The Mighty Murchison falls

MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK. Uganda  wildlife safari tours.

Murchison Falls National Park is renowned for its Magnificent  Murchison Falls   the most exciting single incident on the River Nile ‘s 3000km journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Murchison falls is largest national  park in Uganda with 3840 square km. The park was gazetted in 1926 making it the oldest national park  as Bunyoro and Gulu Wildlife Reserve.  The park is composed of Bugungu and Karuma wildlife Reserves now making 5072square Kilometers. Murchison falls where the might River Nile Explodes through a narrow  gorge  of 45m and flow down  to form a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, crocodiles , water birds.

More information about Murchison Falls National Park,

Murchison falls national park picks its name from the mighty falls where the Mighty River Nile picks the strongest Gear to take it to the Mediterranean sea. The park has the largest wildlife numbers call lion. Elephants, buffalo, giraffe all to be encountered on single game drive for wildlife safaris. The River bed valley attracts lots of hippos, crocodiles lots of birds including the most rarest  that can be accessed here the shoebill stork

This park has received many notable visitors . In 1907 Sir Winston Churchhill visite this park and bicycled to the top of the falls. In 1909 Churchill was followed by Theodore Roosevelt on a famous hunting safari which is believed the costed US $ 1.8 million.

In 1951 the falls provided a backdrop for Humphrey Bogart in John Huston’s famous movie. The African Queen which was filmed on a location along the Nile in Murchison falls on Lake Albert. British royal has also visited Murchison fall, the Prince of Wales (later EdwardVII) in 1930, and in the Queen Mother in 1959.

The park was also visited the celebrity than in 1954 by Ernest Hemingway , who literary dropped in. His intention was simply to overfly the waterfall but his plane clipped an old telegraph wire that strung across the gorge and cartwheeled into the riverine forest. Heming and his wife were rescued and taken to Butiaba where their rescue plane crashed on takeoff.

In 1864 Sir Samuel Baker and explorer on African Expedition visited this park and reached the falls and considered it “ the most important object through the entire course of the River Nile” . These falls drain the last energy to power the river to be able to travel 4000km journey through Sudan, Egypt and drain into the Mediterranean sea.

Why Visit Murchison Falls National Park: Park Activities Attractions

Game Drives: This park has got different vegetation cavers, Its combined with tropical  savannah grasslands and tropical forests  combined river water t give habitat of largest mammals on earth. These include the elephants, hippopotamus, cape buffalo, Rothschilds’s giraffe, lion, Leopard, hartbeest oribi warthog, and Uganda Kob. The water of  River Nile provide water all year around to these wildlife and lots of birdlife including the rare  shoebill stork . There are schools of hippos in the river water plus crocodiles.

Launch Trips on The Nile River

A visit to Murchison falls will not be complete until you take launch cruise on the Nile taking you up to the bottom of the  Murchison falls.  This a 17km stretch  starting from the Paraa  pier  and takes 3 hours.  The launch trip will treat you to sight of Hippos and crocodiles very abundant and you see elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and birds like herons comorants  ducks bee eaters fish eagles kingfishers and the rare shoebill stork.  Alternatively  may take a boat to the delta  an this may tale 4 – 5 hours . All boats are scheduled for specific time.

Primate Walk: Chimpanzee tracking – Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. Chimpanzee Trekking

Kaniyo Pabidi forest is part of Budongo Forest in Murchison falls national park. Budongo Forest is among the tropical rainy forest still surviving in Africa reach in iron wood trees of Mahogany and Muvule species of trees.  Chimpanzee trekking  is the major activity  and famous chimpanzee tracking is done here.  This a home of habituated primates chimpanzee group  and are tracked by visitors.  This area is accessed from the southern end of the park  from Kichumbanyobo Gate.  This area is also famous for  birding experiences where you can sight rare bird species, yellow footed flycatcher, Ituri batis, chocolate-backed kingfisher, the White- thighed Hornbill and Puvels illadopsis.

The area is 8 km from Masindi town  and have a lodge where visitors can stay.

Where to do Bird Watching tour birding safari at Murchison falls

Murchison Falls being the largest national park in Uganda , has got unique habitats that support many bird species. Birding experience here is greatly enhanced by the abundant wildlife , scenic landscape, and spectacular falls where the park picks its name.

Birding at the Paraa area where the park offices are situated and around the Red Chili campsite along the Victoria Nile and the ferry crossing points will produce  Blue – naped  Mousebird, spotted Morning Thrush, Black-headed Batis, Black-headed Gonolek, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver, Viteline Masked  Weaver and Green-winged Pytlia. This the best are in Ugand to watch white-rumped seedeater.  When you take boat ride to the delta,  Do the birding along the river banks  and will be prized with sighting the rare Shoebills at the delta islands where share haitat with Goliath Heron, saddled billed stork, Grey Crowned Crane, Long-toed Plover and the African Fish Eagle plus the African Skimmer all near the river banks.

