Short Uganda safari to Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda wildlife safari, Uganda short tour to Murchison Falls National Park
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 raftUganda 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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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 National Park 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.
WHERE TO STAY ON YOUR SAFARI IN UGANDA
Kampala as Capital City of Uganda has a stylish collection of individually designed hotels offering first-class accommodation services across the city. Modern function spaces are flexible for conferences, exhibitions and private event use, and are equipped with WI-Fi integration and most importantly, natural daylight or high specification intelligent lighting in all suites. The city is served with all types of accommodations right from luxury/upmarket, Mid-range to Budget hotels as seen below;Kampala Serena Hotel is an inspirational blend of 5-star polish, pan-African panache, social style and business reliability. Strategically located at the Centre of Kampala Business district, Kampala Serena hotel sprawls on 7.2 acres of landscaped grounds and water gardens. An oasis of cool and green, encircled by the seven hills of Kampala, the hotel is focal point for regional, national, business ,political and social life
Entebbe International Airport is the main international airport in Uganda and is located near the town of Entebbe, which is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. Other attractions in the area include the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center, the Entebbe Golf Course and the Sesse Islands. There are several hotels located near these attractions and within 5 minutes of the airport.Entebbe International Airport is the main international airport in Uganda and is located near the town of Entebbe, which is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake. Other attractions in the area include the Entebbe Wildlife Education Center, the Entebbe Golf Course and the Sesse Islands. There are several hotels located near these attractions and within 5 minutes of the airport.
Jinja is the second largest towns in Uganda and the former industrial town of Uganda. Jinja described as adventure capital of Uganda is endowed with a number of tourist attractions and place where the world’s longest river “The Nile River” sets of its course of 90 days to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt.
Jinja is located about 80kms East of Kampala Uganda’s capital city and is accessible by road, and air in small air craft and a number of tourists visit to see the sources of the Nile, to do Birding in Uganda’s Mabira forest, Bunjee jumping on the Nile, Sunset Cruise on the Nile, White water rafting and spot fishing.
This famous tourism destination in Uganda is served with number of hotels, lodges, apartments that range from budget, mid-range to luxury. All these are established to cater for all categorizes of visitor on business or leisure stay in Jinja.
Located on the junction to Kasese 2 kilometers from the Mbara town Centre, Lake View Mbarara Hotel is a large modern multi storied hotel set in its own serene environment. The perfect location of the park makes it a convenient stop over offering overnight accommodation to tourists travelling to and from south -Western Uganda as well as visitors to Lake Mburo National Park. Lake View Resort Hotel offers accommodation in 70 tastefully designed rooms with Adjoining Rooms for Families, Air-conditioning, and ensuite Bathroom. At Lake View Resort Hotel, you are free to choose from the hotel wide- range of Standard or Superior rooms. With over 15 years’ experience in event placement and organization, Lake View Resort has the very best venues for your conferences, board meetings, training sessions and parties in Mbarara.
Mbale District is one of the largest districts located in eastern Uganda and is home to Uganda’s second highest mountain, the Mt. Elgon. Mbale is mainly covered by hills and a very famous agricultural town of Uganda. Mbale is mainly occupied by the Bagisu tribe and the local language used is Lugisu , though English and Swahili are also used. Mbale town is one of the towns in Uganda that receive a large population of travellers mainly hikers and those interested in cultural tourism. Below is a list of affordable hotels in Mbale, that one can choose from while on his or her next tour to Mbale.Mbale Resort Hotel is a five-star hotel situated in the Centre of Mbale town. The hotel is located within a walking distance from different places of including the Elgon Ranges, the historic Rocks precinct, Mbale Opera House and the beautiful Botanic Gardens, local market, super Markets among other places.
