Murchison Falls National Park Uganda.
Murchison Falls National Park Uganda is the oldest wildlife conservation reserves Situated in northwestern Uganda, covers an area of 3893 square kilometers and lies within the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley. 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. Winston Churchill in 1907 traveled here to see the beautiful waterfalls during his exploration of River Nile. Theodore Roosevelt in 1909 came on a hunting safari; In 1951, the Murchison falls featured as a background during the filming of ‘The African Queen’ a top-rated 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
Several wildlife habitats within the park include woodland, savanna, wetlands, and River Nile tropical forest. The habitats shelter more than 70 types of mammal species and 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 seen during trekking safaris.
The Powerful Murchison Falls
Inside the park, the first section of the river is the Victoria Nile that flows 80km forming the white-water. The Victoria Nile squeezes through a 7 meters gorge before dropping below over a height of more than 40 meters. The water thunderously falls creating a beautiful water splash and a rainbow; it is a very breathtaking view. These beautiful and powerful waterfalls that are the centerpiece of the park were discovered in 1864 by Samuel Baker. From this drop, the waters of the Nile calmly flow cutting through the terrain of the Park.
A 2 hours boat ride in the morning and evening to the bottom of the waterfalls offers 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 2:00 pm every afternoon.
A boat ride downstream starting at Paraa docking area to the point where the river Nile pours into Lake Albert.
Hike to the Top of the Falls
You can head to the ‘Top of the falls,’ and 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 some trails to follow. Visitors trek chimpanzees, other primate species, watch birds like the Ituri bats, hornbills, and the yellow-footed flycatcher. These are the main tourist activities done in Rabongo forest.
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 large Nile perch.
Done mainly in the 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 some wild savanna animals.
The surrounding communities have diverse cultural backgrounds. They include The Banyoro in the south, the Alur in the North West and the Acholi in the northeast. Mubako performers and dance group perform around campfires. The Boomu women’s 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 April and November each year.
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park
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 the north can reach Paraa via Chobe, Tangi or Wankwar, Pakwach, and Purongo.
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.