Murchison National Park
Murchison Falls National Park was previously known as Kabalega National Park. It was until 1952 when it was proclaimed its current known name. The park is located in the northern part of Albertine Rift Valley managed by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and is well known to be one of Uganda’s ancient conservation areas. Murchison Falls National Park is without a doubt one of Uganda’s most beautiful National parks
The park covers an area of about 3,893km2 and it’s known to be one of Uganda’s well-protected areas. This area is an addition to Murchison falls thus covering an area of about 5,072km2 including Bugungu as well as Karuma wildlife reserves and the Victoria Nile, flowing in the westerly direction between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert bisects the park into 2 equal halves.
Murchison Falls National Park has got over 76 mammal species including Lions, Buffaloes, Antelopes, Giraffes, hyenas among others. With over 450 bird species in the park, bird watching is also a popular tourist activity in Murchison falls National Park, this is coupled with the Victoria Nile, which cuts through the wilderness and cascades 45 meters down through a narrow gorge at Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfall and a boat safari up the Nile provides the perfect opportunity to see and photography for the animals and majestic waterfalls.
Being one of the oldest protected areas in the country the park attracts many tourists due to its distinctive attractive features that leave every traveler in wonder. The unforgettable experience will thrill you with marvelous wonders on the planet for your safari. There thus several activities which will get you occupied on your planned safari to Murchison Falls National Park which is equally the same that were evidenced by great personalities like; Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, the Prince of Wales, Edward VII in 1930, Queen Mother in 1959 and the British royals, 2018 Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, the rapper Sean Paul all have made a tribute to this prestigious national park. Activities in and around the park include.
Activities that can be carried out in the park
A visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
A trip to Murchison falls takes you through discovering amazing rare primates of the black and white Rhinos. Murchison Falls National Park was formerly full of Rhinos but was depleted in the 1970s due to bad governance however the setup of the Rhino Fund and the Uganda wildlife Authority ignited the co-existence of the primates so as to protect the Rhinos, Breed them and eventually re-introduce them to the national parks where they once existed.
This is an outdoor activity upon your travel destination which is mostly preferred to be the beginning of the adventure before reaching the main gates of Murchison falls national park to enjoy wildlife and other attractions in the park. More so these creatures complement the country to the existence of the Big 5 wild primates (lions, leopards, rhinoceros elephants, and buffaloes) which are as well found in Uganda.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is found in Nakasongola district north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls and is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda. Currently there 22 southern white which are free to move around on 7 000 hectares of land however to view them visitors have to undertake a game drive to the areas where the rhinos are, before taking the bush trek. The Rhinos move around on 7 000 hectares of land thus you will enjoy watching these endangered animals continuously feeding on fresh vegetation without bothering about your presence.
Therefore this experience before proceeding to Murchison falls national park is one stopover that will not only render you a warm welcome to the park but remembrance, be rest assured of meeting other chanting creatures in the sanctuary like Waterbuck, Ground Squirrels, Oribi, Hartbeest, Mongoose, Grey Duiker, Reedbuck, and Bush Bucks, common Vervet Monkey and the black/ white Colobus Monkeys among others. Note. Unlike gorilla trekking and Chimpanzee trekking where heavy clothes are recommended, this activity can be enjoyed while dressed in light clothes, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, and a hat during the dry season. Get to unwind to other several activities including Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching, Night Walk, Nature Walk is possible.
Wildlife game drive.
Most travelers who travel to this wonderful park game viewing is one of the most attractions that prompt them to visit the park with the mandate of witnessing some of the world’s Big 5 primates which include, Lions, Elephants, Leopards, Rhinos and Buffalos. Therefore from the list, there are several designated areas suit for sightseeing of these primates upon which our experienced guides will take you through several trails within the park to make your exploration accomplished. The main areas are the Delta where there are great chances of seeing the Lions in wait for prey as they go to drink, the Buligi Peninsula, and the southern sector is famously known as the heart of Murchison.
Murchison falls National Park is ranked 9th African birding destination, the park has some of the best spots for birding and one of them is the shores of the Nile towards the bottom of the falls where they are seen. while on a boat cruise you can spot over 50 water birds there including the African Fish Eagle, African Skimmer and the elusive Shoebill stork which can easily be seen at the banks of the river, several other birds like Blue-naped Mousebirds, Grey-crowned Crane, Bluff-bellied Warblers, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Batis, Black-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Long-toed Plover, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Saddle-billed Stork.
A boat cruise to the Albert delta also offers the opportunity to see various birds including the rare shoebill stork which are occasional around the delta during the months of January, February, and March. The special thing about birds is they may show up and grace your life in any unexpected moment and as well this activity can be combined along with boat cruise and a game drive where you can to sport different species along the Nile like Nile crocodiles, Hippos, Buffalos and others.
