Murchison Falls Park
Murchison Falls National park is located in the northwestern part of Uganda, approximately 90km from Masindi town. The park is the largest amongst all Uganda’s national park. It protects a chunk of untamed African savannah and many tourists who have visited Uganda’s national parks say that it is the hottest safari destination in the country.
The park adopts its name from the dramatic Murchison Falls which are found within the park. The spectacular Murchison falls are formed at a point where the world's longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below. The Murchison falls National Park together with Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves form the Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
Though a lot of wildlife was hunted down in the 1970s and 1980s, animal populations have largely recovered For instance from the lush borassus grassland to the north of the Nile, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and a variety of antelopes are regularly encountered on game drives, while lions are seen with increasing frequency.
In the southeast of the park, Rabongo Forest is home to a number of primates such as chimpanzees and other rainforest creatures.
The Nile itself hosts one of Africa's densest hippos and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of waterbirds such as the African Fish Eagle, African Skimmer and the rare shoebill stork which can easily be seen at the banks of the river. Other bird species that can be seen include Silver Bird, Blue-napped Mouse birds, Grey-crowned Crane, Bluff-bellied Warblers, Goliath Heron, Black-headed Batis, Black-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Long-toed Plover, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Saddle-billed Stork, Spotted Mourning Thrush, Spotted and Verreaux’s Owls, Long-tailed and Pennant-winged Nightjars, standard-winged Nightjar, White-backed Night Heron and Pel’s Fishing Owl.
Murchison falls national park can be accessed by both road and air transport. From Kampala the journey is a long day's drive with a possible overnight break at Masindi. For travelers interested to travel by air, private charter flights can be arranged from Entebbe International airport to the park.
Early morning and evening game drives on the Buligi, Albert and Queen's tracks north of the river Nile may reward you by seeing plenty of game.
Picnicking at the Nyamsika Cliffs may also reward you by watching elephants and other game on the grassy hillsides and the sand river below.
Launch trips on the Nile
A launch trip from Paraa to the bottom of Murchison Falls is the major highlight of the visit to the Murchison Falls. On the launch many hippos and crocodiles can be seen as well as buffaloes, elephants, waterbucks and birds such as Cormorants, Herons, Fish Eagles, Bee-eaters, Kingfishers, water ducks, and the rare Shoebill.
Murchison Falls National park is the best site where sport fishing can be carried. Different fish specie such as the Nile Perch and tiger-fish provide an exciting challenge to anglers. Fishing is available in the river above and below the Falls. For travelers interested in fishing don’t forget your fishing equipment.
Nature walksThere are also opportunities to explore the wild in Murchison Falls while on foot. Trails at Paraa, and to the top of falls offer a memorable experience to tourists as they pass through riverine forests, gullies and low hills. On the trails different animals, birds and plants can be seen.Chimpanzee tracking From Kaniyo Pabidi, an undisturbed and unpolluted natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve, visitors to Murchison falls can track man’s closest relatives-Chimpanzees. While tracking other attractive features in the forest include mature Mahogany and ironwood trees can be seen as well as many forest birds, including the White-thighed Hornbill, Chocolate backed Kingfisher, and Puvel’s Illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa!Camping can also be carried out at the campsite found in Kaniyo Pabidi. At the campsite water and firewood are available. Therefore for those interested in camping don’t forget to bring everything else you may need.
From Rabongo Forest Ecotourism Centre a guided forest help you to explore the forest on foot. Different primates such as Baboons, Red-tailed monkeys, Black & White Colobus monkeys, and occasionally Chimpanzees can be seen as well as birds, medicinal plants and trees.