Top activities in Murchison falls national park
Discovered by Sir Samuel Baker in 1864, the park was named after Roderick Murchison a famous geologist, who was the president of the Royal Geographical Society at the time. Murchison falls conservation area is currently Uganda’s largest protected area covering an area 5072 square kilometers. The park can easily be accessed by road from Kampala a distance of about 309 km that can be covered in either 4 or 5 hours. Alternatively, a charter plane can easily be landed at Pakuba or Bugungu airstrips.
Visit or hike to top of the falls
Viewing the entire Nile (50 meters wide) as it squeezes through a small gorge (7 meters wide) and listening to the thunderous roar generated by this spectacle is magnificently breathtaking. A designated trail has been put in place by Uganda Wildlife Authority for the more experienced hikers. Never the less, there are other accessible and less strenuous ways of accessing this beautiful view. This activity is a must do on your visit to Murchison falls.
Chimpanzee and primate tracking
This is undeniably a key attraction in Kaniyo Pabidi forest and entails the acquisition of a permit from UWA. Best times to track chimpanzees and other primates like the black and white colobus, the baboon and the red-tailed monkey. Well designated trails have been put in place which visitors and ecologists can follow whilst exploring the forest
The banks of river Nile, Busingiro, Royal mile, Budongo conservation area are all excellent birding spots with lots of inclusions on the IUCN red list like the Shoe bill stork. Other rarities include Puvell’s Illaposis, exclusive to this park in the whole of East Africa, the white thighed hornbill, the Goliath heron, chocolate backed kingfisher and many more
Boat cruises along the Nile
The launch cruise to the bottom of the falls can easily be an equivalent to a game drive in the park. A boat ride is the highlight of any safari to Murchison falls national park. The ride upstream can include disembarking at a particular spot where visitors can hike to the top of the falls. Both trips give you a mesmerizing view of the falls and opportunities to view lots of bird-life and wildlife. Luxurious Sun-downers with drinks and snacks on board are also available and are most suitable for those on vacation or honeymoon.
Murchison falls is the largest national park in Uganda. It is therefore advisable that you opt for the company of a trained safari guide on your trip. The guides from years of experience understand the park’s terrain which makes it easier for them to locate animals and also protects you from getting lost since the park trails can sometimes be pretty confusing. Lions, giraffe, warthogs, antelopes, leopard, elephants and many more are some of the resident wildlife you may encounter in the park.
This can be done with the acquisition of a permit from UWA. Its advisable to carry your own fishing equipment. Based on your preference, you could either get a boat and fish whilst on boat or alternatively utilize the spots on shore just below the falls.
Located in Nakasongola district, en-route to Murchison falls is Zziwa Rhino sanctuary. An onsite guide will take you around the sanctuary which not only inhabits rhinos but also a number of bird species. You could choose to stop over at the park on your way to Murchison falls for a few hours before you proceed, or you could spend a night at the sanctuary and continue with your journey the following day.
These walks can be arranged in Rabongo forest where you will follow well designated trails in the company of a guide. These walks are best for birders since you will encounter lots of forest endemics on this walk besides viewing primates like the black and white colobus, baboons and many more