Big Huge Fig trees and other fruiting trees attract White Crested Turaco, Eastern Grey Plantain- eater and Double toothed Barbet in the fruit seasons. The Sliverbird and the localized White rumped Seedeater frequent the thorn shrubs around the park. A pleasant Savannah grassland also support Grey Kestrel, Crested and Heuglins Francolins, Black Billed wood and Vinaceous Doves, Red-headed lovebirds, Senegal Coucal, Black-lored Babbler, Whistling and Trilling cistcolas, Black-headed Geneloke and Black faced Waxbills and Brown Twinspot . Will on rare occasions sight Long-tailed Nightjars occasionally seen along the entrance road in the morning and evenings.

Budongo Forest
This a tropical rainy forest located in southern part of Murchison Falls National
Park Near Masindi town. Specialities in this area include: Uganda Wood-Warbler,
Grey-headed Sunbird, Ituri Batis, Jameson’s Wattle-eye, White-spotted Flufftail,
Afep Pigeon Dusk tailed Cuckoo, Black Shoulderd Nightjar, White thighed Horn
Bill, Yellow throated Tinkerbird, Willock’s Honeyguide, Golden-crowned
Woodpecker, African Shrike-flycatcher Dwarf Kingfisher and Yellow crested wood
pecker etc.

Bundongo Forest is believed to have highest concentration of Kingfishers in the
region. These include Dwarf Kingfisher which some birders believe to be the
smallest Kingfisher in Africa. Others include: Pygmy Kingfisher, Shinning blue
Kingfisher, Blue breasted Kingfisher, stripped Kingfisher, woodland Kingfisher
and Chocolate backed Kingfisher.

 

Night Game Drives at Murchison Falls  Wildlife Game drives

The park is prime wildlife nocturnal animals and birds. Uganda Wildlife authortu Now allows Night game drives inside Murchison Falls National Parks and Queen Elizabeth National park.  Visitors now interested in seeing more of the night life inside the parks will be arranged for them

The launch of this new move was embraced by the King of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom (omukama solomon Iguru),as a sign of acceptance and he was the first to experience this long awaited programme. New four wheel drive cars that are expected to carry out the game drives were bought and these are expected to carry a maximum of 8 visitors.
These cars are open-roofed and covered on top to provide protection and good view to the visitors at night.

Any Birder enthusiastic  will enjoy viewing rare night species ,  with portable spotlight you will  be able to view Nocturnal birds and may include Spotted Verreaux’s Eagle –Owls, Spectacular  nightjars,  such as plain Long tailed and Pennant-winged( viewable in the months of March – September)  The mind blowing Standard –winged Nightjars are abundant from November to February . In the whole country the best birding season is from the month of September to April .

More of wildlife involving  at  night  in Murchison falls    will include  different wildlife species;  bird species including the Buffaloes, Jackson hartebeests, Antelopes, Lions, Kobs, Giraffes, Hyenas, Bushbucks, and Warthogs among others. They are widely spread all over the Savannah grasslands, grazing or hunting for prey. This makes the park’s landscape so fantastic for game viewing/game driving safaris.

How to get to Murchison Falls National Park|Traveling to Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls NP is located 305km/190mi north of Kampala. The drive to the southern entrance gate takes four to five hours. Coming from the southwest, the 280km/170mi drive from Fort Portal takes at least six hours. Allow another hour or two from the entrance gate to most of the lodges. A number of routes can be used to reach the Nile at Paraa at the heart of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The river is crossed here using a vehicle ferry which runs at roughly hourly intervals throughout the day.

Southern Entrance Gates

  • Two southerly approaches to Paraa lead out of Masindi town, which is a 4 hour drive (305km) from Kampala. Along the way to Masindi is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas. Visit www.rhinofund.org for more information. The main route from Masindi enters the Conservation Area through Kichumbanyobo Gate to pass through Kaniyo Pabidi Forest to Paraa (85km).
  • A longer but more scenic alternative runs for 135km from Masindi to the park’s Bugungu gate, The route includes a passage through Budongo Forest and a memorable descent of the rift valley escarpment with views across Lake Albert towards the mountains of the Congo.

Northern Entrance Gates
Murchison Falls National Park can also be entered via the Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates north of the Nile. These are reached from the Kampala-Pakwach Road which crosses the Nile at Karuma Falls Bridge in the northeastern corner of the park, 260km from Kampala. These gates are convenient for visitors traveling to/from Gulu town and Kidepo Valley National Park.

By Air

Pakuba Airfield, 19km from North Paraa, can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala. Other airfields in the park include Chobe to the east, and Bugungu – near Murchison Falls – to the south.

Airlines & Ticket Prices
Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Entebbe International Airport (EBB), and what tickets would cost.
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