Murchison falls national park is perhaps the largest park in Uganda which is named after the Murchison falls where the mighty river Nile bangs through a narrow gorge flowing down to be converted into a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, water bucks, crocodiles, and buffaloes. The flora and Fauna at Murchison is characterized by Savannah, Riverine forest and wood land. Uganda at Murchison falls national park includes, elephants, lions, leopard, giraffes, buffaloes, hartebeests, Oribi, Uganda Kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species including the rare shoe bill. More on Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls national park can be accessed by road, air, and a ferry is available at Paraa.
By road, from Kampala through Masindi via Kichumbanyobo gate to Paraa takes 4 ½ hours on Murram roads.
Visitors who travel by road are advised to use four wheel drive vehicles because the road is not reliable.
By air, charter services are available to all weather conditions at Pakuba about 19 kilometers North West of Paraa and Bugungu 13 kilometers from Paraa.
The ferry at Paraa operates on scheduled time between the southern and northern bank of the river.
The park has campsites available at the top of the falls, Rabongo forest Paraa and delta area.
There are also traditional and self contained Banda’s at Red Chilli rest camp. Here the meals and beverages are provided.
Nile safari camp also offers luxurious accommodation and here meals and drinks are a guarantee.
Paraa safaris lodge also a luxurious and sambiya river lodge accommodate visitors luxuriously and both provide meals.
ATTRACTIONS IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Birding in Murchison Falls
Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct bird life, including Savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoe bill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
Cultural Encounters in Murchison Falls
Energetic dancers from Mubako perform around lodge campfires, making for a magical African experience at dusk. Boomu Women’s Group offers accommodation, a craft shop and village tours, revealing the realities of life in this rural community.
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. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding, and you may even spot a leopard at dusk!
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 Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoe bill sightings.
Launch Trips in Murchison Falls
The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the fall. Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta. Alternatively, a tranquil sun downer cruise offers the classic view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river.
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 the chance to land a massive catch – the record is 108kg!
Activities in Murchison Falls National Park
They are best started at 7 in the morning and 6 in the evening, are enjoyable because they expose visitors to the flora and fauna which would not be easily discovered without one going for game drives. There is plenty of game drive at Buligi, Albert and queen’s tracks north of the river Nile. At Nyamusika cliffs visitors can picnic, enjoy the view and watch elephants and other game on the grassy hillsides.
Game drives take four hours, and there should be a trained guide to take the visitors for the game drive to explain to them the different and new things and places the visitors will come across and to direct the driver, if at all the guide is not the one driving.
This starts from Paraa to the foot of Murchison falls is one of the highlights of a visit to Murchison falls national park. While on the launch trip, visitors view lots of birds like cormorants, kingfishers, fish eagles, herons, ducks, bee eaters, and sometimes the rare shoe bill. Elephants, buffaloes, and water bucks are also viewed while on the launch trip.
It is 17 kilometers from Paraa to the falls and around trip takes about three hours. A boat trip from Paraa to the delta takes about four to five hours and it is 28 kilometers. The boat trip is scheduled for 9 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon local time. And this is on a daily basis. Any special time can be arranged with the park management. While on the boat trip, visitors will view the same variety as though on a launch cruise.
This can be arranged and visitors move around with the guides. Murchison falls protected area offers the opportunity to explore the wild and flora on foot. Birds, animals and plants can all be closely and quietly observed during the nature walk. Nature walks can be offered at different parts of the park that is at Rabongo forest, top of the falls and Kaniyo-Pabidi in Budongo forest reserve. On these three trails the visitors can enjoy their visit at Murchison falls national park.
This is both possible in the river below and above the falls. Nile perch and tiger-fish provide an exciting challenge to the anglers. Bookings with the park management should be made in advance because the number of people doing sport fishing at designated sites at any time has to be regulated for conservation purposes. Fishing equipment has to be brought by the visitor who going to carry on sport fishing.
Top of the falls
This is an interesting part of Murchison falls national park. Trails around the top of the falls go right up to the water’s edge. This gives visitors the opportunity to hike up to the top of the falls from the boat landing and to get close to the narrow gorge through which the river explodes into the falls. On top of the falls, there are campsites, picnic sites, and walking safaris are available here. Most tourists’ enjoy on top of the falls such that they can’t leave Murchison falls National Park without trailing.
This is the most famous activity carried on at Kaniyo Pabidi. Kaniyo Pabidi is an undisturbed area of natural forest within Budongo forest reserve, where you can walk beneath mature mahogany and iron wood trees.
This is enjoyed at Kaniyo Pabidi where birders certainly view many forest birds. These include chocolate backed kingfisher, the white – sighed horn bill and puvel’s illadopsis found nowhere else in east Africa. Kaniyo Pabidi located on the Masindi-Paraa road is 8 kilometers from kichumbanyobo gate. There is a campsite where water and firewood are available. Kaniyo Pabidi area is managed by the national forest authority.
This is one and a half hour from Paraa. Rabongo ecotourism centre is situated in an island of tropical Riverine forest in the south east of the protected area. The forest is surrounded by Savannah grassland and guides can help visitors explore the forest on foot.
In Rabongo forest observant visitors will spot primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, baboons and on some occasion’s chimpanzees. Some people identify animals, birders are the lucky ones on this point because they will discover a big number of birds, medicinal plants and trees of different kinds are found in Rabongo forest. Interested visitors can picnic and camp by river Waringo. This place is ideal for students who visit the park for academic purposes.