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At Heritage Safari Lodge, you get exposed to a wide range of activities from bird and game watching to the Acoli traditional dances.

The Lodge

Heritage offers guests superior accommodation enhanced by an impressive Big 5 safari experience and personalised service in a friendly and relaxed environment.

Do not cry for me Do not weep for me

Do not cry for me Do not weep for me
I am not far away I am next door.
I am just a breath away I am just a heart-beat away
I live on I am active

I am the memory of the good times we shared together
I am the word that informs
I am the mind that generate ideas
I am the light that vanquishes the darkness
I am the rain that gives life
I am the sun full of everlasting energy

I am, above all, the water of the Nile that gives life to everything in the river, the bank and the hinterland

I am the riverside butterfly, the colourful flying flower that propagates the flora

I am the riverbank tree that sprouts again and again whenever broken by the elephant and burnt by fire

I am water thick knee, the beautiful bird that shares the sandbank with the deceptive, tear-shedding, and man-eating, Nile crocodile, but what a name

I am the lion, the king of the jungle that roars across rivers, plains and over hills

I am the water in the Sudd in South Sudan with the mixed blessing, stagnant, evaporating, and broken into channels that impedes navigation but supports wildlife, birds, fish, livestock and humans

I am the magic in the Nile water that flows stately and majestically to quench the thirst of the desert and feed Sudan and Egypt

I am the streams, rivers and lakes with cool and crystal clear water that drains into and feeds the mighty Nile River, and that gave the name White to the Nile

I am the memory that lives on in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, the land of forests, green valleys, rolling hills and plains, clever and friendly people

I am Wang Kac, the open gate to the Acholi tribe’s traditional homestead; standing ready to welcome all visitors who have the soft heart and peaceful mind

Remember me Remember the good times together
I live on I am active
I am the oxygen of life I am blood circulating the oxygen
I am close to you I am not far away from you
Do not cry for me Do not weep for me

Download The Prayer Here

Tribute In Memory Of Matthew Power

mathew-powerThe chronicle is an historical account of what the renowned adventure orientated journalist did, said and whom he met during his overnight stay at Heritage Safari Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park. Pakwach, Uganda, on Friday 7th March, 2014. On 10th March, 2014, three days afterwards, he died, suddenly, from suspected heat stroke in the area of Amorapi Village in Ajai Game Reserve, in Pawo County, in northern Uganda’s Arua District. He was on assignment for the Men’s Journal of New York, USA, researching and writing on Capt Levison Wood’s Walking, the Length of the Nile Expedition.

The history of the area is blended into the tribute to enable the reader to grasp the background and context of the exploration of the Nile River in relation to the Albert Nile, the section of the Nile that had immediate relevance to what the late journalist was covering when he died.

The chronicle ends with our heads bowed and in prayers for Matthew Power, and his family.  Matthew Power – The Water of The Nile River is our Prayer. Our Poem and Our Word

Download Full Poem

The Lion

The King of the beast
Is the king of the jungle
The charismatic king’s face
Is well known in emblems and coat of arms worldwide
Recognisable by the distinctive and imposing mane
That is awesome and majestic
Lioness, the queen has no mane

The King’s power
The almighty’s roar out-distances and out-last all
And defines and protects the realm.
In the contested open country and grassland habitat
In terms of reputation, the largest cat the tiger
Is outclassed and well beaten by the lion.
Unlike other cats the lion’s tail has a tuft of hair
Seemingly a fly whisk befitting royalty.

The belly rules
The lion is more tolerant of grass land than the tiger or jaguar.
The optimum habitat is grassland interspersed with wooded areas
That supports a host of medium to large ungulates
Wildebeest, zebra, antelope and buffalo all favourite prey
Bulky enough to provide a decent meal for the pride
Unlike the leopard, the lion’s adaptation
To dense forest and desert environment is poor
Because bulky prey are few and scavenging is unyielding
The lion “roars” on it belly
Just like Napoleonic soldiers who matched
With might and splendour on their bellies

The social life
The tiger and leopard are solitary by nature
The cheetah enjoys living in small social groups
While the lion is highly social and family orientated
Of all the cats the lion’s social organisation is largest and matriarchal
Numbers confer benefit in territory and prey therein
Besides, it provides better defence and greater insurance against injury
The hunting mantra “out manoeuvre one but not a pride”
Settles the solo verses group hunt debate or contest

The family is the pride
The primary matriarchal society is called the pride
Comprising about six related females – sisters, aunts and cousins
Including their cubs; and for company one or two males called a coalition
Who mate and service the adult females
Female membership is stable save for birth or death
But hunting sub-groups may scatter and re-join the pride
Creating a fission-fusion social unit within the pride
Male membership of the pride is less stable
Through spontaneous withdrawal or forceful ejection

