Are you destined for a Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park, expect to do stunning game drives especially in Buligi sector. Murchison falls national park lies astride river Nile which is its lifeblood.
Murchison falls national park covers approximately 3893 square kilometers of land rich with a variety of fauna and flora. Murchison falls national is part of a larger protected area covering 5072 square kilometers adjoining Karuma and Bugungu Wildlife Reserve.
Winston church hill nicknames Murchison Falls National Park “a kew garden and zoo on an unlimited scale” and indeed this is apt for this park. The Murchison Falls National Park offers dazzling variety of nature and wonders in a crowd free setting.
When Sir Samuel Baker and his wife visited Murchison falls, he saw it as the most important object on River Nile course
The ever-expanding birding list in Murchison Falls National Park makes it a must Uganda birding destination for ornithologists. At the moment about 451 bird species including Albertine rift endemics are residents of Murchison Falls National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi forest in Muchison Falls National Park brings you into contact with the closest human relatives amongst wild animals the chimpanzees.
What To Do In Murchison Falls National Park in detail?
Game drives in Murchison falls national park
In Murchison Falls National Park, the most rewarding time is taking an early morning or late evening game drive offer you chances to spotting a variety of wildlife. Different track in the park lead you to a number of wild animals like the scenic Buligi track which is west of Paara to the Delta point gives you a lot to see. You may take the Pakuba track, Queen’s track, Victoria track and others
Some of the animal you may spot on a game drive in Murchison Falls National Park include herds of elephants, giraffes, waterbuck, bushbucks, warthogs, jackson’s hartebeest, oribi, lions, leopards, cape bufaloes and so many others.
Wild game is not staged to be in a specific area in the game park so having an open mind during a gem drive gives you a variety to see and enjoy. Instead of focusing on particular animals may be the big five like lions, bufaloes, elephants, leopards and rhinos that like in Ziiwa rhino sanctuary.
Launch Trip In Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls is the jewel and most interesting point on River Nile. Taking a launch trip to the Murchison falls is the highlight of any visit to Murchison conservation area. This three hour’s ride takes you to the world’s most powerful falls located on the world’s longest river the Nile. River Nile wonders through Uganda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt To The Mediterranean.
As you sail on river Nile, look over the banks for riverine animals that move down to quench thirst or take a bath, a plethora of bird graces the shores, a beautiful escarpment where numerous small birds nest overlooks river Nile, and so much more.
Do not miss the serried Nile crocodiles that love basking at the shore or close to the banks where they camouflage to catch animals that love visiting the shore. Schools of resident hippos look like logs embedded in River Nile.
As Murchison Falls comes into view, you feel a change in turbulence of the boat as a foamy appearance comes into view over the river surface.
Finally, when majestic Murchison falls comes into view, you watch River Nile squeeze through the 6 meters wide bend to burst out vigorously and form a cloudy appearance. The Nile water cascades down the 43 meters high cliff to the bottom of the falls t flow sedately towards lake Albert.
Take a hike to the top of the falls
For some adrenaline stimulating watch, you can take a hike to the top of the falls, where River Nile water rambles over a bed of rocks for 80 kilometers before crashing through the 6 meters wide bend to touch the rift valley floor.
On arrangement, you can disembark from the launch at Fajao Gorge and hike for 45 to 60 minutes to the top of the falls. You may return to the boat later upon arrangement or be collected by a vehicle at the top.
Another way is a hike for 15 minutes to baker’s point where you enjoy the frontal view of river Nile as it pushed through the narrow bend. You enjoy the view of Uhuru falls too.
You can enjoy the top of the falls by climbing down the gorge from the baker’s point to the devil’s cauldron. This is an adrenaline stimulating adventure but enjoyable to experience too while in Murchison Falls National Park.
A Trip To Delta In Murchison Falls National Park
To enjoy more Interesting points of river Nile, you can book the visit to the delta. This placid activity takes you through extensive papyrus delta then through Victoria Nile into lake albert.
Look over for a number of wild animals like girafees, hippos, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs to mention but a few. For keen birders, chances of spotting the shoebill stork are more open in this area.
This trip takes about four to five hours but advance booking is required since limited seats are available.
Birding In Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls national park never disappoints duringbirding safari in Uganda. The park has over 450 bird species including Albertine endemics. The park hosts about 59 restricted range bird species including Albertine rift endemics and rare central African species.
