Things to do in Murchison falls National Park
Things to do in Murchison falls National Park: Murchison falls national park is the largest protected area that is located in the north western part of Uganda. The national park covers a total land area of 3840 square kilometers and it’s bisected into two sectors the northern and the southern sector by the Victoria Nile. Murchison falls national park is one of the most visited national park because it harbors about 76 mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, lions, giraffes, warthogs, oribi, waterbucks, bushbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys among others which are found in Rabong forest. The park is also known for harboring different bird species like the rare shoebill stork, African skimmer, goliath heron, grey crowned crane among others.
Things to do in Murchison falls national park
This is one of the most popular activities where you will be able to explore the park in a comfortable 4WD safari vehicle with an experienced driver guide. Game drives in Murchison falls national park can either be done early in the morning or in the evening following different game tracks such as Albert, Victoria and Buligi. During the game drive you will be able to view animals like giraffes, warthogs, elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, bushbucks, Jacksons hartebeest, oribi, waterbucks grazing in the savannah grassland plains, view different bird species, if you are lucky you can also view predators like lions, leopards, hyenas among others.
Murchison falls national park is a home of more than 450 recorded bird species including the Albertine rift endemic birds, savannah birds, aquatic birds and migratory birds which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Bird watching in the park is carried out during the boat cruise on Victoria Nile, game drive in the savannah plains, during nature walk in Rabong forest with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species such as black headed lapwing, the rare shoebill stork, Senegal thick knee, Abyssinian ground hornbill, black headed gonolek, black billed barbet, giant kingfisher, goliath heron, palm nut vulture, Denhams bustard, swamp flycatcher, squacco heron, silverbird, white browned sparrow weaver, squacco heron among others.
Sport fishing is an interesting activity that you shouldn’t miss during your safari in Murchison falls National Park. The activity is carried out in designated areas along the Victoria Nile and it’s mainly done at the bottom of the falls by use of catch and release method. During sport fishing, fish anglers will be able to use different fishing methods such as casting lures, use of live bait like worms, spinning method where you will be able to catch different fish types such as the Nile perch, tiger fish, cat fish among others.
Boat cruise is an amazing activity in the part that is carried out on the Nile. There are two boat cruises in Murchison falls national park for example the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls which is the most powerful waterfall and the boat cruise downstream to the Nile delta which stretches to the shores of Lake Albert. During the boat cruise which can either be done in the morning at around 9:00am or in the afternoon at around 2:00pm starting from Paraa jetty landing site, you will be able to view large concentrations of hippos in water, view crocodiles basking on the shores, animals like elephants, buffaloes, warthogs drinking water along the banks, view aquatic bird species like the rare shoebill stork, African skimmer, malachite and pied kingfisher, goliath heron, saddle billed stork, African fish eagle, dwarf kingfisher, handsome francolin, chapins flycatcher, grey heron among others.
This is an amazing activity which gives you an opportunity to explore the park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and an armed park ranger to protect you from dangerous wild animals. nature walks in Murchison falls national park are carried out in different areas like Kaniyo Pabidi forest, Rabong forest, top of the falls and takes 2 to 4 hours walk. During the guided nature walk you will be able to get up-close and personal with animals, birds like grey long bill, slender billed greenbul, lemon billed crombec, yellow manted weaver, primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, view colorful butterflies, enjoy the cool breeze, relax your mind in a peaceful environment, take incredible pictures among others.
Chimpanzee trekking is an adventurous activity in the park which is done in Budongo forest in the southern sector of Murchison falls national park. The activity starts very early in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters about the rules and regulations of chimpanzee trekking, after the briefing you will be allocated a habituated chimpanzee family to trek and a park guide who is well conversant with trails in the forest. Trekking of chimpanzees in Budongo forest takes 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on their location because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food especially during the dry season. During trekking you will have stunning views of other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, views of bird species, plant and tree species among others. once they are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural environment which helps you to know more about their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, watch them feeding, playing, breastfeeding, resting, take beautiful pictures and record the moments with a flash less camera to show people back home after the safari
Murchison falls national park offers cultural tours where you will visit Banyoro people, Mubako community and Boomu women’s group. During the cultural tour you will be able to learn about the local peoples culture, their tradition, dress code, visit their homesteads, farmlands, learn how to make crafts, listen to ancient stories, participate in their traditional performances, buy some craft items among others.
Accommodation in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls National Park has a wide range of accommodations ranging from up market, midrange, budget and campsites where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations include Paraa safari lodge, Red chilli rest camp, Nile safari lodge, Sambiya river lodge, Global village guest house, Budongo eco lodge, Fort Murchison safari lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Murchison River lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Amuka safari lodge, Murchison tree house, Heritage safari lodge among others.
Best time to visit Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to October and December to February because that’s the best period when there is less rainfalls in the park therefore access roads to the park will be passable, vegetation will be less which gives you an opportunity to have great views of animals and large concentrations of animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water hence allowing you take great photos.
The national park can also be visited in the wet season during the months of march to may and November because though that’s the time when there is heavy rainfall in the park it’s the perfect period for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species and its also the best time for view chimpanzees because they will be near the park headquarters compared to the dry season when they move deep into the forest in search of food.
How to get to Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park is located in north western part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means. When using road transport you will drive from Kampala to the park head quarters. When using air transport means you will book charter or scheduled flights from Entebbe airport to Pakuba or Bugungu airfield and flights to the park can be booked through your tour operator.