Murchison Falls National Park Uganda.
Murchison Falls National Park is Situated in northwestern Uganda, the large covers an area of 3893 square kilometers and lies within the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley; it is among Uganda’s oldest wildlife conservation reserves. The park was initially gazetted in 1926 to protect the area and its wildlife.
This national park has received several prominent visitors from different parts of the world including Winston Churchill in 1907 who traveled here to see the beautiful waterfalls during his exploration of River Nile; then Theodore Roosevelt in 1909 who came on a hunting safari; In 1951, the Murchison falls featured as a background during the filming of ‘The African Queen’ –which was a very popular movie; Ernest Hemingway in 1954 and several Britain royal personalities including the Queen Mother as well as the Prince of Wales.
Wildlife, Game Drive in Murchison falls National Park
There are several wildlife habitats within the park including woodland, savanna, wetlands, River Nile as well as the tropical forest which shelter more than 70 types of mammal species as well as over 450 bird species.
To best view the wildlife here, we recommend that you take a game ride or a boat ride. Game drives are conducted early in the morning as well as late in the afternoons. Some of the commonly seen animals here include: warthogs, Cape buffaloes, Lions, hartebeests, Uganda kobs, Rothschild’s giraffes, Nile huge crocodiles, leopards, hippos, oribi as well as elephants. You will get an opportunity to see the uncommon but highly sought after shoebill stork.
There are also some primates in the park with the chimpanzees being the most outstanding. These can be seen in the Kaniyo Pabidi forest during our chimpanzee trekking safaris.
The Powerful Murchison Falls
Inside the park, the first section of the river is the Victoria Nile and his flows for 80km forming the white-water. This then squeezes through a small 7 meters gorge in the rift valley before dropping below over a height of more than 40 meters. The water thunderously drops forming a beautiful water splash and a rainbow; it is a very breathtaking view. These beautiful and powerful waterfalls were actually discovered in 1864 by Samuel Baker who was early explorer and these are the center-piece of the park. From this drop the waters of the Nile calmly flow cutting through the terrain of the Park.
There is a 2 hours boat ride in the morning as well as in the evening that will take you t the bottom of the waterfalls offering great photography opportunities. You will also see several animals like he giant Nile crocodiles and various water birds on this boat ride.
Activities in Murchison Falls;
Boat Rides in Murchison falls park
The highlight of any Uganda Safari in Murchison is the boat Ride (Launch Boat Cruise) on River Nile. There is a ride to the bottom of the falls at 9.00 am every morning and 2:00pm every afternoon.
There is another boat ride downstream starting at Paraa docking area to the stunning papyrus delta found near the point where the river Nile pours into the large Lake Albert.
Hike to the Top of the Falls
You can head to the ‘Top of the falls’ and there you will enjoy the most amazing view of these powerful waterfalls
Hiking and Nature walks
The Kaniyo Pabidi forest is among Uganda’s largest and oldest mahogany forests and has a number of trails to follow. Visitors trek chimpanzees, other primate species ,watch birds like the Ituri bats, hornbilla and the yellow footed flycatcher. These are the main tourist activities done in Rabongo forest.
This is done along the rocky surfaces and the banks of the Nile fronting the bottom of the Murchison falls.Here you will get the opportunity for catching the gigantic Nile perch.
This is mainly a grassland wilderness in-between the Albert Nile and the Victoria Nile.It has a breathtaking view over Lake Albert to the western side of the Great rift valley towards D.R. Congo. This area is perfect for viewing a number of savanna wild animals.
The surrounding communities have diverse cultural backgrounds. T hey include The Banyoro in the south, the Alur in the North West and the Acholi in the north east. Mubako performers and dance group perfoms around camp fires. Boomu womens group does community tours exploring the heritage of the Banyoro culture and their everyday life.
Weather in Murchison Falls National Park.
The park experiences two main seasons, the dry season and the wet season. December, January and February are the hottest months together with June and July and the maximum average temperature is 29°C. The hottest months in this area are from December to February and then from June up to July. However the park receives most rainfall in the months of April and November each year.
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park
This park can be reached by air or road transport
By road Transport: from the capital Kampala, it is 305 kilometers and approximately 5 hours-drive from the capital Kampala. There is river crossing in the Paraa area inside the park. Paraa is 85 kilometers from Masindi town following the direct route.
There is also another route taking you through Budongo forest covering 135km with breathtaking views of Lake Albert.
Those traveling from north can reach Paraa via Chobe ,Tangi or Wankwar Gates located close to Karuma,Pakwach and Purongo respectively.
By Air Transport: For those opting to use air, there are various charter flights to the different airstrips around the park. Pakuba airstrip is 19km to Paraa in the north as well as Bugungu airstrip 13km south of Paraa.