Murchison falls national park safari
Murchison falls national park safari: Murchison falls national park is the oldest and largest national parks in Uganda that was gazette in 1952 alongside Queen Elizabeth national park in south western Uganda. The national park is the most visited and largest located in north western region. The park is a habitat of abundant wildlife species which includes about 76 animal species such as the big four mammals, lions, leopards, elephants and the buffaloes, other species include waterbucks, giraffes, warthogs, Jackson’s hartebeest, hyenas, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, hippos, crocodiles, primates like chimpanzees, baboons, monkeys, over 450 bird species including the rare shoebill stork, fish eagles, hornbills, kingfishers, vegetation types such as savannah grassland, woodland and riverine forest.
Murchison falls national park is divided into two sectors that is the northern sector and the southern sector by River Nile which implies that both sectors have unique and interesting activities to offer to visitors on a safari in Murchison falls therefore visitors who want to explore both sectors will use a ferry to cross to another side which is also an exciting activity.
What to see on your Murchison falls national park safari
Karuma falls, Karuma falls are the leading attractions in Uganda that are found on Victoria Nile on the Eastern border of Murchison falls national park. While at the waterfalls you will be able to view various bird species, primates like monkeys, baboons, animals like elephants, buffaloes, leopards, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeest among others.
Big game, the park is a home of over 76 animals species which can be viewed during the morning game drive, night game drive, nature walk, boat cruise at the bottom of the falls and Nile Delta and they include warthogs, giraffes, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, crocodiles, hippos, Uganda kobs, Topi, waterbucks, bushbucks, among others.
Primates, the national park is a habitat of primate species which are commonly viewed in Budongo forest in the southern sector of the park and they include chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons among others.
Birds, Murchison falls national park is also known as a birders paradise because it harbors over 450 bird species with some species endemic to only Murchison falls. Birds in the park can be viewed during the boat cruise, in the forested areas among others and birds that can be spotted include the sought after prehistoric shoebill stork, goliath heron, yellow foot kingfisher, papyrus gonolek, yellow billed stork, African darter, secretary bird, white faced whistling duck among others.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a natural forest that is located in Budongo forest southern sector of the park. The forest is covered with mahogany tree species and harbors big numbers of habituated chimpanzee families and other primates such as blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons among others. Kaniyo Pabidi is also the best destination for bird watching with bird species like Ituri batis, yellow footed fly catcher, white spotted fluff tail, little green sunbird, grey ling bill among others.
Budongo forest, Budongo forest is one of the largest natural forests in east Africa covered with mahogany tree species. The forest is known for harboring primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, pottos, bird species like grey long bill, chocolate backed kingfisher, pygmy crake, yellow crested woodpecker, butterfly species among others.
Buligi game track, this is a 7km track that is situated in the northern sector in the savannah grassland. The game track gives the best wildlife viewing during the morning or evening game drive where you will be able to view animal species like warthogs, bushbucks, lions, elephants, leopards, hyenas, rift valley, beautiful hills in Democratic Republic of Congo, Lake Albert among others.
What to do on your Murchison falls national park safari
Game drive, the park offers morning game drive which starts at 6:30 or 7:00am or evening drive which starts at 4:00pm following different tracks such as Buligi game track, Queen’s track, Albert track among others. The game drive takes about three hours and you will be able to view animal species like buffaloes, elephants, leopards, giraffes, lions, bushbucks, Uganda kob, warthogs, waterbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest among others.
Nocturnal game drive, Murchison falls national park is one of the national parks in Uganda that offer nocturnal game drives which is done at night with spotlight cameras and a park guide. The nocturnal game drive takes about 2 hours and you will be able to view predator animals like hyenas, lions, Serval cats, leopards and other animals like buffaloes, antelopes which will be resting.
Boat cruise, boat cruise in the park is carried out on River Nile which bisects Murchison falls national park into two sectors. The park offers two boat cruise trips that is the boat trip upstream to the bottom of the falls and the boat trip downstream to the Victoria Nile delta. Both boat cruise trips start from Paraa jetty and can be done either in the morning or in the afternoon. The boat cruise to the bottom of the falls takes about 2 hours which the one to the Victoria Nile Delta takes about 3 to 4 hours. Both boat trips reward you with beautiful views of animals like elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, waterbucks, Uganda kobs which will be seen along the water banks drinking water, crocodiles and hippos will be seen in the water while cruising and bird species such as the sought after pre-historic shoebill stork, African fish eagle, saddle billed stork, malachite kingfisher, goliath heron, African skimmer, African jacana among others.