The hotel has 94 rooms where visitors can experience luxury Mbale accommodation. Some of the rooms have balconies with spectacular panoramic views of the Wanale, the Pool and the Amphitheater. All rooms have carpeted floors, Satellite TV, High Speed Wifi, Room service, Mini bar, Coffee and tea making facilities, Dresser and easy chair, Room telephone, Air conditioning, Hair driers and Bathrobe and slippers Mbale Resort Hotel has 3 restaurants and 2 bars
Fort Portal Town in western Uganda is a major tourist herb and the cleanest town in Uganda. Located in the foot hills of Mountain Rwenzori also nicked named Mountains of the Moon, Fort portal is a gateway to different national parks including Kibale, Semuliki, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi Impenetrable, Rwenzori and Toro-Semuliki Wildlife reserves. It is famous for the stalagmites and Nyakasura waterfalls linked to the rich Chwezi culture. The area is surrounded by scenic crater lakes, beautiful tea plantations and the Rwenzori mountain ranges besides a cool climate and hospitable people boasting of the youngest and most handsome king in the world. It is also known for the Bigodi wetland sanctuary. With search attractions, comes with them a variety of hotels and below is a list of the affordable world class hotels in Fort portal. Fort Motel is one of the most popular hotels in Fort Portal, thanks to its unique location in the heart of the town. With our modern rooms and suites that feature beautiful views of the Rwenzori Mountains and endless greenery that is characteristic of Fort Portal. Our guests soon discover the unique ambiance of gracious living which is without equal in our locality.
The hotel is conveniently situated in a quiet location just a little outside Gulu Town Center off the main road to Juba in an enticingly serene natural green environment. Wherever your final destination, whether you are travelling for business or pleasure we guarantee your satisfaction.
The hotel has 28 spacious rooms designed with your comfort in mind. The hotel rooms are distributed as 4 Executive Suites, 2 Deluxe Twin rooms, 2 Executive Deluxe rooms, 8 Suite Single rooms and 12 Deluxe Single .The rooms are fully self-contained and have features like en-suite with solar water heaters, Bath and/or showers, 21-inch color TV’s showing local and satellite channels, Intercom system, Spacious study area with reading desk and light as well as Complimentary wireless internet connection.
The hotel also has tastefully designed multipurpose hall for conferences, seminars and workshops with 200 seat capacity and air-conditioning.
PLACES TO VISIT IN UGANDA, UGANDA SAFARI ATTRACTIONS
Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably Uganda’s most popular tourist destination. The park’s diverse ecosystems, which include sprawling savanna, shady, humid forests, sparkling lakes and fertile wetlands, make it the ideal habitat for classic big game, ten primate species including chimpanzees and over 600 species of birds. The bird species include the black bee-eater, 11 types of king fisher, Shoebill storks and several species of falcons, eagles and other raptors.Set against the backdrop of the jagged Rwenzori Mountains, the park’s magnificent vistas include dozens of enormous craters carved dramatically into rolling green hills, panoramic views of the Kazinga Channel with its banks lined with hippos, buffalo and elephants, and the endless Ishasha plains, whose fig trees hide lions ready to pounce on herds of unsuspecting Uganda kob.
The park is known for its volcanic features, comprising volcanic cones and deep craters, many with crater lakes such as Lake Katwe where salt is mined. The national park has Maramagambo Forest and neighbors with Kigezi and Kyambura Game Reserves, Kibale National Park plus the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Kasese lying on its north-western wing.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in South Western Uganda, on the edge of the western rift valley, shared by Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro Districts. The Park with its dense ground cover of vines and shrubs is home to the world’s endangered species of the mountain gorillas, of which they are only 880 still left in the entire world and out of this, 400 hundred, are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park remains the only park in the whole world where mountain gorillas co-exist with wild chimpanzees although there are no trekking chimps since no community has been habituated. Bwindi is one of the richest areas for flora in Eastern Africa. The forest is also sanctuary for Columbus monkeys, chimpanzees and many bird types including some endangered species. Because of its importance in protecting given bio diversities, Bwindi Impenetrable forest was recognized and up graded to a status of being a world heritage by UNESCO in 1994.
Mgahinga National Park is Uganda’s smallest national park situated in the extreme southwestern part of Uganda in Kisoro district. The park is located on the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes namely; Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). Mgahinga National Park covering an area of 33.7sq.kms was gazetted in 1991 to protect and conserve the species of the rare mountain gorillas that inhabit the park’s hilly dense forests.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the parks in Uganda with an exceptional diversity of habitats, ranging from Afro-montane vegetation; plentiful bamboo vegetation to Lobelia Haegenia which supports the survival of at least 39 species of mammal and 79 birds found in the park. The Larger mammals supported in the natural habitat includes elephant, leopard, buffalo and bush pig but these are rarely seen. The famous ape species supported by the habitat involve the mountain gorilla and the less famous but equally rare and deserving of protection is the golden monkey which is found only in the Virungas and in one other forest in Rwanda. Notable bird species include the Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, black kite and crowned crane.
