Murchison falls national park wildlife safari
Murchison falls National Park is the largest and oldest national park located in northwestern part of Uganda. The national park was gazetted in 1952 and covers a total area of 3,893 square kilometers. Murchison falls national park is the most visited national park in that it’s a home of about 76 animal species including the big four mammals, primates, bird species among others. Murchison falls national park is bisected into two sectors that is the northern sector and the southern sector by River Nile and all sectors are blessed with various wildlife species therefore visitors who want to explore all sectors in the park will cross from one sector to another by a ferry which departs daily on schedule.
Wildlife in Murchison falls national park
Big game animals
The national park harbors about 76 animals including the big four mammals which are the lions, leopards, buffaloes and elephants. Visitors who want to view the big five mammals can also have a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is along the way as you travel to Murchison falls national park. There are other animals in the park like Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, bushbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbucks, hippos, oribi among others. Big game animals can be viewed during the game drive which is best done in the northern sector because that’s the area with large concentration of animals. During the game drive you will follow trails like Buligi, Victoria, Albert tracks among others and you will be able to view many animals grazing in the savannah.
Big game animals in Murchison falls national park can also be viewed during the boat cruise which is done upstream to the bottom of the falls and downstream to the Victoria Nile Delta. Boat cruise is done in schedules and take about 2 to 4 hours. On the boat cruise you will view hippos and crocodiles which will be in the water and also view a large concentration of elephants, waterbucks, buffaloes among others which will be along the water banks drinking water.
You can also engage in a nocturnal game drive in the park where you will explore the part at night with a park guide and spotlight torches for clear viewing. During the night game drive you will view predators like lion, leopards hunting, hippos grazing and other nocturnal animals like genets, hyenas, civets, porcupines, bush babies, night jars among others.
Murchison falls national park is a home of primate species such as over 600 chimpanzees, olive baboons, blue tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others. Primates in the park are found in the southern sector in Kaniyo Pabid Budongo forest which is the largest mahogany forest in east Africa. The most attractions in the southern sector of the park are the chimpanzees therefore visitors on a wildlife safari can engage in chimpanzee trekking which can either done in the morning or in the afternoon within the forest. Chimpanzee trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi forest starts with a briefing at the headquarters and takes about 2 to 4 hours or even longer depending on the location of the chimpanzees because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food especially during the dry season. During chimpanzee trekking you will be able to view other primates like the baboons, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys among others and once the chimpanzees are found you will be able to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat learning about their lifestyle, habits, behaviors, taking photos and recording the moments. Chimpanzee trekking gives you interesting experiences which will make your safari in Uganda unforgettable.
Murchison falls national park also has nocturnal primates like Bush baby, Pottos among others which sleep during the day and become active at night therefore these nocturnal primates can be viewed during the night nature walk in Kaniyo Pabidi forest with an armed park guide.
Chimpanzees are the second most popular attractions in Uganda after the mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Apart from Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo forest, chimpanzees in Uganda can also be viewed in Kibale forest national park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park and Kalinzu forest in Bushenyi district.
Murchison falls national park harbors over 450 bird species including migratory and endemic bird species which makes the park a birders paradise for bird lovers. Bird species in the park are categorized depending on their habitat for example water birds, forest dwellers, savannah birds and albArtine birds. birds in the park can be spotted during the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls and downstream to the Nile Delta and during the boat cruise you can look out for the pre-historic shoebill stork and water birds like goliath heron, black headed lapwing, blue headed coucal, fish eagle, saddle billed stork, dwarf kingfisher, blue spotted dove, malachite kingfisher, African black crake, African jacana, great blue turaco, African skimmer, squacco heron among others.
Bird species like olive breasted greenbul, guinea Congo, pygmy crake, African pied wagtail, cassins hawk eagle, yellow crested wood pecker, African shrike flycatcher, swamp flycatcher, blue napped mouse bird, African pied wagtail, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary bird, open billed stork, marabou stork, black bellied bustard among others can also be viewed during the game drive in the northern sector and during the nature walk in Rabongo forest, Kaniyo Pabidi forest, swamp trails and other areas.
Best time for wildlife viewing in Murchison falls national park
Wildlife in the park can be viewed all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. during this period there is less rainfall in the park therefore grass will be short which enables clear wildlife viewing, chimpanzee trekking trails in Kaniyo Pabidi will be passable and access roads to the park will be passable as compared to the wet season when there is heavy rainfall which makes access roads and chimpanzee trekking trails muddy and slippery. During the dry season large concentration of animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water hence giving you an opportunity for clear viewing and taking photos.
How to get to Murchison falls national park
The park is located the in northern park of Kampala and can be accessed by both road and air transport means
Road transport, when going to Murchison falls national park you can either use public means, private means or self-drive where you will drive form Kampala using Gulu highway via Karuma-Pakwach road and branch off the highway after karuma bridge to Paraa park headquarters which is 305 kilometers and takes about 4 to 5 hours’ drive while from Entebbe it takes about 6 hours’ drive.
Air transport, there are domestic airlines like Aerolink which operate daily flights from Entebbe airport or Kajansi airfield to Pakuba/Chobe airstrip in the northern sector or Bugungu airstrip in the southern sector. The aircraft departs from Entebbe at 12:00pm and arrives in the park at 13:00pm and the return flight departs from Bugungu, Pakuba/Chobe airstrip at 13:15pm and arrives in Entebbe at 16:15pm.
If you are interested in breathtaking and lifetime wildlife experiences on your safari in Murchison falls national park, you can book a 2 days Murchison falls safari, 3 days Murchison falls wildlife safari in Uganda, 5 days Murchison and Jinja safari with Achieve Global Safaris or contact our experienced tour consultants for detailed information about wildlife safari packages in Murchison falls national park so as to make your dreams come true.