Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.

Murchison Falls Conservation Area ( MFCA ) comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. This is where the Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and cascades down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos and crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterised by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species. Sample 3 day Murchison Falls Safari

The Murchison Falls, also referred to as the Kabarega Falls, is a waterfall found on the course of the great Nile. It actually breaks the stunning Victoria Nile, that flows across Uganda’s northern region from the vast Lake Victoria to the deep Lake Kyoga and continuing to the northern tip of Lake Albert within the western arm of the great East African Rift. right on the peak of the Murchison Falls, the waters of the Nile force their way through a small slit within the rocks, which is just 7 meters or 23 feet wide, and topples to 43 meters or 141 feet below with a thunderous roar forming a residual water stray that forms a beautiful rainbow; the view is very breathtaking! From here it then continues its westward into the stunning Lake Albert.

How to get to Murchison Falls National Park

Getting To Murchison Falls national park can be done by bus from Kampala or by private means perhaps is a self-drive or pick up from Entebbe international airport by the tour company that organized your trip. It is a three (3) hours’ drive of 305 km distance to masindi town. From masindi town, the main route enters kachumbanyobo gate; it is about 85 km from masindi, and goes through kaniyo pabidi forest to paraa in the southern part of murchison falls national park.

You can also use bugungu gate which, still, leads to the southern part of Murchison falls national park, it is 135 km and longer than kichumbanyobo route, but it is the most scenic route with spectacular views of budongo forest and the rift valley escarpment.

Murchison Falls National Park

Activities in Murchison Falls National Park

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Murchison Falls

This is the main attraction of the park from which its names after as well as river Nile with crocodiles and hippos at the river banks. The most magnificent view of the water falls is on the top of where the sight and sound of the Nile roaring through a wide. The site which can be reached either by car and a 30 minutes climb or leaving the Paraa launch boat cruise.

Game Drives in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National ParkThe park is also composed of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as the tropical forest that is well known to be a habitant for different bird species and mammals. Among the mammals, many can be spotted including the lions, hippopotamuses, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, Jackson’s-hartebeest and elephants. Game drives take place early in the morning and a tourist is able to see plenty of game. At Nyamsika Cliffs is where one can enjoy a picnic, the view and gaze at elephants and other wildlife on the green grassy hillsides and river below. Game drives are exquisite when accompanied by a tour guide. The best time for game drive is during the dry season.

Boat cruise

The Launch trip begins at Paraa landing area at the point where river nile enters into Lake albert and takes you to the bottom of the falls. While on the cruise you will sight hippos, waterbucks, crocodiles, buffaloes and elephants. You will also see water birds such as cormorants, Fish eagles, ducks, Kingfishers, bee-eaters and the shoebill. The cruise is between 9am and 2pm daily however exceptional schedules can be arranged with the park management. Cruise takes you for 17Km from the bottom of the falls at Paraa for 3hours. Cruise from Paraa to River Delta is 28km and takes about 4-5hours. Fishing is available in the river above and below the fall. Do bring your own fishing equipment if you’re interested in finishing. Examples of fish available in the river to catch are Nile perch, tiger fish and more

Bird watching

Bird Species commonly seen between Paraa Rest Camp and Ferry crossing are; Spotted Mourning Thrush, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Silver Bird, Bluff-bellied Warbler, Blue-napped Mousebird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaverBlack-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, and Black-headed Batis, this is the best site for the localised White-rumped Seed-eater.

Common Nocturnal Species in the area include: Verreaux’s owls, Nightjars such as long tailed and Pennat-winged nightjar which usually is watched between the months of March – September. Also available is the amazing standard-winged nightjar watched from November to February. Other bird species include: African Skimmer, White African fish eagle, long-toed plover, Gray Crowned crane, Goliath Heron and more

Nature walks in Murchison Falls National Park

Tourists get to explore the wild on foot while in Murchison Falls Conservation area. There is a trail at Paraa winds throughout low hills, gullies and forest around the river. Nature walks happen at top of the falls, KaniyoPabidi and Rabongo Forest. Rabongo Forest Ecotourism Centre is located in an island of tropical river forest in the south-east of the conservation area. Savannah grasslands surround the forest. With a tour guide, one can explore primates like the Red tailed monkeys, Black & white colored monkeys, Chimpanzees, birds, trees and medicinal plants. Kanio Pabidi is an serene area of natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve, where you can walk beneath mature Mahogany and ironwood trees. Chimpanzee tracking is the most famous activity. You certainly see many forest birds, including the Chocolate backed Kingfisher, the White-thighed Hornbill, and Puvell’s Illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa! Kaniyo Pabidi is on the Masindi – Paraa road, 8 kms from Kichumbanyobo gate.

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