Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest among all protected areas in Uganda covering an area of 3879sqkm and surrounded by 3 game reserves of Budongo forest reserve, Bugungu reserve and Karuma wildlife reserve. This park in the last decades has become the most popular and visited National Park rubbing the dominance of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Murchison Falls National Park is seated in the shadow of the Albertine Rift Valley stretching to the northern in the extension of the vast Bunyoro escarpment within the palm-dotted savanna.
This was the first gazetted game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, accommodating over76 species of mammals and 451 bird species. There is no Murchison Falls National Park without the Murchison Falls, these falls forms an attractive theatrical moment making them arguably being “the world’s most powerful falls”.
The Victoria Nile waters flows westwards falling on a cliff of 45m down forcing into the stiff gorge of 7m wide causing a thunderous roars and moist surrounding making forming the Murchison Falls. Before fall, the water bisect to form both the Murchison falls and the sister Uhuru falls for splendid aerial view.
At the falls cliff, the river bisect to form two aerial scenic beautiful falls of Murchison falls and the sister Uhuru falls. Then the river flows to drain into the Albert Nile which materializing an impressive and exciting wild watching points to the delta or the Albert Nile.
Numerous unique habitations avails varieties of wildlife species of superb mammals and lots of bird species seen at differing viewpoints. The disposal of great abundant wildlife and scenic landscape makes an exciting moment of adventure, not least the spectacular falls for which the park is named.
The bird checklist marks about 451 bird species 19 unverified species is headed in desirability by the shoebill, most common along the stretch of river between Nile Safari Camp and the estuary into Lake Albert. A variety of water-associated birds are inexhaustible along the river, and raptors make a strong company on the checklist with 53 species recorded.
Accessing the Murchison Falls National Park
To access the park from the north, there are several entrance gates including the Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates north of the Nile. These are reached from the Kampala-Pakwach Road which crosses the Nile at Karuma Falls Bridge in the northeastern corner of the park, 260km from Kampala. Travelers can get too Murchison falls national park either by road by use of private, public means by bus or under a registered tour company that will do to and fro safari to Murchison falls. The other alternative are the chartered flights from Kampala/ Entebbe international airport, the park has several airfields such as Pakuba airfield, Chobe airfield and Bugungu airfield.
Activities done in the park
Wild game drive safaris
Murchison Falls National Park is known to host the highest concentration of wildlife species of which the greatest number can be encountered on the northern wing of the park. Through numerous made driving tracks, there great encounters among which include some of the Big Five animals (elephant, leopards, lions and Buffalos). Various antelope species have decorated the park with a perfect view of wildlife in every corner, warthogs, fox, and towers of giraffes, hippos and hyenas among so many encounters.
The Delta point has proved to have a great catch of wildlife where the Victoria Nile join Lake Albert to form the Albert Nile one of the world’s amazing hippo pools. The delta as well is positioned to be an excellent bird watching spot with several bird species including; grey-crowned crane, eye-fluttering Abyssinian ground hornbill, saddle-billed stork, the localized Denham’s bustard, the handsome black-headed and spur-winged lapwings and the Senegal thick-knee among many others.
Boat Launch Safaris
This a must do adventure at the park, it’s one of the most rewarding adventure undertaking at the park. The fact that “there is no Murchison Falls National Park without the Murchison falls”, most of the guest to the park are aiming at watching these tremendous features where rapids forces into a narrow gorge to form the world’s most powerful falls.
Taking a boat launch leading to the falls comes with great views of beautiful cliff, swamps and coming together with great variety of wildlife and aquatic life. The launch cruise to the bottom of Murchison Falls which covers roughly to and from 17 km. sights at the banks of River Nile embrace schools of Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, giraffes besides a variability of birds among are herons, cormorants, ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers and shoebill in rare cases and view of beautiful cliffs along the ride.
Trekking to the top of the falls
The hiking trail is sometimes challenging as to some extents when the water volumes increases, the hike is not possible, it’s better to first inquire if the trail exist before adding it to the list of adventures to do at the park. For this case, to have the top view must drive to the top of the falls.
Nature walking adventure
Coming in close contact with nature is every traveler’s desire, there are various options to consider taking for Nature walking safaris especially done in the tropical reserves of Rabongo forest, and Budongo forest are great for nature walking adventures with great encounters of bird species, primate species. These are guided nature walks done under the lead of well-informed ranger guides.
Sport fishing adventure
When opting for more fun and something more interesting, then you got this here. There’s nothing empowers than one training something challenging and exciting, for sports funs then sports fishing is avaialbel for special arrangements. The activity is, ‘catch and release’ the main catch are Nile Perch and tiger-fish, a Nile perch can weigh about 50kg. Sport fishing is more convenient at the Victoria Nile section where the falls continue to the delta. If interested in taking of sports fishing adventure, then have to make an earlier booking.
Chimpanzee tracking safaris
It’s a full package of Murchison National Park to include the fabulous chimpanzee tracking. Tracking is done on the southern wing of the park in Budongo Forest Reserve which hosts a number of Chimpanzees. At Budongo chimpanzees are fully habituated to enable a close-up encounter by trackers. Tracking at Budongo starts at 8am at Budongo Eco lodge the tracking starting point, and tracking can last for about 30 minutes to 4 hours in according to the location of the tracked family. Trackers have an hour experience in the presence of chimps when encountered.