Dr. Ruby Dunlap's Uganda Fulbright Blog
We hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, family and friends!
We celebrated Christmas in Uganda this year, five of us. Daughter Amy and son-in-law, Chris, arrived mid-December and returned to the U.S. on January 2. Dad Wesselhoeft and we arrived here August 14. On Christmas Day, we will had been here 134 days. The day after Christmas, December 26, was exactly the halfway point for our stay here. We are missing so many things about our lives in the U.S. that we will be looking forward to May 11 when we expect to return.
The September semester was very busy for me and had lots of adjustments for all of us. January semester will be another busy one with classes every day of the week until the end of the month. Then there will be lots of paper grading as students email me assignments.
We did have a very fun visit to Uganda’s largest game reserve, Murchison Falls, last week. We saw awesome waterfalls and many animals. In the photo above are the five of us pointing to Uganda in central eastern Africa on a big globe in front of the Nile River at Murchison Falls. Left to right, Carl Wesselhoeft, Chris Sutton, Amy Sutton, Ruby Dunlap, Bob Dunlap
See a more photos of that trip by clicking below.
We took a boat ride up the Nile and saw hundreds of hippos like these above. We also saw many crocodiles; I think this one above was the biggest, probably about 13 feet long. He was sunning himself on a rock as our boat went by and paid no attention to us. Below, Murchison Falls from the top: thunder and rainbows! The Nile River pours through a twisted rocky gorge at this point. In the second photo we are standing before one of two rainbows at the top of the Falls.
In the park, we saw hundreds of water buffalo and hundreds of antelope. These are “Ugandan Cobs,” looking like they are cousins to the impala family. We also saw lots of hartebeest and little antelope, probably in the duiker family. There were bush bucks and water bucks, large and shyer antelope. Murchison Falls does not have gazelle, wildebeest or zebras.
Murchison Falls does have lots of giraffes. Notice the geography behind this giraffe; this is not the lush rainforest where we live in Mukono but grassy savannah with acacia trees. We had giraffe cross the dirt road in front of us several times and saw giraffe babies twice. We also saw several groups of elephants, one in the distance with a baby. This group of five adults (three of them in the photo) was very close to the road, and within 30 feet of us.
We also saw two lionesses relaxing in the shade of a small bush. The second one is stretched out on her side to the right. At one point, she lazily rolled over, paws curled, to sleep on her other side. This one yawned a couple of times, showing off those fangs. Even the females look royal. In the second photo, you can’t see this very well but there is a leopard lounging in the crook of the tree trunk. We had to use binoculars to see it well. This was one of the highlights of this safari because leopards aren’t often seen, they are so elusive.
We saw numerous exotic birds; these are crested cranes, Uganda’s national bird and very elegant. And, below, sunrise over the Nile from our breakfast window! This was truly a wonderful three days. We also plan to visit an island in Lake Victoria which has a chimp reserve and also to visit Jinja, famous for its tea and sugarcane plantations and also for being the start of the Nile. A full report on both will be forthcoming!
We have missed all of you so very much. We wish blessings to all of you!