This is one of the best game viewing areas in the park located in the southern part of the park, Paara side. Due to its distinctive making as it is a triangle of grassland vegetation bordered by the Victoria Nile, mixing with Lake Albert as the Albert Nile flows out. Upon this peninsular, you can get to spot different species like elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and giraffes as you keep your fingers crossed for lions and leopards. You can as well make a stopover and enjoy a refreshing moment of the Lakeside before proceeding to end your drive.
Heart of Murchison Falls National park. This is the prime destination for lions in the park found in the southern part of the park 20 kilometers east of Masindi-Paara road. The area is dominated by savannah grassland and forest. The introduction of Giraffe’s to the park has contributed greatly to increased travelers to this section of the park especially couples on honeymoon and luxury safari to enjoy seeing these primates.
Note. Game drives in Murchison Park are categorized into two; during day time and night game drives escorted by UWA game rangers which last for about two hours where you get to see nocturnal primates like Lions and Leopards looking for their prey. This as well offers you an opportunity to explore more what you might have missed during the morning game drive and more results for your safari.
Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest
Chimpanzee tracking is the most famous activity done in Kanio Pabidi which is an undisturbed area of natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve. An estimated 800 chimps live in the Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo Forests but close to 100 chimpanzees are being habituated in this area and open for visitors annually. A diversity of over 350 bird species, 289 butterflies, 24 mammal species, and 465 plants can as well be sported in the forest.
A Hike to the top of the falls.
A hike to Murchison falls is another thrilling experience, this takes about 45minutes to the top. This adventurous trail is one of the most exciting experience activities that you can encounter once you get to the park on your safari. It’s upon a hike to the falls where you can get to a good view of freedom falls adjacent to this strong pounding waterfall which is currently another exploration point attractive to visitors to the park.
Hot Air Balloon Safari.
This is a unique way of enjoying the landscape and primates within the park with beautiful scenery as seen from above. Hot air Balloon safaris offer you a beautiful view of the savannah plains and primates which occupy the land like buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, antelopes. Watch the predators below as they come home from a night’s hunt. This experience in Murchison falls national park is shared with Queen Elizabeth national park but restricted to children aged 6 years and below since the balloon goes high at a level of 10000feet above sea level and after you are through with your hot air balloon tour, you are handed certificates that show your participation in the above activity.
Therefore this is one of the most beautiful experiences in the park and one you can try out once you choose to visit the Murchison falls national park, the activity is profoundly best for marriage proposals, visitors on honeymoon to spend time together and relax since full booking for this safari comes along with other amenities like the bush breakfast experience in the wild, the pickups from the different destinations, the participation certificates, crossings by ferry and the ride on the hot air balloon that lasts an hour among many others.
Nature trails can be organized in Murchison falls conservation areas especially through the common Rabongo Forest ecotourism located in the south-east part of the park, Budongo forest and a hike to the top of the falls where you get to explore the wild and savannah plains on foot under guidance of an experienced ranger guide. A tour to the neighboring communities creates a natural connection with people where visitors can get to mingle and learn different activities from the community like how to make traditional crafts such as baskets and enjoy energetic and cultural groups from Mubaku perform vibrant songs of Acholi and Alur people around the ferry crossing landing area.
Boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls
You will get to enjoy a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls where you will Cruise up to the Nile towards the powerful Murchison falls, past resident, migratory waterbirds, crocodiles, visiting elephants, giraffes, and several antelopes. Note; Murchison Falls has some of the giant Nile crocodiles in all of Africa. Therefore upon your safari endeavor to carry the right gear in order to have the best moments without missing out on any of the mentioned attractions for example just have your camera and binoculars ready. It is an unforgettable experience.
Here you can choose to undertake this activity either along the shores or on the Victoria Nile. There are great opportunities to land a large Nile Perch or Catfish, Tilapia, “Ngara” (Genus Alestes), Tigerfish, Electric cat-fish, however, what is mostly done on the Nile is to enjoy the catch for fun not for eat where you get to catch the fish and then release it back to the water. This is done through the use of modern equipment aimed at preventing aquatic life from distinction but leaving visitors with an adventurous experience. it is therefore recommended to have an experienced fishing guide along to ensure the smooth running of the trip and the most t successful fishing months are the drier months of the year which are December to March and June to October
Nile delta Boat ride
The Victoria Nile delta takes you to a 20km voyage downstream from Paraa which is home to rare wetland birds including shoebill and papyrus endemic species. You will enjoy seeing the flow of the river creating a plunge of streams that divert from the main course along with floating papyrus islands. The delta cruise is always done in the evening and thus referred to as “Sundowners” as you witness the sunset with marvelous rays. You will be able to sport hippos since the shoebill pretty likes to move along with them making this a romantic evening on the safari.
Best time to visit Murchison Falls National park
You can visit Murchison Falls National Park throughout the year, but the best months for spotting wildlife are the dry ones from December to February and June to September when you can find animals congregating around water sources with fewer rains and the trails being dry creating good access to all the places in and around the park.
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