Activities in Murchison Falls National Park
Activities in Murchison Falls National Park; Murchison falls National Park is the largest national park located in the northwestern part of Uganda. The national park covers a total area of 3840 square kilometers which is composed of savannah grasslands, woodland, swamps, riverine forests which act as habitats for about 76 mammals including the big four of the big five mammals which are buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards, other animals like giraffes, warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, reedbuck, oribi, spotted hyena, side striped jackal, primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons and more than 451 bird species including the prehistoric shoebill stork, saddle billed stork, grey crowned crane, African fish eagle, long toed plover among others. There are several activities in Murchison falls national park which visitors on a safari can engage in including
Activities in Murchison falls national park
Game drive in Murchison falls national park
Game drive is an exciting and the major activity in Murchison falls national park. Game drives are carried out in comfortable 4WD pop up safari vehicles and can either be done early in the morning so as to view early rises grazing in open savannah plains, in the evening or at night to view nocturnal animals. During the game drive you will follow different tracks such as Victoria, Albert and Buligi where you will be able to view animals like buffaloes, Uganda kobs, elephants, waterbucks, giraffes, bushbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, lions, leopards and some bird species.
Boat cruise in Murchison falls national park
There are two boat cruises in Murchison falls national park that is the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls and the boat cruise downstream to the Victoria Nile delta which stretches to the shores of lake Albert. During the boat cruise which starts from Paraa landing site you will enjoy great views of hippos and crocodiles in water, view elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, warthogs drinking water along the shores, aquatic bird species such as saddle bellied stork, goliath heron, African skimmer, African fish eagle, shoebill stork among others. You will also enjoy great views of the beautiful scenery, fishermen catching fish, take beautiful photos among others.
Nature walks/ Hiking in Murchison falls national park
Nature walk is an adventurous activity in Murchison falls national park where you will get an opportunity to explore the park on foot with the company of an experienced park guide and armed park ranger. During the guided nature walk you will follow different trails such as trails to Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forest where you will enjoy stunning views of ironwood and mahogany trees, views of primates like chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, birds like kingfishers, hornbills among others. During the nature walk you will also be able to relax your mind and feel the cool breeze.
Hiking to the top of the falls
this is an exceptional activity in Murchison falls national park and it begins with a boat ride on River Nile to the bottom of the falls where you will get off the boat and start hiking to the top of the falls which takes about 45 minutes depending on the level of your physical fitness. During the hike you will enjoy great vies of the beautiful scenery, landscape, view variety of bird species, hear the thunderous roar of the falls, enjoy the gentle water sprays among others and when you reach on top you will be able to see the waters trying to squeeze through a narrow gorge of about 8 meters that later form a 43 meter waterfall which is known as Murchison falls.
Bird watching in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park is one of the best birding destinations in Uganda because it’s a home of more than 451 recorded bird species including Albertine rift endemic birds, savannah birds, water birds and migratory birds. Bird species in Murchison falls national park can be viewed during the game drive, nature walks, boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and Nile delta such as the elusive shoebill stork, Grey crowned crane, Giant kingfisher, Marabou stork, Black headed lapwing, Black bellied bustard, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Giant heron, African darter, Yellow fronted tinker bird, Veravious dove, Long toed plover, Martial eagle, Silver bird, Long tailed nightjar, Standard winged nightjar, Red winged grey warbler, Secretary bird, Swamp flycatcher, Blue headed coucal, Senegal thick knee, Red throated bee-eater, Denham’s bustard among others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park
Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most remarkable activities in the park and it’s done in Budongo forest which is located in the southern sector of the Murchison falls national park. Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest is done in schedules that is the morning schedule and the afternoon schedule where each schedule starts with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow during trekking. After the briefing you will start trekking in the forest with an experienced guide which takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on where the chimpanzees are located. during trekking you will be able to view other primate species, different bird species, plant and tree species among others and once the chimpanzees are found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to observe their habits, behaviors, watch them feed, breastfeed, hunt, mate, fight, play, take photos and record the breathtaking moments.
Sport fishing in Murchison falls national park
Sport fishing in Murchison falls national park is done at the banks of River Nile and it involves catching different fish species along the rocky surfaces, bottom of the falls and at the banks of the Victoria Nile during sport fishing anglers use different fishing methods such as casting lures, use of live bait, hooks and the spinning method where they will be able to catch different fish species like Nile perch, cat fish, tiger fish among others. Fish anglers are however cautioned during fishing at the river banks to be aware of the hippos and Nile crocodiles which roan around the waters.
Where to stay during your safari in Murchison falls national park
There are a wide range of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, mid-range, budget and campsites where visitors can stay during the safari in Murchison falls national park. The accommodations include Paraa safari lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, Fort Murchison safari lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Murchison River lodge, Amuka safari lodge, Bakers lodge, Murchison Tree house, Geo lodges Nile safari lodge, Bwana Tembo safari camp, Boomu Women’s group Bandas, Kalalo cottages inn, Heritage safari lodge, Kabalega wilderness lodge, Parkside safari lodge, Red chilli rest camp, Shoebill campsite, Yebo safari camp among others.
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, July, August, September, December, January and February. During the dry season animals gather around the water bodies to drink water which gives you an opportunity to view large concentrations of animals, also the park receives less rainfall in the dry season therefore vegetation will be thin which makes wildlife viewing easy.
Murchison falls national park can also be visited in the wet season during the months of March, April, May, October and November because that’s the best time for bird watching where you will be able to view migratory bird species from Europe. During the wet season the park receives few people which give you a chance to explore the park with fewer crowds and also some lodges offer discounts which favors budget travelers.
How to get to Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park can be accessed by road transport means whereby visitors will drive from Entebbe or Kampala to the park headquarters which takes about 5 to 6 hours drive in a 4 WD safari vehicle.
Murchison falls national park can also be accessed by air transport means where by visitors will book charter flights by Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba airfield, Chobe airfield or Bugungu airfield.