Lots of superb birds love sharing the freebies In Murchison Falls National Park. The birding experience in Murchison falls is enhanced by urbandant wildlife and scenic landscape including the Murchison falls.
some of the birds you may spot in Murchison Falls National Park include Black-Headed Gonolek, Black-Headed Batis, Blue-Naped Mouse bird, variety of nocturnal birds like verreaux’s eagle owls, long-tailed and pennant winged night jar, pel’s fishing owl, white-backed night Heron to mention but a few.
Kaniyo pabidi forest is the home of chimpanzees in Murchison Falls National Park. From Kichumbanyombo gate in Murchison Falls National Park, Kaniyo Pabidi forest is about 8 kilometers.
You have to attend briefing at Kaniyo Pabidi visitor center befor heading for chimpanzee trekking in this forest. Two chimpanzee trekking sessions are carried out the is the morning and afternoon session.
A number of other primates are residents of this park that is black and white colobus, vevet monkeys, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys and others.
You must purchase a chimpanzee trekking permit before getting access to doing this activity.
Nature Walks In Murchison Falls Forested Area
You can take a guided walk in the wild Murchison Falls conservation area through Rabongo forest. Rabongo forest is an island tropical riverine forest set in a sea of grassland in the south east of this park.
You may spot a number of birds, primate species, butterflies, a rich botanic life and so much more. You can take a nature walk to the top of the falls and Kaniyo Pabidi forest.
Sport fishing on Victoria Nile
You can take fishing trip on River Nile where you may catch a variety of species like the Nile perch, tilapia, lung fish, cat fish to mention but a few. It’s a catch and release adventure.
You must obtain a fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority at the main office in Kampala or on ground in South Paraa.
Hire a boat and boat captain in advance as they are limited yet some of the boats are used for exclusive trips to Murchison Falls.
Carrying your own fishing equipment is a wise decision because those fir hire are limited and may not be comfortable for you. Carry own binoculars too.
Note that its not all the time that you catch the fish you wish on your bait but patience and persistence may give you results. Have an open mind too during the fishing adventure.
Visit Ziiwa Rhino Sanctuary
On the way to and from Murchison Falls National Park, you can take a break at Ziiwa Rhino sanctuary. Uganda is slowly re introducing Rhinos after they were wiped out by the 1980s and 1970s war and poaching for rituals.
The drive from Kampala into Murchison falls national park is about 5 hours to 6 hours. Driving approximately 340 kilometers. You follow the Kampala Gulu highway to Masindi beyond Kafu bridge. You get to encounter local, vendor selling snacks by the roadside.
Kampal through Bwaise town along Bombo road is about 71 kilometers then continue to Ziiwa Rhino sanctuary for 120 kilometers.
You drive is about 45 kilometers from Masindi, continue for 85 kilometers into Murchison falls national park. in case you are to overnight on the northern banks of the park that is Paraa area, you need to cross River Nile by ferry. Every hour the ferry crosses except for 1300 hours and 1900hours when it stops functioning.
Daily domestic flights in the morning and afternoon depart Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Pakuba airport or Bugungu Airstrip. You need a transfer vehicle to your lodge for 45 minutes
You can charter too from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Bugungu airstrip or Pakiba airstrip in case you wish to have private arrangement.
What Accommodation To Book For A Uganda Safari In Murchison Falls National Park?
Murchison falls national park has a variety of accommodations categorized into budget, mid-range and luxury facilities. Each of these has limited rooms so during the high season, you need to reserve accommodation in advance.
The Uganda peak tourism season is normally June, July, August, September, December, January.
Murchison Falls National Park accommodations include: Paraa Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Sambiya Lodge, UWA Bandas, Red Chillis Camp, Baker’s Lodge,
When is the best time to do a safari in Murchison falls national park?
Murchison fall national park has a lot to show in all seasons however, the dry season which is normally June, July, August, September, December and January are most sought after. The grass is shorter so animals are more visible.
From the open grass, you can spot a number of animals especially herbivores feeding as carnivores may be spotted sneaking to grab a meal.
Carry hard cash on you in case you need to do some extra purchases like some lodges do not include drinks in the accommodation cost. Credit cards are not commonly used in Africa because of the lengthy procedure of obtaining moneys from them.