Top of the falls hiking, top of the falls hike can be combined with a boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls which is also known as the most powerful waterfall in the world. The boat will therefore leave you at Bakers point where you will engage in top of the falls hiking which takes about 45 minutes. During hiking you will enjoy roars of the water, fresh air, water splashes, beautiful scenery and also listen to history of the waterfalls from the guide which makes your safari exceptional
Sport fishing, Murchison falls national park offers an opportunity to visitors on a safari to engage in an exciting sport fishing activity at the bottom of the falls. Sport fishing can either be carried out in the morning or in the evening and visitors are advised to carry their own fishing gears and sport fishing permit. This activity is carried out on catch and release method and fish types commonly caught include tilapia, Nile perch among others.
Chimpanzee trekking, the park is a habitat of chimpanzees which are found in Kaniyo Pabidi forest within Budongo forest southern sector. Budongo forest is the second best destination for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda after Kibale forest national park. Chimpanzee trekking in the forest can either be done in the morning or in the afternoon and trekking starts with a briefing at the Visitors Information Centre at Budongo Eco Lodge. Trekking takes about 1 to 3 hours or even longer depending on the location of the chimpanzee families and once the chimpanzees have been found you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. During chimpanzee trekking, you will also view some primates like baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, butterflies, tree species, bird species like black kite, African pied wagtail, olive breasted greenbul, crested guinea fowl, Cassin’s, hawk eagle, white spotted fluff tail, pygmy crake, blue breasted dwarf among others.
Bird watching, Murchison falls national park is a home of over 450 bird species with some species endemic to the Albertine Rift, water birds, forest birds among others which makes it a birding haven. Bird species in the park can be viewed during the game drive, boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and Victoria Nile Delta and nature walk in the forest. Bird species can be viewed on your birding safari include the pre-historic shoebill stork, marabou stork, secretary bird, black bellied bustard, open billed stork, pied kingfisher, red throated bee-eater, giant kingfisher, long toed plover, African darter, black headed lapwing, veracious dove, Abyssinian ground hornbill, grey crowned crane among others.
Murchison falls national park offers other activities like hot air balloon activity, nature walk, cultural encounters among others therefore visitors who are hungry for experience Murchison falls national park is a must visit destination that will reward you with breathtaking and memorable experiences on your safari.
Where to stay on your Murchison falls national park safari
Murchison falls national park has a wide range of luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities located in the northern and southern sectors where visitors on a safari can stay including Paraa Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Geo Lodge Shoebill Camp Site, Sambiya River Lodge, Yebo Safari Camp, Murchison Safari Lodge, UWA Campsite, Budongo Eco Lodge, Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Fort Murchison Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison tree house, Amuka Safari Lodge, Bakers Lodge among others among others. the lodges in the park offer services and amenities like comfortable rooms, restaurant which serves both traditional and international dishes, free Wi-Fi, sitting area, gardens for relaxation as you feel the cool breeze and spectacular views of the park, River Nile, wildlife species hence making you to feel at home.
Best time to go on a safari in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park can be visited anytime throughout the year and the best time to visit is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. The dry season is also known as the peak season and during this time there is less rainfall in the park therefore the roads will easily accessed, trails for chimpanzee trekking and nature walks will be passable, short grass which offers the best wildlife viewing, animals will gather along the water banks to drink water hence having great photos of the animals. Though the dry season is the best time to visit Murchison falls national park there are also some drawbacks like high prices for the accommodation because visitors will be many.
The park can also be visited in the wet/rainy season during the months of March to April and October to November. During the wet season there is heavy rainfall in the park which means that the access roads will be muddy and slippery, overgrown vegetation which makes wildlife viewing difficult. The wet season is however an ideal period for bird watching and chimpanzee trekking because there will be plenty of fruits in the forest which implies that the chimpanzees will not move deep into the forest in search of food therefore you can easily spot them at the Visitors Information Centre at Budongo Eco Lodge which save you from trekking in the steep slopes. There will also be less crowds therefore you will enjoy and explore the park with few people and discounts on the prices for the lodges therefore you can either choose to travel during the dry or wet season.
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park
The park is located in north western part of Uganda and can be accessed by either road or air transport means
Road transport, Murchison falls national park has several gates where that you can use when travelling by road. You will therefore drive from Kampala via Masindi to the park which takes about 5 hours’ drive. Murchison falls national park is bisected into two sectors the northern and southern by River Nile therefore in case you want to visit another sector you will use a ferry to cross to another sector.
Air transport, the park can also be accessed by air transport means where by you will book scheduled or chartered flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Chobe, Pakuba Airstrip in the north or Bugungu Airstrip in the south which take about one hour and then connect to the park headquarters by road.
On your Murchison falls national park safari you will explore all the sectors in the park as you participate in adventurous and fascinating activities like game drive, boat cruise, chimpanzee trekking, nature walk among others which offer lifetime experiences.