Murchison falls National Park Uganda
Murchison falls national park Uganda; Murchison falls national park is the oldest and largest savannah national park in Uganda located in north western part of Uganda at the end of the Albertine rift valley. The national park was first gazetted as a game reserve in 1926 and later gazetted as a national park in 1952. Murchison falls national park covers a total area of 3,840 square kilometers and is bisected by the Victoria Nile into two sectors that is the northern and the southern sector.
What to see in Murchison falls national park
Mammals, The park is a home of 76 mammal species including the big four of the big five mammals including elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, other animals like giraffes, warthogs, hippos, Jacksons hartebeest, waterbucks among others.
Primates, The park also harbors primate species including over 800 chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons among others while on a Uganda safari.
Birds, the national park is also one of the best birding destinations in that it harbors over 450 bird species including the elusive shoebill stork, squacco heron, African jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Denham’s bustard, white browed sparrow weaver, red throated bee-eater, blue headed coucal, goliath heron, African quail-finch among others.
Budongo forest, Budongo forest is a tropical rainforest located at the top of the Albertine rift and it’s known for harboring primate species including chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys among others.
Buligi game area, Buligi game track is a major game viewing area in Murchison falls national park. The game track passes through savannah grasslands, woodlands, Riverine and acacia vegetation where you will be able to enjoy views of animals like lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, waterbucks among others.
Things to do in Murchison falls national park
Game drive is one of the major activities in Murchison falls national park where by you will be able to explore the park in a comfortable pop up safari vehicle. Game drives in the park can either be done early in the morning, in the afternoon or at night. During the game drive you will follow different game tracks such as Queens track, Buligi and Albert where you will be able to view animals including large herds of elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs, giraffes, Uganda kobs among others which will be grazing in the open savannah grasslands, view predators like lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals, different bird species like spur winged lapwings, Abyssinian ground hornbill, grey crowned crane, Senegal thick-knee among others.
There are two boat cruises in Murchison falls national park that is the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls and the boat cruise downstream to the Victoria Nile delta stretching to the shores of lake Albert. During the boat cruise which is done in the morning and in the evening, you will be able to view large concentrations of hippos in water, view Nile crocodiles basking on the shores, view animals like elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks drinking water along the shores, view water birds like the prehistoric shoebill stork, malachite kingfisher, hornbills, cormorants, bee-eaters among others.
Sport fishing is an amazing activity in Murchison falls national park which is done at the banks of the Nile below Murchison falls along the rocky surfaces. During sport fishing you will use different sport fishing methods such as use of hooks, spinning method and casting lures where you will be able to catch fish species like tiger fish, tilapia, cat fish and Nile perch.
Nature walk is an interesting activity in the park which gives you an opportunity to get out of the vehicle and explore the park on foot with the company of a park guide and park ranger to protect you from dangerous animals. During the guided nature walks which are commonly done in Rabongo forest, Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo forest and top of the falls you will get up-close and personal with different mammals, primates like chimpanzees, listen to sweet sounds of bird species, enjoy the cool breeze, relax your mind, take photos among others.
Chimpanzee trekking is an exciting activity in the park where you will walk on foot in the tropical rainforest in search of the habituated chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest and it starts with a briefing at the headquarters where after you will be allocated a park guide and start trekking in the forest. During trekking of chimpanzees which takes about 30 minutes to 4 hours, you will be able to view other primate species like baboons, red tailed monkeys, different bird species, tree and plant species among others. Once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their habitat which gives you a chance to learn about their behaviors, watch them play, feed, breastfeed, fight, hunt, rest, take photos and record videos.
When to visit Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season there is less or little rainfall in the national park therefore vegetation will be thin which gives you an opportunity to clear view different wildlife species. Also due to less rainfall in the dry season animals will gather around the water bodies which give you a chance to enjoy great views of animals.
Murchison falls national park can also be visited in the wet season also known as the low season in the months of march to may and November because that the best period for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species.
Where to stay in Murchison falls national park
There are several accommodation facilities in the park where you can stay during the safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including Chobe safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, Murchison River lodge, Fort Murchison safari lodge, Murchison Tree House, Paraa safari lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Geo Lodges Nile safari lodge, Budongo Eco lodge, Amuka safari lodge, Bakers lodge, Heritage safari lodge, Global Village Guest house, Bwana Tembo safari camp, Kalalo cottage inn , Kabalega Wilderness lodge, Shoebill Campsite, Uganda Wildlife Campsite, Parkside safari lodge, Red chilli Rest camp, Boomu Women’s group bands, Yebo safari camp among others.
How to get to Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park is located in the northwestern part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means
Air transport, when using air transport means you will book a domestic flight with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airfield to Chobe, Pakuba or Bugungu airfields and then transfer to the park by road.
Road transport, when using road transport means you will either use private or a registered tour company vehicle to drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Murchison falls national park which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive in a 4 WD vehicle.