The 3893 km2 Murchison Falls National Park forms the core of Uganda’s largest protected area. Together with the adjoining Bungungu and Karumu wildlife reserves, it forms a vast desert covering 5072 km2 and containing a wide variety of wildlife, including big game, forest primates, and 450 species of birds. The mighty Nile, the longest river in the world, runs through the heart of the park for a distance of 120 km, on its 6,500 km journey from Lake Victoria to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The centerpiece of the park is the explosive 40m high Murchison Falls, where the Nile is forced through a 6m gap in the Rift Valley escarpment. However, the treasures of Murchison Falls National Park are not just limited to the mighty falls, the park offers many unique experiences for the discerning traveler.
Paraa Launch Trip – Murchison Falls(2-3 hours). Cruising upstream from Paraa on the south bank to see Murchison Falls at the head of the Fajao Gorge has been the park’s most popular attraction since the 1950s. There are scheduled trips every afternoon and alternatively on demand from exclusive way. An excellent opportunity to see the large resident populations of hippos and crocodiles, as well as other wildlife and an abundance of birds, including a wide range of waterfowl, and a huge colony of cliff-nesting red-throated bee-eaters, a along the way.
Nile Delta Cruises (4-5 hours). The Victoria Nile Delta, a 20km journey downstream from Paraa, is home to rare wetland birds, including endemic shoe-billed and papyrus species. Scheduled delta cruises with option of breakfast on board are offered on Tuesdays / Thursdays / Saturdays and Sundays at 07:00 AM. M.
Nile perch fishing (half day, full day and several excursions). The mighty River Nile at Murchison is famous for its exciting sport fishing. Large and strong Nile perch that live in the rough waters below the falls are caught, as well as several species of catfish and a variety of smaller species that are generally used as live bait for larger fish. Fishing can be done from the shore or from boats that are ideally sized and equipped to cope with the conditions and access pools away from the river. Experienced guides travel with you on the river at all times to ensure you have the best chance of success, be it for one day or multiple days.
Sunset and sunset cruises (1-2 hours). As the heat wears off for the day, you can visit hippos and crocodiles near the Nyamsika sandbar or downstream among the small reed islands. Enjoy the sunset while enjoying snacks and an evening drink of your choice.
Sunrise with the hippos(1-2 hours) – An early start to see the riverside world come to life with the option of fresh coffee and homemade breakfast on board.
Cruise and Safari. Your park experience can be enhanced by combining river trips with pre-arranged vehicle pickups. Travel by boat to the delta and return to Paraa with a safari through the game-rich Buligi area. Or leave your boat at Fajao Gorge and climb to the top of the falls to see the thunderous chasm, before returning to Paraa by vehicle.
Chimpanzee tracking and habituation experience: Tracking down a troop of inhabited chimpanzees in a quiet area of the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest is an experience not to be missed while visiting this park. The walk takes three to four hours and is limited to a small group of visitors, spending a maximum of an hour watching the chimps eat, play, and interact. Full-day chimpanzee habituation experiences are also available for those who want to learn more about the habituation process and the fascinating behavior of our closest relative.
Great game:This park is home to 76 species of mammals, including four of the “Big Five,” with huge herds of buffalo and elephants, well-camouflaged leopards, and a healthy population of lions. It is also known for its giraffes; in Uganda these can only be seen here and in the Kidepo Valley. Other species regularly seen along hunting trails include Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Ugandan kob, waterbucks, and warthogs. Resident crocodiles and hippos, as well as other visiting wildlife, are found along the river.
Game unit:A tour of the Buligi game slopes on the north bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile Valley. Visitors can marvel at herds of buffalo, dozens of elephants towering wild boars and giraffes, along with bushbucks, reedbuck, duikers, kobs, oribi and the unusual-looking hartebeest. Your guide will have a good idea of where the lions are hiding, and you may even see a leopard at dusk!
Unique bird species:Both hunting drives and launch trips provide an opportunity for one to encounter different species of birds, including savanna forest birds, waterfowl, and endemic Albertine Rift species. The park’s main birding attraction is Shoebill, best spotted in the dry season from January to March.
Walks and nature walks: The vast landscapes and varied landscapes of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails through the Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile Delta, 2- to 4-hour guided swamp hikes offer potential Shoebill sightings.
Cultural Encounters: EnergeticMubako dancers perform around the hostel’s bonfires, making for a magical African experience after dark. Boomu Women’s Group offers accommodations, an arts and crafts store, and village tours, revealing the realities of life in this rural community.
Murchison Falls National Park offers a variety of accommodations of different standards and prices, relatively low prices and good accommodations available at Red chili Rest Camp, Budongo EcoLodge and Budget Bands at Sambiya River Lodge. The park also contains high-quality accommodations at Chobe Lodge, Paraa Lodge, Nile River Lodge, Pakuba Lodge, and Bwana Tembo Camp.
So if you are looking for a unique and unforgettable experience on an African safari in Uganda, add Murchison Falls National Park to your travel destination.