Driving towards the northern side of Uganda via the Luweero triangle is Murchison falls, Uganda’s largest national park covering an area of about 3840 square kilometers and the home to almost all the big cats, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes among other animals. Located in the Albertine rift valley where the beautiful Bunyoro escarpment meets the doted savanna. Its Uganda’s oldest conservation area since it was first gazetted as a game reserve and later to a national park. Its home of over 76 species of mammals and over 451 bird species.
Areas of interest with in the park.
These falls are comprised of a war between the rocks and water. The waters violently penetrate through a very narrow gorge spraying their droplets of about a 50metre radius. This creates a very nice looking rainbow over the battlefield. From the baker point on the southern side, you can also get glance at the Nile splitting into the small Uhuru falls that was created in 1962 when the river burst its banks. At this point you just appreciate that nature is the only thing should not even be tampered with.
The word Paraa means “home of the hippo” in the Luo language and this is the parks hub. All the access roads of the park just converge here. Several accommodations are located here, a small museum and a gift shop is also located here and most game drives, nature walks and launch trips start or commence here. All along if you have been wondering where you can view all the hippos behavior, Paraa is just the place to be at the Murchison Falls National Park.
Located in Chobe the north eastern side of the park, these charming water falls of the Victoria Nile are made up of a series of rocks which cause the waters to ripple making them look in a foamy white appearance. It is really an ideal spot for sport fishing. For the honey mooners, oh my God, guess what awaits you, it is one of Africa’s most beautiful and spectacular lodges, The chobe lodge. This is just a magnificent experience and you just can’t miss it.
Kaniyo pabidi forest
In the southern side of the park, is this small amazing forest that harbors the colobus type of monkeys, olive baboons and a habituated chimp group which can be tracked. The great elephants and the leopards are also very frequent visitors to the forest including the beautiful birds like the chocolate backed kingfisher, white thorned horn bill and the puvel’silladopis that is found nowhere else in the whole of east Africa. The forest also has a campsite for camping, forest walks and good bird watching.
Surrounded by grasslands, the forest is a good place where most birders have their paradise, with the endangered species of birds. The visitors can also enjoy camp fires and relaxation on the banks of the waringo river.
Buligi game tracks
Lying between the Albert and the Victoria Nile, it’s one of the Murchison’s popular safari destinations covering an area of about 120 to 170 km in length. The tracks try to pass though the savanna grassland, acacia and the river rine vegetation. Most of the parks wildlife can be viewed here most especially in the early morning and the early evening hours
The meaning stills comes out that it’s the longest river on the planet because you can view its source in jinja but still find on its way to the Mediterranean at Murchison falls. The boat cruise along the river is the greatest experience for the nature lovers when they have a great view of the mammal, birds, reptiles and the guided nature walks.
However, unlike other parks, Murchison falls also has got some areas of attraction outside the park and they are also worthy to pay a visit to for example the Budongo forest that harbors almost 800 chimpanzees and a variety of beautiful birds. Forest walks are very possible at Busingiro eco-tourism site on the Masindi- Bugungu route to Murchison falls national park. The olive baboon is also another attraction that are common along the road routes. Please make sure that your car windows are closed if you don’t want to loose your spicy lunch to these funny creatures. You will not also miss the savanna dwelling patas monkey is also found here.
Activities with in the park
The launch trip that starts at Paara gives you an astonished and wonderful experience where you have to have a frontal view of the falls. The launch mainly departs at 9am and 2pm daily and takes three hours. And for the birders, the morning cruise downstream the Nile delta provides the best chance to view the African shoe bill and the return gives you a fantastic view of the hippos, elephants and the birds.
On the banks of the Nile below the Murchison falls, a memorable experience of sport fishing is also awaiting you and you will get a chance to see the Nile perch that go as heavy as even 100kilogrammes. The fishing is permitted in the designated places and your required to book before and come with your own equipment and also secure a permit from the Uganda wildlife authority.
Chimpanzee tracking and habituation
At the Kaniyo Pabidi, you will also get chance to track theses close relatives of man. The track takes about 3 to 4 hours and it is limited to a group of visitors and takes about a period of one hour watching these chimps play, eat and interact. This is just also a memorable experience at the park.
Along the buligi tracks, you will also be able to view all the animals on your way like the lions, reedbuck, bushbuck, buffaloes, giraffes, duikers. With the help of the guides, you will even be able to spot the leopards at dusk. They mainly start in the morning and the afternoons.
Both the game drives and the launch trips can make you able to view the various species of the birds in the park. The commonest species found in the Albertine region include the Abyssinian ground hornbill, black bellied bastards,open billed storks, widow birds among others, closer to the river, you can also be able to have a glance at the malachite king fishers, francolins, hornbills, woodpeckers, cuckoos. However the park’s main birding attraction is the shoebill that is best sighted in the dry season from January to march.
Other activities include the nature walks and hiking in the Budongo forest outside the park and the Rabongo forest, bush camping and the Mubako cultural campfire performances among other activities
The accommodation is also a memorable and astonishing experience at one of Africa’s most beautiful lodges known as the Chobe lodge, the Paraa safari lodge is also another place that is a must to be