MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Murchison falls national park is considered to be the heart of the pearl with astonishing wildlife life , the magnificent Murchison falls , the gentle flowing Albert making the place an ideal place to be for a perfect safari. It is the biggest Conservation area in Uganda with an area of 3893 square kilometers
The park sits on four districts of Kiryandongo, Masindi, Buliisa and Nwoya. It is found in the Northwestern part of the country and sits on shores of Lake Albert.
How to get to the park
The park can be accessed through different routes
From Kampala via Masindi a stopover at Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary before reaching Kafu corner is always on the itinerary when using the route.this is known as the northern route.
From Kampala via Masindi and use Kichumbanyobo gate.this is the southern route.
Also via Hoima road Buliisa district turn East and enter the park through Bugungu gate
About the park
The park was originally hunting grounds for the bunyoro kings. This made protection o the wildlife massive because the area could only be accessed by the royal family. When the Europeans came in, they gazetted the place as hunting grounds for the white governors, later it became Bunyoro game reserve and later gazette as a national park in 1952 together with Queen Elizabeth national park.
The park is divided into two parts by river Nile forming the southern bank and northern banks.
Most game drives are in the northern bank with variety of wild animals because of the savannah grassland and wide spread porossus palm trees which makes it ideal for survival of these animals. The park contains geologically the rocky areas on the escarpment and sandy rock free towards the delta.
Lions are usually spotted on early morning drives along the Queen and Victoria tracks
The park is a habitat for approximately 76 mammals and 451 bird species, the park is one of the few which contains large numbers of animals with elephants as ecosystem engineer. The elephants changed the park’s ecosystem in the early 1950s. the animals include buffaloes, leopards, lions, warthogs, baboons, bushbucks, oribi, spotted hyenas among others. Among the bird species is the endangered shoebill stork at delta of Victoria Nile. Varieties of water birds are spotted along the cruise to the bottom of the falls.
During the visit to the park you cannot miss out on the chimpanzee tracking in the Budongo forest with relatively half of the price they are tracked for in Kibale national park.
The royal mile is considered the best birding destination in Africa with its rare species of birds. The royal mile is also a butterfly paradise with over 250 species of butterflies. During your birding and butterfly trips. You can be visited by chimps who are residents of the place.
Forest walks in the Budongo forest is one of the activities which cannot be left out.
Accessibility in the park
various trails have been developed in the park for example the victoria trial. Wankwar road offering spectacular views of the top of the falls, Chobe road with less traffic, the ferry crosses from the southern bank to the northern bank starting at 7am and it crosses respectively at regular time intervals
the Bunyoro trail offers a chance to see view the two magnificent falls in the park…the Uhuru falls and the Murchison.
The Acholi trail also avails good views of the Uhuru falls.
Top of the falls
To access this place, you can go on a cruise till the base of the falls . this cruise ias a rewarding one because a variety of animals are seen , the highest concentration of hippos in Africa are known to be along the Nile. Different water birds and ground birds are spotted for example the pied king fisher, the Nile crocodiles are also seen enjoying the during the cruise. The boat docks on a base rock where the hike to the top of the falls starts. Up the falls you get the clear views of how the mighty waters fixes into a 7 meter narrow gorge to form the Murchison which pours into a 43 meter plunge into the devils cauldron.
Variety of accommodation facilities are endowed with the park ranging from high end facilities , middle class and the budget facilities for example Chobe lodge, Paara lodge, Nile safari lodge, Pakuba lodge, Sambiya lodge, UWA public campsites , Boomu women community, global village lodge among other lodes. These provide excellent service to the visitors making the visit memorable.
Communities and culture
The park doesn’t operate in isolation it works hand in hand with the local people around the park for the example the Boomu women group who engage in craft work and sell souvenirs to our guests. , the park in the north is surrounded by the Acholi , Langi Alur cultures which when a guest gets encounter with them a lot of memories are created.
On the southern part we have the Banyoro, Bagungu all the stunning experiences with these cultures are worth for the guest.
Activities in the park
Game drives day and night drives
Hot air balloon
Village / community walks
Chimp tracking in the Paniyo Pabidi developed by Jane Goodall
Cultural performances near the ferry