Short Uganda safari to Murchison Falls Park, Uganda wildlife safari, Uganda short tour to Murchison Falls NP
Murchison Falls National park is Uganda’s oldest conservation area that was first gazetted as game reserve in the year 1926 and established as national park in year 1952 .The popularly visited park in Uganda is position at an estimated distance of 311 kilometers by road following the northwest direction from the capital city of Uganda Kampala.Murchison falls national park is one of the most magnificent parks in Africa characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species.
At the Murchison Falls, the river Nile plunges through a narrow crevice and over a 40-metre drop. In the eastern sector of the park, before the Murchison Falls themselves, are the Karuma Falls, where the Nile cascades over a breathtaking 23 km of rapids, creating some of the most exciting white-water raft Uganda as a tourist destination emerges out of the variety of its game stock and its unexploited scenic beauty. Uganda generally has exceptional natural resources for tourism with a variety of landscape and ecosystems, climates and cultures. Some of its features are exceptional by international standards such as the sheer variety of bird species, while others are unique. The Ugandan experience has novelty and rarity values not easily found elsewhere in Africa.
Most of Uganda’s wildlife is concentrated in its protected areas, of which there are three main categories: National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, and Forest Reserves. The conservation and management of these areas falls under two principal agencies, the Uganda Wildlife Authority under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry and the National Forest Authority under the Ministry of Natural Resources. Uganda has established 10 National Parks, enabling tourists to enjoy the pristine wilderness environment.
A cruise upstream the Nile to the fall is an unforgettable experience. On the banks, prolific wildlife including elephant, crocodile, hippopotamus, lion, giraffe, buffalo, and countless antelopes and birds can be observed.
Activities in Murchison Falls National Park
Game Drives in Murchison Falls
A game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile Valley. You will marvel at herds of buffalos, dozens of elephants, warthogs and towering giraffes, along with bushbucks, reedbuck, duikers, kobs, oribi and the unusual-looking hartebeest. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding, and you may even spot a leopard at dusk.
The early morning game drives which set off at 6:30am are done in Buligi game tracks which stretch between the Victoria and Albert Niles. The 120-170km in length game trucks, take tourists through open savannah grassland, woodland, acacia and riverine vegetation which support variety of wildlife grazers like Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs Giraffes, lions, elephants, among others. Most of the park’s game can be viewed here, especially during early morning and early evening tours.
Birding in Murchison Falls
Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The commonest species found in the plains include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Bird.
Closer to the river where there are more thickets and woodlands, the commonest bird varieties include the Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters – particularly in the Nyamusika Cliffs; Woodland, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers; Francolin; Hornbills, Grey heron; Hamerkop; Shrikes; Flycatchers; Cuckoos; Woodpeckers; Crombecs and Warblers. The riverbanks are also home to ducks, geese, stilts and plovers. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
Launch Trips in Murchison Falls
One of the highlights of a visit to Murchison falls national park is the launch trip from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls. The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the falls. The launch which departs at 9am and 2pm daily, takes visitors close to different wildlife species like Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and birds like: Herons, Cormorants, Ducks, Bee-eaters, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, and the rare Shoebill. The trip from Paraa to the fall and back takes about three hours. A boat trip to the Delta where the Victoria Nile engorges into the Lake Albert leads through papyrus swamps takes about 4-5 hours and you will see a similar variety of animals and birds.
Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, providing the best chance in Africa of sighting the elusive Shoebill. This four- to five-hour return voyage also offers an account of elusive wildlife species like hippos, elephants and many birds.
In Mubako Cultural Campfire Performances located in remote community of Mubako. Visit to traditional thatched huts, Mubako’s small craft shop, cultural performances, Boomu Women’s Group activities include scenic village tour in the villages of Kigaragara and Kihaguzi, visit the village blacksmith. Storytellers,
Hiking and Nature Walks in Murchison Falls
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, two- to four-hour guided swamp walks offer possible sightings of the Shoebill when the water level is low. After an afternoon boating upriver, you can also hike 45 minutes through woodland to the top of Murchison Falls for a completely different experience of this magnificent waterfall.
This is an experience that brings all the senses into play: watch waves of white water tumble hypnotically through this six-meter chasm, listen to the roar, taste the spray on your face and feel the rock shake beneath your feet. Sheer sensory overload! If you don’t fancy the trek to the top, stop off at the north bank during your game drive, and walk down a set of steps to stand within meters of the rapids.
Birders and nature lovers can enjoy short treks starting from Sambiya River Lodge or Mubako Junction, both on the south bank, or a walk along the north bank from Paraa, passing the Emmy River. All walks last from one and a half to two hours.
Sport Fishing in Murchison Falls
The banks of the Nile below Murchison Falls provide exciting challenges to anglers. Living within strong currents and highly oxygenated water is the Nile perch. There is chance to land a massive catch – the record is 108kg.
Fishing is permitted in designated sites and places and prior booking is recommended. Interested sport anglers are urged to bring their own equipment and secure a permit from UWA.
How to access Murchison falls
Visitors on Uganda safaris can access Murchison Falls National Park through the south by driving from Kampala through Masindi and then to the Park which is a 4 hour drive (305km) from Kampala. Along the way to Masindi is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas.
The other alternative is through the Bungugu gate for those coming from Kibale National Park. This route is very scenic as it takes you through rift valley escarpments and Lake Albert. For those interested in flying to Murchison Falls National Park, Pakuba Airfield, 19km from North Paraa, can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala. Other airfields in the park include: Chobe to the East, and Bugungu – near Murchison Falls-to the south
Accommodation places in Murchison Falls National Park
There are several Lodges in Murchison Falls National Park both on the south and the northern Sector. In the southern sector we have Nile Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Red Chilli, Sambiya River Lodge. In the northern sector, we have Paraa Safari Lodge which is by far the most popular Lodge in this area.