Game drive in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls National Park is the largest national park located in north western part of Uganda. It is the oldest national park in that it was gazetted in 1952 alongside Queen Elizabeth national park in south western Uganda. Murchison falls national park covers a total land area of 3840 square kilometers and is bisected by the Victoria Nile into two sectors that is the northern and the southern sector. The national park is one of the most visited due to abundant wildlife species ranging from savannah vegetation, woodland, tropical forest, riverine over 76 animals species, over 450 bird species, butterflies, reptiles among others. The park offers a wide range of safari activities such as game drive, boat cruise, nature walk, sport fishing, hiking, chimpanzee trekking among others which give you exceptional and unforgettable experiences on your safari in the park.
Murchison falls national park harbors over 76 mammal species, over 450 bird species which are found in the open savannah grassland and they can be viewed during the Game drive which is the major activity carried out in the park. Murchison falls national park is bisected into the southern sector and the northern sector by the Victoria Nile and the game drive can be done in either of the two sectors though its best done in the northern sector due to high concentration of animals and birds. game drive in the park can either be done very early in the morning at 6:30am and you will be able to catch a glimpse of the early risers and nocturnal animals going back to their hideouts or in the afternoon at 4:00pm and takes about 3 to 4 hours, in case you slept in the southern sector of the park, you will have to wake up early to catch up with the ferry crossing at 7:00am to the northern sector for the game drive. Game drive in the park is done following different tracks such as.
Buligi game track, this is a 7kilometre game track in the north of Paraa that stretches between Victoria Nile and Albert Nile passing through open savannah grassland. Buligi is the best game track in the park for game viewing in that you will be able to view various animals like elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, Jackson’s hartebeest, Oribi, Uganda kobs, duiker, jackals, hyenas, bushbucks, giraffes, warthogs, reedbucks and animals species like the elusive shoebill stork, yellow fronted tinker bird, marabou stork, Abyssinian ground hornbill, goliath heron, malachite and pied kingfisher among others.
Nyamsika gorge, this is another area in the park to visit during the game drive, Nyamsika cliff is a home of high concentration of animals species which mostly come to drink water such as elephants, buffaloes, lions among others and a wide range of bird species.
Game drive in the Southern sector
Southern sector is also known as the heart of Murchison falls and the southern sector is mostly covered by shrubs, bushes and forests. There are new game tracks that were developed in the southern sector such as the honey moon track and during the game drive in this sector you will be able to view giraffes which were trans-located in January 2016, herds of Uganda kobs, lions, bird species among others.
Murchison falls national park has other tracks to follow during the game drive such as the Victoria and Albert game tracks. All these game tracks will give you spectacular views of animals like elephants, buffaloes , bird species like secretary birds, open bellied stork, black bellied bustard, marabou stork, shoe bill stork, red throated bee-eater, goliath heron, papyrus gonolek, swamp flycatcher, Abyssinian ground hornbill, the elusive shoebill stork among others.
Night game drive
Murchison falls National Park is one of the national parks in Uganda offering night game and it starts at about 8:00pm after dinner and takes about 2 hours. The night game drive in the park is done using spotlight torches for clear viewing and an armed park ranger for protection and also spotting of nocturnal animals. During the nocturnal game drive in the park you will be able to view nocturnal animals like hyenas, porcupines, civets, bush babies, nightjar, lions, leopards, genets, hippos grazing and other animals which will be resting.
Vehicles to use for game drives
Achieve global safaris has safari vans with pop up roofs, charging systems, comfortable sitting capacity for game drive or we can hire a small or extended Uganda Wildlife Authority land cruiser for night game drive which is comprised of fitted spotlight torches, fridge, charging systems among others so as to make your game drive unforgettable. There are other cars that can be used for a game drive like salon cars, coasters for big groups of people or you can do a self-drive though advisable to be with an armed park ranger.
Best time to go for a game drive in Murchison falls National Park
Game drives in the park can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall received therefore access roads to the park will be accessible, grass in the park will be short hence animals will be clearly seen and most of the animals will gather around the water bodies such as the Nyamsika gorge to drink water therefore you will get an opportunity to view large numbers of animals and taking plenty of clear pictures.
How to get to Murchison falls National Park
Murchison falls national park is located in north western Uganda 305kilometres from Kampala city and can be accessed by either road or air transport means. The park is bisected into the southern and northern sector by Victoria Nile and when accessing the park there are several gates you can use depending on the sector where you will be staying.
Road transport, when using road transport to the northern sector you will drive from Kampala via Karuma-Pakwach road and then branch off after Karuma bridge to Paraa headquarters which takes about 4 to 5 hours’ drive.
You can also use public means of transport through not advisable by boarding a bus from Kampala Bus Park to Masindi town and then hire a private vehicle, Boda to the park headquarters.
Air transport, there are domestic airlines in Uganda such as Aerolink which operate scheduled and chartered flights from Entebbe airport/Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba, Chobe airstrip in the northern sector or Bugungu airstrip in the southern sector of the park and the flight takes about 1hour.
Apart from the game drive Murchison falls national park has a lot to offer on your safari in Uganda such as boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls and downstream to the Victoria Nile delta where you will be able to view various bird species like the pre-historic shoebill stork, animals like hippos, crocodiles in water, Hiking to the top of the falls, Hot air balloon, nature walk in Budongo forest, bird watching, Chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi forest among others.
Visitors who want to explore Murchison falls national park during the game drive can book a short safari for 2 day Murchison falls safari or check on our website for other safari packages in Murchison falls national park.