Murchison Falls National Park Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park is definitely the largest park in Uganda that is named after the mighty river Nile that passes through the park to Lake Albert on its way to the north ending in Egypt. The river Nile that intersects this park bangs through a narrow gorge and forms the most incredible thing that has ever happened to this longest river in the world flowing down to be converted into a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, water bucks, crocodiles, buffaloes,elephants and much more wildlife.
Murchison Falls National Park Game Reserve
Uganda’s largest park-the Murchison Falls national park offers a diversity of wildlife, breath taking scenery of dotted hills, swamps, riverine woodland and forest, East Africa’s most dramatic waterfall, and a remarkable diversity of wildlife on land and in the Victoria Nile which teems with hippos, crocodiles.
Murchison falls national park-protected on 3840 sq km is home to large herds of buffalo, elephants, good concentration of lions as well as leopards and several antelope’s, species from grey duiker and Ugandan kob to Oribi and hartebeest, Murchison falls is one of the few places in Uganda where you can find giraffes and the rare ground dwelling patas monkey. Set out for Birding that’s excellent and see the endangered shoebill stork, a rare creature that sits at top of many birders. The best time to visit Murchison is between the months of January and March on the delta cruise boat ride. Murchison falls national park in Uganda is part of the greater Murchison falls conservation Area which incorporates the Bugungu and Karuma reserves as well as chimp trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi Forest.
What to See and Do in Murchison Falls National Park
Victoria Nile is the Parks main feature which cuts through the wilderness and cascades 45 meters down through a narrow gorge at Murchison Falls. In total 76 mammal species have been recorded in Murchison falls National park .The world’s most powerful water fall-Boat cruises along the river takes you to see the thunderous water fall and the grunting hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and bathing elephants. Set out a short hike up at the top of the falls where you’ll have several viewpoints to see the takeoff in the majestic water falls. You can sport monkeys and baboons along the way. The boat cruise on the water falls is another highlight on the lake down the river scenery and wildlife. You can visit Murchison falls thought the year but the best time & month for spotting the wildlife are the dry ones.
Bird watching is also good year round but its best between January and March. Kaniyo padibi forest is the top best place forest birding sites in Uganda. Murchison falls is blessed with a range of birds species-451 species recorded which include the rare-shoe-bill stock spotted at the banks of Nile Albert Delta, the Goliath heron, pairs of elegant Grey Crowned cranes, Blue-headed Coucal, swamp Flycatcher,squacco Heron,African Jacana, Sandpipers, DenHams Bustard, Abyssinian Ground Horn-bill, Black-billed barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silver bird, Waever Birds, Pied, Giant Malachite, Kingfisher, wattle eye, Narina trogon, horn bills. The nocturnal species common in the area are the Verreauxs Owls, spectacular Nightjars. Migratory bird species are in the park from November to April to May and October is the rainiest months when some roads become impassable. During these months there are few visitors to the park which means discounts on lodging. Murchison falls are most dramatic during the rainy months when the river is at its fullest.
You can do self-driving safaris in Murchison falls national park- a good idea is to hire a car by autorentaluganda and navigate the roads to spot animals on your own.
Budongo Forest lies on the escarpment north east of lake Albert with a bio-diversity with mammal species, 360 birds, 289 butterflies and 465 plants. Budongo forest is well known for East African mahogany trees with exceptional large Mahogany trees that is more than 80 meters tall and 20 meters in circumference.
Buligi Game Track
The Buligi region is well known among the major game viewing safari in Uganda with savannah grass lands of the great East African rift valley on top of lake Albert just to the DRC.
Karuma falls are found in Chobe gate north eastern part of the park on the Kampala-Gulu road 2km south of Murchison falls national park chobe gaate, karuma falls. The Karuma falls are made up of a number of natural rock formations which causes the waters to ripple giving them white foam with roaring sounds on the Nile River.
Game Drive Circuit
These take place early in the morning and tourists is able to see plenty of wild life including lions, hippos, Rothschilds giraffe, Warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, Jacksons-hartebeest and elephants. At Nyamsika Cliffs is where one can enjoy a pacnic, the view and gaze at elephants and other wildlife on the green grassy hillsides and river,
Boat Cruise to the bottom of the falls
Game viewing along the way is excellent. Expect to see hippos in a hundreds along with the Africa’s largest surviving crocodiles, small herds of buffalos, water bucks, kob, Giraffe, elephant’s long water birds such as cormorants, fish eagles, ducks, and kingfisher
Hike to the top of the falls
Murchison falls trail takes you to the top up of water edge. Hike to the top of the falls and get close to the narrow gorge through which the river explodes into the falls. Enjoy the camp sites, picnic sites and walking safaris provided. You can enjoy other activities like chimpanzee tracking in kaniyo pabidi, Budongo forest and many birds found nowhere else in East Africa.
Community Walks and Cultural Experiences
You can conduct a walk near Murchison falls national park and have a chance to see the locals as you learn about the residents livelihood, Farming. Visit the black smith, demonstration of the basket weaving, cooking, visit the local schools and enjoy a scenic village tour.
Sport fishing on the waters after the falls on Victoria Nile provides some pf the most exciting challenges to the tourists with presence of the Nile perch. Fishing is permitted in the designated sites and requires prior booking.
Hot Air Balloon
Murchison falls nature walks happen through the forests of kaniyo pabidi, Rubongo forest where you can have opportunities to watch primates such as chimpanzee, monkey and much bird life.
Where to stay and Eat In Murchison Falls National park
Murchison Falls Park has various accommodations in and around it all lie along the main road as it’s the largest game reserve. The most frequented safari lodges range from budget to midrange to luxury and the choice is made by the clients in accordance to their Budget. The lodges include Paraa safari lodge, Bakers Lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Murchison Tree House. Pakuba safari lodge, Murchison safari lodge, Boomu Womens Group Bandas, Budongo Eco Lodge, Bwana Tembo Safari camp, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Ziwa Rhino camp, Uganda Wildlife campsite
The Best Time to go to Murchison falls National Park
Murchison Falls Park can be visited at any time of the year as Uganda is located within the equatorial region and blessed with stable climate. The best time is in the dry months of December to February and June to September which is easier to spot animals as they gather at water points to drink with the roads passable for tour vehicles in the park.
How to Reach Murchison falls National park
Murchison falls is the largest game reserve with a lot of exploration to offer the Uganda travellers. The park can be reached either by road or by Air-(Fly In luxury safaris) according the clients intended budget.
By Air (Fly In Luxury Safaris)
There are two airstrips found close to Paara: Bugungu on the southern side of the river and Pakuba on the North. Another airstrip lies adjacent to Chobe lodge in the north east of the park. Pakuba Airfield is 19km from North Paraa and can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe international Airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala.
From Kampala is 305km from Murchison Falls national park taking 4-5 hours with the distance from Masindi town at 85km through Kaniyo pabidi forest to paraa. You can also do a cross boarder safari to Kenya, Tanzania or Rwanda with self-drive car rental from a reputable car rental Uganda company through 4x4CarrentalsUganda.com or autorentaluganda.com and drive your own Adventure.
The direct 85 km route from Masindi to Paraa passing through kichwambanyobo gate take only 22 km or 3 hours to Budongo eco lodge
Northern and Eastern Approaches.
Murchison falls can be approached from three gates north of the Nile; these are Chobe gate-on the Kampala-Gulu Road, Wankwar Gate 10 km south of Purongo and Tangai gate 3km from Pakwach.
Mubako Gate: – The 135 km route between Masindi and Paraa via lake Albert offers spectacular wild life tour views as you descend from Budongo forest into the rift valley.