scooter Breakdown
pikipikitour2021 ? (3) Murchison Falls NP | The first scooter safari
pikipikitour2021 ? (4) Drone images scooter safari | Murchison Falls
pikipikitour2021 ? (5) Bad luck in Pakwach and Gulu Central Market
pikipikitour2021 ? (6) Struggling through the mud in Uganda (video)
pikipikitour2021 ? (7) Kidepo Valley | The Legacy of Idi Amin

Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

What is it like to drive more than 10.000 kilometers in Madagascar on a locally bought scooter? Or on a pikipiki (scooter in Swahili) through East Africa? In more than 20 years I have visited more than 100 countries. This has resulted in a lot of priceless travel experiences, which I would like to share with you.

ERIC – OVER 100 COUNTRIES
– Currently in Kenya.
– Share unique travel experiences.
– Favorite destinations: Madagascar, Uganda, Japan, India and Colombia.

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

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Eric on a scooter in Uganda

Eric

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