Murchison Falls National Park Travel Guide
Murchison Falls National Park Travel Guide: Murchison falls national park is located in north western part of Uganda and its part of the greater Murchison falls conservation area. The national park was gazette in 1952 and covers a total area of 3840 square kilometers which is comprised vegetation types like woodland, savannah grassland, wetland, tropical forests which act as habitats for over 76 mammal species including the big four of the big five mammals which are lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes, other animals like Uganda kobs, waterbucks, Jacksons hartebeest, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, primate species like chimpanzees, baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, over 460 bird species among others. Murchison falls National Park is bisected into two sectors that is the northern and southern sectors by the Victoria Nile.
Attractions in Murchison falls national park
Wildlife, the park is a home of over 76 mammal species including elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, warthogs, lions, leopards, Jacksons hartebeest, bohor reed bucks, oribi, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, hippos, spotted hyenas, side striped jackal among others. Animals in Murchison falls national park can be viewed during a game drive and boat cruise to the bottom of the falls or Nile delta.
Primates, Murchison falls national park harbors various primate species including over 800 chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons among others which are found in Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo forest in the southern part of the park.
Bird species, Murchison falls national park is a home of over 460 bird species including migratory birds, water birds such as the rare shoebill stork, goliath heron, silver bird, African jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, malachite kingfisher, black billed barbet, grey crowned crane, white browed sparrow weaver, red throated bee-eater among others.
Buligi game area, Buligi game area is the best area for game drives where you will have great wildlife views. the area is comprised of open savannah grassland, woodland, Riverine vegetation among others which act as habitats for a wide range of animals like elephants, buffaloes, lions, waterbucks, leopards, warthogs among others.
Budongo forest, Budongo forest is the largest natural forest located in the southern part of Murchison falls national park. The forest is known for harboring rich biodiversity including 24 mammals, 9 primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, over 360 bird species, 280 butterfly species and 465 plant and tree species like old mahogany trees. Budongo forest offers the popular chimpanzee trekking activity which gives you an opportunity to spend time with the endangered chimpanzees in their environment.
Things to do in Murchison falls national park
Game drives in the park are carried out in a comfortable 4WD safari vehicle following different tracks like Buligi, Albert and Queen’s tracks. Game drives in Murchison falls national park can either be carried out early in the morning when animals are most active, in the afternoon or at night where you will be able to view nocturnal animals. During the game drive you will be rewarded with great views of wildlife like large herds of buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, bohor reedbucks, oribi, Jacksons hartebeest, warthogs among others which will be grazing in the open savannah grassland plains, views of predators like lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals, bird species like grey crowned crane, spur winged lapwing among others.
Murchison falls national park offers two boat cruise trips that is the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls which is the most powerful waterfall in the world and the boat cruise downstream to the Victoria Nile delta stretching to shores of Lake Albert. Boat cruise ride to the bottom of the falls has two sessions the morning session which starts at around 9:00am and the afternoon session which starts at around 2:00 pm with each session taking about 2 to 3 hours while the Nile delta boat cruise takes about 4 to 5 hours. Both boat cruise trips start from Paraa jetty landing site and give you will have a chance to view water animals like hippos, Nile crocodiles, view animals like elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, warthogs drinking water along the shores, water birds like malachite kingfisher, the prehistoric shoebill stork, red throated bee-eater, papyrus gonolek, open billed stork, African jacana, African fish eagle, goliath heron, enjoy views of the fishermen catching fish among others.
Murchison falls national park is a home of more than 460 recorded bird species including Albertine rift endemic birds, migratory birds, water birds and savannah birds which make it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Birds in Murchison falls national park can be spotted on a game drive, nature walk and boat cruise along the Victoria Nile delta. Common bird species that you will be able to sport during your birding safari include the rare shoebill stork, giant heron, giant kingfisher, black headed lapwing, marabou stork, grey crowned crane, goliath heron, Senegal thick knee, Abyssinian ground hornbill, black billed barbet, Silverbird, Squacco heron, white browed sparrow weaver, swamp flycatcher, palm-nut vulture, Denhams bustard, blue headed coucal among others.
Nature walks in Murchison falls national park gives you an opportunity to get up-close and personal with wildlife. During the nature walks you will be accompanied by an experienced guide and armed park ranges to protect you from dangerous animals. Nature walks are common carried out in Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forests where you will have views of different primate species like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, view bird species like slender billed greenbul, little green sunbird, yellow manted weaver among other, view colorful butterflies, smeel nature, relax your mind among others. Murchison falls national park also offers hiking activity to the top of the falls which takes about 45 minutes. during the hike to the top of the falls you will listen to the roaring sound of the water forcing its way or squeezing itself through a narrow gorge, listen to trembling grounds, enjoy water splashes, views of bird species and when you reach on top you will have stunning views of the waterfall, Uhuru falls among others.
Murchison falls national park is one of the national parks in Uganda which offer sport fishing activity. The activity is mainly done at the bottom of the falls, along the Victoria Nile where you will catch fish along the rocky surface and at the banks of River Nile. Sport fishing in Murchison falls national park required prior booking with the park management and fish anglers will get an opportunity to catch the Nile perch, tilapia, cat fish, tiger fish among others.
Chimpanzee trekking is the second popular activity carried out in Uganda after gorilla trekking. Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park is carried out in Budongo forest which is the largest mahogany rainforest in east Africa. Trekking of the chimpanzees starts with a briefing at the headquarters where after you will be allocated a chimpanzee family to trek and a park guide who is well conversant with trails in the forest. Trekking takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food. During trekking you will have views of other wildlife species like birds, tree species, other primates like red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys. Once the chimpanzees are found you will be able to spend one hour with them in their natural environment which gives you an opportunity to learn about their behaviors, watch them feed, breastfeed, hunt, fight, play, take photos and record the incredible moments.
Best time to visit Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the park therefore vegetation will be less which gives you an opportunity to clearly spot animals. During the dry season animals gather around the water bodies to drink water therefore you will be able to view large concentrations of mammals and take great photos.
Murchison falls national park can also be visited in the wet season also known as the low season during the months of March to April and November because that s the best time for bird watching where bird lovers will be able to spot colorful migratory birds from Europe. Also the wet season is best known for chimpanzee trekking because chimpanzees will be spotted near the starting point compared to the dry season when chimpanzees move deep into the forest in search of food.
Accommodations in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls National Park has several accommodation facilities where you can stay during the safari and they range from luxury, midrange, budget and campsites. the accommodations are located inside and outside the park and they include Chobe safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, Murchison river lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Paraa safari lodge, Geo lodges Nile safari lodge, Murchison tree house, Boomu women’s group Bandas, Budongo eco lodge, Amuka safari lodge, Bakers lodge, Heritage safari lodge, Global village guest house, Fort Murchison lodge, Red Chilli rest camp, Parkside safari lodge, Uganda wildlife campsite, Yebo safari camp, Shoebill campsite among others.
How to get to Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls National Park is located in the northwestern part of Uganda and it can be reached by both road and air transport means. When using road transport you will drive from Entebbe airport or Kampala by a tour company vehicle which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive.
Murchison falls national park can also be accessed by air transport means where you can book a scheduled or charter flight from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba, Bugungu, and Chobe airfield. Air transport is the best option for visitors who don’t like traveling long distance journey because it’s quick and less tiring.
Murchison falls national park travel guide gives you various information that will help you to plan a successful safari to the largest and most visited national park in Uganda. For more information or bookings you can contact Achieve Global Safaris.