The nomadic world
The second behavioural society is called the nomads
Members are either related or un-related male groups
And move widely within the territorial range
Some members switch lifestyle
In a pride-nomad behavioural and societal interchange
The stable nomad groups are similarly called a coalition

The cubs
Are regarded as the pride of the lionesses
Their start is however traumatic for all concerned
As new incoming male chase and kill cubs “inherited”
To cause the females to mate soon thereafter
To bear in synchrony communal litters jointly reared
Males guard and protect the cubs while lionesses go out to hunt
Cubs are weaned at 6 months and mature at 3 years
At every stage of their life, lions do best of all in groups

The idleness
Of all the cats lions are remarkably least active
Resting and perhaps sleeping for approximately 20 hours a day
Lions socialise by head rubbing and licking
By nature lions are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular
In the short and cramped 4 hours of the day when they are active

The female hunters
Hunting is the female domain
Being faster and more agile
Hunting is visual in the main
The base technique is stalk and pounce
Co-ordinated group hunting outwits prey better
To double the kill rate to about 30%
Night and twilight hunting minimises
The opportunity for competition from other predators
The hunt short-fall is not insuperable
For scavenged meat is as right as rain

Territory as means and ends
Abundance of prey determines the quality of territory
Courtship needs equally impacts territorial behaviour
Females do not go unescorted for long
As male coalitions defend territory and fight for conjugal rights
Ousting weaker males or smaller coalitions
The bigger the mane the more threatening the pose
The greater the mating and culinary benefits

Territorial integrity
Both male and female scent-mark territory
Spraying urine and physically marking to define territory
Beside roaring and patrolling to maintain territory
Individual and collective responsibility secures territory
For the benefit of the individual and pride in the territory
Icon of humanity
For centuries the lion has been depicted positively
As the symbol of power and nobility worldwide
Egyptians built temples of lioness goddesses
Roman gladiatorial arena symbolised bravery
The lion represented loyalty and stateliness in ancient India
Biblically Daniel escaped from the lion’s den
But notwithstanding the iconic adoration
Nature’s centre of gravity in ancient times was man
Not the lion or other animals

The animal ambassador
In modern times all living things
Collectively occupy the centre of the circle of life
The zoo lion is respected and regarded as an ambassador
Housed in a well-designed and near-jungle environment
Coat of arms and emblems worldwide adorn lions
The lions represent nationhood and stateliness
Singapore derives its name from- singa (lion) and pora (fortress)

Born Free
Elsa the famous lioness in the film “Born Free”
Together with Joy and George Adam form a “pride”
That depicts nature’s greatest endowment
Man and the lion in a free association
In which there is no fear of nature
And there is no dominance of humanity over nature
The lion can sleep undisturbed in the jungle every night
Roar freely across and over the rolling savannah
To rule the jungle kingdom for ever
As the Lion King

The Leopard

The allure and appeal of the leopard
Attracts colourful description
Powerful, graceful and beautiful
Elusive, solitary and largely nocturnal
Master of stealth and survival
Cunning, shrewd and ferocious
All colourful and appropriate description

Master in appearance
In appearance the leopard and jaguar are very similar
The rosettes in their fur coat are similar
But the leopard’s smaller and less dense rosette is dissimilar
To jaguar’s that have central spots so familiar
Melanistic leopard and jaguar called black panthers are similar

Master in pelage
The pelage of the leopard or cheetah is not plain
Solid spots is cheetah’s embellishment in the main
The rosette is leopard’s domain
Replaced by spots that the chest, legs and face contain
All are proverbially called “spots”
And they are unchangeable in every domain
In short the rosette or not, the saying
The leopard does not change its spots stands

Master in concealment
Predator or predated
Perfect concealment is the tramp for any animal
The leopard’s camouflage and concealment
Emanate from its remarkable adaptation to environment
The leopard’s pelage is environmentally determined
The coat is paler and creamer in the desert habitat
And more grey in colder climates
The darker colour camouflages excellently in forest biome
The nature of the biome fundamentally impacts
The colour of the leopard’s fur

Master in appetite
The leopard is the most economic, opportunistic and shrewdest cat
With diverse selection of food – insects, reptiles and amphibians
That includes birds, fish and various size mammals
Further she outwits scavengers and other competitors
With her capacity to carry and stash killed prey away up a tree
When there is no fresh meat carrion and rotting meat is sweet meat