Kibale National park is positioned in the two districts of Kabarole and Kamwenge in western part of Uganda. The park covers an estimated area of about 795km and it’s acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forests. The park was established in 1993 to help protect the large areas of natural forest that were at first managed and protected as a logged Forest Reserve. The park is the only Park in the whole of east Africa that has both montane and lowland forests. It’s also considered to the only park in Uganda the pearl of Africa that has the highest number of primates with 13 different species inhabited in the park including many families of chimpanzees and several types of Columbus monkeys. Bushbuck, waterbuck, duiker and giant forest hog may also be seen. The forests and the grasslands support abundant bird life – almost 375 species have been identified and 144 types of butterfly.
Mbarara district locally known as the land of milk and honey is situated in southwestern Uganda and is bordered by isingiro, Kiruhura, Sheema among other district. Because of its strategic location, Mbarara town has become a significant stop over town for travellers on Uganda safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Lake Bunyonyi and Queen Elizabeth National Park. The district is also key tourism destination in Uganda and the key tourist attractions of the district are given below;Lake Mburo National Park is situated about 240 kilometers south-west of Kampala, 30 kilometers east of Mbarara town. At first, this park was located in Mbarara town but due to the creation of new districts, the park is part of Kiruhura district. In Lake Mburo National Park one can enjoy game drives to view unique wildlife such as buffaloes, Zebras, leopards, impalas, hippos among other animals. One can as well enjoy a highly adventurous boat cruise on the lake Mburo. For travellers who are bird lovers, Lake Mburo National Park is a home to exclusive bird list including rare shoebill stock. Within Lake Mburo national Park, there many lodges where one can spend a night. These include Mihingo Lodge; Mantana tented Camp, Rwakobo Rock, Mburo Safari Lodge, Arcadia Cottages and Rwonyo Camp.
This is an extinct volcano located on Uganda’s eastern border with Kenya. The mountain boasts numerous interesting features including gorges, ancient caves, waterfalls and hot springs. Birdlife is abundant on the mountain although various wildlife may also be encountered. Mt. Elgon is the fourth highest mountain in Eastern Africa, with the second-highest peak in Uganda (Wagagi Peak – 4321 meters). Mt. Elgon contains crater covering over 40 kms at the top of the mountain, surrounded by a series of rugged peaks.The ascent of Mount Elgon passes through a series of roughly concentric vegetation zones. The lower slopes of the mountain are intensively farmed up to the park boundary. The first zone of natural vegetation is montane forest which runs from the park boundary up to 2500m. this is followed by bamboo and low canopy forest (2400-3000m), then high montane health (3000-3500m) which includes the giant heather (Philipea excelsia) growing up to 6m tall. Above 3500m, cold temperatures and fierce winds force the heather to give way to open moorland. Finally, above 3800m, dramatic afroalpine vegetation is found among tussock grasslands and Carex bogs. This rare and spectacular vegetation type is restricted to the upper reaches of East Africa’s highest mountains and includes the giant groundsel (Senecia elgonensis) and the endemic Lobella elgonensisi.
This great Park is located in the rugged, semi-arid valleys of the remote Karamoja region in north eastern Uganda between the border of Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan. The park which covers 1,442square kilometers of land is arguably the most diverse fauna of any park in Uganda. With over 77 species of mammal, several of which are restricted to the Kidepo and Karamoja region, the park also has circumscribed carnivores such as the bat-eared fox, cheetah, striped hyena as well as caracal and aardwolf. Other carnivores accommodated in the park area are lion, leopard side-striped jackal, spotted hyena, and black-backed. The rarely ungulates species include the lesser and greater kudu, chandlers Mountain reedbuck, klipspringer and Guenther’s dikdik among others. Other large ungulates include elephant, Rothschild’s giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, bush pig, warthog, Capped buffalo, eland, bushbuck, hartebeest and oribi, Defassa waterbuck, Bohor reedbuck, Jsckson’s hartebeest and oribi. Five pronounced primate species are recorded in the park including the endemic Kavirondo bush baby.