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Alex arrives! The equator and Murchison Falls National Park

Hilary Gibson

By Hilary Gibson, 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow

Posted Aug. 5, 2015

My husband came to visit for my last two weeks in Uganda. It was so great having him here and showing him what I've been doing these past couple of months. I have gotten to show him around the farms as well as introduce him to the many friends I have made throughout my time here. After introducing him to the work I've been doing, we got to go do some of the more touristy things.

He really wanted to try as much local food as he could while he was here, so we often walked down the street to buy roasted corn, roasted bananas and something called a Rolex (his favorite), which consisted of a fried egg wrapped in a chapati (unleavened bread similar to a tortilla).

One of the things we made sure to do was visit the equator, which runs through the country. When visiting the equator, we got to watch a cool experiment that shows the different ways water drains on each side of the hemisphere. On one side of the equator the water drains clockwise, and on the other side of the equator it drains counter-clockwise. The water draining directly on the equator line drains straight down the center. The guide explained that this happens due to the magnetic forces within the earth. It was a really cool thing to see, and we got to be in two places at once, both the northern and southern hemispheres!

water draining activityWater draining activity at the equator

Apart from a few smaller things, we went on a safari to Murchison Falls National Park. This was definitely a highlight of my time in Uganda. The park consists of a cascading falls on the Nile River surrounded by woodland and savannah areas full of wildlife.

murchison falls, nileMurchison Falls, Nile

We stayed at a rest camp called Red Chilli Hideaway, where we slept in tents with hostel-like accommodations. We originally thought about booking with a lodge, but after hearing about the rest camp from a few other people we decided to stay with the rest camp. What made this experience so cool was that wild animals from the park would occasionally wander into camp. Every night, hippos and warthogs would come into the camp to graze alongside the tents where we were sleeping, and we would have to walk past them when returning to our tent for the night. It can definitely be a scary experience as hippos can sometimes be aggressive, but the people in charge of the camp made sure to let us know that it was perfectly safe as long as the hippos were not provoked or bothered. It was so cool to stay in a place so close to nature and to the animals in the park.

giraffesGiraffes on the game drive in Murchison Falls

On our safari trip we were in a van with people from Switzerland, the U.K., Canada, and then us from the U.S. We all got very close over the three-day safari trip. Getting to share such a unique safari experience with people from all over the world was a wonderful experience, and it added that much more to our trip.

elephant in the nileElephant in the Nile

About the Author

Hilary Gibson is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Gibson is from Shawnee, Oklahoma, and has one more semester left in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on trade and ethics.