Master stalker
The leopard is solitary and secretive
Constantly on the move within territory
Hunts by sight and hearing then single-mindedly
Crouches low and to stalk noiselessly
Arboreal in living up a tree to launch a perfect aerial ambush
Then descends characteristically and spectacularly head first
As if to maintain continuous visual contact with the prey
She is nocturnal as well as crepuscular
In liking darkness and twilight
Ideal conditions for surprise attacks

Master killer
The leopard’s beautiful embellishment is no surety for the prey
Skin deep is the killer instinct
Manifest in the stalk, ambush, and chase technique
Then pounce and strike ferociously to finally strangulate
Before the muscular grab and haulage of the carcass up the tree
The kill rate of the stalk and pounce base technique is about 40%

Master of survival
Adoptable to diverse range of environments
It consumes a wide range of food
It has flexible taste and diet including carrion
It has excellent camouflage compatible with environment

Master of trickery
It is stealth, elusive and solitary in behaviour
It is constantly moving within territory
It has ability to run fast up to 50 MPH
Be-all end- all rolled into one

Master deserving our support
Considered a pest by farmers
The fur is soft and exquisite
Favoured for ceremonial robes and fashion
These survival threats are mitigated
By the Leopard’s own survival instinct
That is greatest of all animals
And exemplifies nature’s own conservation mechanism
That deserves to be supported vigorously

The Cheetah

Amongst the three “Cats”
The lion is regarded as the majestic king of the jungle
The leopard is known as solitary, cunningly shrewd and ferocious
The cheetah is acclaimed as graceful and elegant

Master in appearance
The cheetah’s pelage is unique with high gain
Coats of both the cheetah and leopard are not plain
Rosette is the leopard’s domain
Solid spots is cheetah’s embellishment in the main
Coalescing into solid rings that the tail contain
The belly is spotlessly white and plain
The singular tear-drop marks on either cheek raises no Cain

Master in acceleration
At 70 mph the cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet
The acceleration out-sprints many well engineered products
The body is sleek and lean with long legs for speed
The large nostrils evolved to allow maximum oxygen intake
Circulated efficiently by large heart, lungs and arteries
To fuel specialised muscles that work harmoniously and simultaneously

Master in speed and balance
As muscles contract and relax sequentially and repeatedly
The flexible spine with spring-like action
Further extends the leg movement
And enables the cheetah to gain speed
At the same time make sharp mid-air turns
The muscular tail serves as the rudder and stabiliser
To counteract the cheetah’s weight
And prevents rolling over during the sharp turns
The semi-retractable claws and the sold paws provide grip and traction
The high speed chase is awesomely breath-taking and spectacular

Master in hunting
The hunting technique relies on sight not scent
The large high-set and forward facing eyes
Enable maximum binocular vision
Best suited for day light hunting
Unlike the nocturnal and crepuscular leopard
Stealth stalking to get as close as possible complements
The short bursts of speed and acceleration to out-sprint the prey
Rabbit, gazelle, springbok, impala or warthog are common preys
First tripped then bitten in the throat in a strangulation hold
The base hunting technique is speed and acceleration
The kill rate is approximately 50%
The highest kill rate for a solo predator hunter

Master diner
The open country and grassland is a crowded and contested biome
Where chilling-out for any animal is never straightforward
In the cheetah’s open-air restaurant
Dinning is a nervy and quickie undertaking
Eyes must be put on roving mode to spot scavengers
Lion, leopard, packs of hyena and jackals approach on the ground
From the air vultures with ground scanning eyes home in too
With cheetah’s well known non-aggressive disposition
The surrender of its culinary goods is often total when challenged
The cheetah mitigates the loss by hunting in the middle of the day
When the usual aggressors like the lion and leopards
Are either idle or asleep

Master in coolness
The cheetah does not roar like the lion
It does not possess the leopard’s climbing skills
It is renowned for non-aggressive disposition
It is the easiest cat to domesticate
It is found in Uganda’s Kidepo National Park
It is regarded as potentially to seriously endangered

Master in domestication
In ancient times the cheetah symbolised the protection of the realm
And was revered as a symbol of royalty
The Mughal Empire’s Akbar the Great kept hundreds as pet
In the 1930’s the Ethiopia’s Haile Sellassie had photographs taken with a cheetah
In present day Iraq the morning coffee drinkers in Samarra town
Stop at the Bazaar accompanied by their cheetah pets
Their elegance and gracefulness radiant and abound
Even outside their natural habitat

