Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls national park is the largest national park in Uganda located in the Murchison Conservation area which covers Bugungu and Karuma wildlife reserve. The park was established in 1952 making it the oldest national park in Uganda. It covers a total land area os 3,840 square kilometers. The park is named after the thunderous Murchison falls that is nick named as “devil’s Cauldron” which is formed when the River Nile squeezes itself in very narrow gorge as it continues its long journey to the Red sea. The popularity of the park started in 1951 when the filim “African Queen” directed by Hunphery Bogart was launched which was filmed in Murchison Falls national park and some parts of Lake Albert.
Murchison Falls national park lies on the Northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley that cuts across the Bunyoro escarpments. The park is located in the Northern part of Uganda along the Luwero corridor in Masindi district. Its gifted by nature with diversified habitants from water to the forests. The greatest part of the park is covered by the open savannah grasslands where the game drives are done. The different vegetation cover has attracted a wide range of animal and bird species. Murchison Falls national park hosts over 76 mammal species and over 451 bird species. The park is divided in to two sections by the world’s longest river that is River Nile. The Southern sector is covered by the rain forests and its where the primates are found and birding. On the Northern side is covered by the open savannah grassland and host more plain animals and other predators. The game drives are only done in the Northern part of the park
Location of Murchison Falls national park
Murchison Falls national park is located in the Northern part of Uganda. It takes 5 hours drive from the capital city Kampala covering a distance of 305 kilometers. From Masindi town its only 85 kilometers via the short routes. A safari to Murchison falls is the only Ugandan safari where guests expect to view all the African big five with a stop at Ziwa for Rhino tracking. Ziwa is the only place in Uganda where guests can see the rhinos and combining it in your Murchison falls safari makes you view all the big game. If your using this side and need to spend a night on the North then you will cross the Nile using the Uganda wildlife Authority ferry which crosses hourly.
The park can be accessed in all the two directions those are the Southern part which passes through the Budongo forest in Padi area. The other through the Northern route where you have to cross the nile in Karuma bridge to Pakwach side entering through Wankwar Gate.
One can also the flight to access the park, there are chattered flights from Entebbe international airport and Kajansi airport. The aerolink and Eagle air offer daily flights to Murchison falls
Attractions in Murchison Falls national park
The park is one of the most gifted national park in Uganda. It’s a fully complete park that offers guests with lifetime wildlife experience. The different habitants found at the park has become a home of different wildlife. Apart from the wildlife the park has more attractions that guests can enjoy during their safari at the park.
The water falls
The Murchison falls is the highlights of the safari to the park, the park itself got its name from the falls. The falls is one of the most powerful falls not only in Uganda but entire East Africa. The visit to the park without reaching to the top or bottom of the falls is counted incomplete. The hike to the top gives you opportunity to witness the small gorge which the Nile squeezes itself as it continues its long journey to the North of Africa. The point has permanent rainbow some times referred to the Cauldron corridor. The boat cruise at the bottom of the falls takes 2 hours as you go close to the bottom of the falls to witness the powerful falls.
The Northern part in Budongo forest habits more families of habituated Chimpanzees and other primates like Baboons. Doing three days Murchison safaris can give you enough time to explore these rare primates which like playing and fast walking on grounds. The chimpanzee tracking is done in Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forests, they are located just 8 kilometers inside Kichumbar Gate.
Murchison Falls national park has over 451 bird species that are distributed to the different habitats. The park hosts even the rare shoebill at the of the Delta where you can access through the boat at the delta. The long list can be achieved through patient and longer days at the park. If you are in hurry then you will not achieve the long list of birds at the park. The most common birds include: Shoebill, White Thi hornbill, Yellow-billed stork, Adbims stork, Secretary bird, Osprey, African Dater, Goliath Heron, Veracious Dove, Long-Toed Plover and many more.
Animals or Mammals
Murchison Falls national park has over 76 mammal species that are found at the park. These ranges from the rare primates like Chimpanzees to the small Dikdik. The different range of habitats have attracted different mammals at the park. This is the only park in Uganda where guests are sure of seeing lions and leopards. It has four mebers of the African big five only missing the Rhions which you will see during on your drive to Kampala at Ziwa. The mammals at the park include: Leopards, Lions, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Hyenas, Gazelles, Topis, Hippos, Crocodiles and many more.
Murchison Falls national park can be visited any time of the year though the best time is during the dry months of the year.