Master of joy and happiness
As the heart of Iraq cries and prays for peace
North of Bagdad is Samarra town
Called “Surramen Raa” in arabic
Meaning “delighted to see”
This is the place where domesticated cheetah
Brings joy and happiness to many who continue
To live in peace for just one day at a time
As the country struggle for hope and peace

Master Sprinter
The 100 metres sprint world record holder
Is called Sarah
The cheetah and wildlife ambassador
In residence at the Cincinnati Zoo in the USA
She out-sprinted Usain Bolt in 2012
When she posted a time of 5.95 seconds for 100 metres
To beat hands down Usain Bolts world record time of 9.58 seconds
The contest and competition was concluded
With the Sarah and Bolt photo shoot of the year
That captivates the harmony between man and the cheetah
And exemplifies peaceful co-existence between man and wildlife
Deserving of our unreserved and whole hearted support

Riverside Experience on The Bank of the Nile

Robbed of happiness and quietude
In the beautiful den of concrete skyscrapers
That vainly kisses the sky
The metallic box that burns rubber
And gurgles fuel on the autobahn, motorway and freeway
No longer thrills me
The bowel of the standing-room only commuter train
Is forever suffocating and oppressive
All are my multiple homes held in common
That I must escape from blissfully

My destination was Uganda
The tropical paradise nesting on the equator
The land gifted with green valleys, rolling hills, plains and misty forests
Rivers and lakes with crystal clear water criss-cross and dot the landscape
And the snow-capped Mountain of the Moon
Leaps out of the earth on its western border
Described as the “Pearl of Africa” by Churchill in 1907
The profusion of flora and fauna- birds, insects, reptiles and mammals
Are fused by nature on a vast scale astride the almighty Nile
At the renown Murchison Falls National Park

My journey’s end was the riverside Heritage Safari Lodge on-the-Nile
Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile was discovered
In 1862 by John Hanning Speke that forever marks
The Nile’s northward 4,230 miles journey to the Mediterranean Sea
The magic of the Nile is the moving water
Compressed, and squeezed then spectacularly dropping over 30 metres
At Murchison Falls, named by explorer Sir Samuel Baker in 1864
In honour of the President of the Royal Geographical Society
Downstream the Nile water settles into a fast flowing sheet of water
That majestically flows past my holiday home
The Heritage Safari Lodge located on the Nile’s northern bank
Just before the Nile enters Lake Albert, named after Prince Regent
In 1864 by Sir Samuel Baker in his Uganda travels

I came to Heritage Safari Lodge
For the riverside experience
To cool, unwind and soften my heart, for I had no companion
Then awoken by singing birds in the jungle
The orange glow and warmth of the morning sun
Lifted my spirit to saviour the glory of the floating flowers
In the festival of colourful butterflies
That flies over the lawn and the surrounding meadow

The perfect holiday Banda
The round hut theme
The perfect fusion of tradition and modernity
With distinctive regular step thatching
And the open converging pole ceiling
Is the dream safari lodge
In the calm serenity of the Nile’s riverside
That welcomed me to my holiday home
At Heritage Safari Lodge

The low energy Banda
With wide airy bay window
Is the ideal place for viewing nature’s gift
With the almighty Nile flowing graciously by
Bearing floating islands of plumed papyrus reed
Majestically carrying wading birds
Enjoying a meal of fish
Along comes the colourful care-free bird
The Lily Trotters that move daintily
Over and across beds of Nile cabbages and water lilies
Then riveted to see grossly over-sized sandals floating in the Nile
Surprise!! Surprise! Horrifically pleasant
The detail revealed the ears, eyes and the nose
Of the almost fully submerged hippopotamus
Playfully blowing gaseous water jet up in the air
Before the dive in to depth of the Nile
Trying to keep cool just like me

On the riverside meadow
The lush green and salt lick
At Kamshiko, the low flow hot spring
Uplifts daily the herd of 8 elephants
Birds perch on the bull elephant’s back
Accompanying egrets march along in comfort
Notwithstanding the great feet in their midst
I need no friend, no lover, nature so well preserved
At Murchison Falls National Park
Now my dreams no longer spin tales of fantasy
I came to unwind, cool, and rejuvenate
At Heritage Safari Lodge
The perfect holiday home on the Nile’s riverside

Murchison Falls – “Wang Jok”

The majestic river Nile never lies still
At the Eye of God
The over one hundred metre wide river contracts severely
The entire volume of water forced through
Six metre rock gap
Before dropping thirty metres spectacularly
At the world famous Murchison Falls
That creates a permanent rainbow

The Falls
The Acoli tribe call
Wang Jok
The “Eye of God”
The “Place of God”
The “Manifestation of God”
Was named Murchison Falls in 1864
By the explorer Sir Samuel Baker
In honour of Sir Roderick Murchison
The President of the Royal Geographical Society

Wang Jok
Epitomises the Acoli tribe’s concept of God
The almighty and all powerful
Dispensing the good and bad “i wi lobo” – on earth
The colliding good (ie. good harvest) and bad (ie. locust)
Defines the state of “wi lobo” at that moment
The balance tilted favourably by
Respect and appeasement of God
Through shrine sacrifice

Wang Jok
The place of perpetual collision and contrast
Lies perpendicularly below the flat rock formation
Nature’s perfect observatory
For viewing one of nature’s greatest spectacle
Where nature’s elements
The liquid component collide with the solid element
In the gorge below

At Wang Jok
The bolt and finale is the triumph of gravity
A roaring ferocity of high volume of water
Force funnelled into a rugged six metre rock gap
Then leaping thirty metres perpendicularly down
The collision of water and rugged rock
Yielding snow white tumbling water and spray
Contrasting beautifully and spectacularly
With the dark cliffs walling the river
Perpetual rainbow abound

Upstream of Wang Jok
Karuma Falls has a character of its own
It is a unique spectacle of rushing water, rocks and trees
So impossible to imagine from the roaring sound
Heard hundreds of metres away from the river bank
The underlying rock formation
Converts the gentle flowing Nile water
Into a broad sheet of rushing torrent
With recurring sequence of cascades and rapids
Emerging from the churning and agitated bowel of the river
With imposing presence, is a succession of rock islands
Bearing trees with twinned roots hugging the rocks
As if in stubborn defiance of the force of the rushing water
That is more than capable of dislodging the anchorage
Of the roots of these remarkable “water on rock” trees
Nature’s rehearsal before Wang Jok
Is an eye catching spectacle by right

The character of Karuma Falls
Is an attractive natural construct of its own
In athletic terms the rapids and cascade
Can be regarded as the warm up track
For the bolt and finale at the Wang Jok
Both falls are related by virtue of the water that flow
Over the same underlying rock formation of the southern rift
This makes Karuma Falls the “brother falls” feeding
The much bigger fall at Wang Jok
Rather like John the Baptist foretelling
The coming of Christ – the Saviour
Alternatively Karuma Falls could be regarded as a spectacle of its own
Asserting its own status and character against the bigger Wang Jok
In a David/ Goliath like fluvial power contest

Karuma Falls Wildlife
The abundant flora of acacia thorn trees support
Troops of giraffe seen reaching 6 metres high up for tender shoots
Not to be outdone, the handsome black-and-white Colobus
Monkeys never want to descend from the trees on the riverbank
Instead seems to feel energised to leap several feet
From tree to tree, limbs out-stretched and mantle flowing
The common baboon appear to have lost fear of the human
Screeching breaks of the cars attract and call them
The mother-baboon arrive with the her youngster
Riding-jockey like on her back
To the road side to share banana with the traveller
And secure the half-finished sandwich from the tourist

Wang Jok
Beyond the swell
Gives way down stream to a smooth fast flowing sheet of water
That breeds and support fish including the almighty Nile perch
Crocodiles bask on the river bank
Then waddle and slither into the flowing water
Hippopotamus keep cool partially submerged in shallow lagoon
In “Paraa” – the place (pa) of the hippos (raa)
Insect and bee-eating birds nest on the cliff face
The kingfisher hovers and dive bombs the shoal
Fish eagles fly overhead with the keen eyes for scanning the river below
The remarkable Hagerdash Ibis flies over and across the river
Recognisable by its cry Ha-da-da Ha-da-da
Now abound the river’s biological life previously pounded out
At Wang Jok

Wang Jok’s Travellers
The spectacle and mystery of Wang Jok
Continue to attract and fascinate travellers and tourists alike
The water used to partially separate through an underground tunnel
Before dropping spectacularly thirty metres at the Falls
One day, overnight the overlying rock and the tunnel
Disappeared without trace or residue
Winston Churchill visited Wang Jok in 1907
He looked at the 6 metre gap in the rock and quipped
“Ten pounds would throw a bridge across the Nile at this point”
Indeed a foot bridge was constructed over and across the gap in 1960
In the deluge of the following rainy season it was un-ceremonially washed away
In reference to the flora and fauna of the Murchison Falls Park
Churchill wrote in My African Journey
“One has to remember that here Kew Gardens
and the London Zoo combined on an unlimited scale”
Welcome to the mystery and high catching spectacle
And the flora and fauna of Wang Jok

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