The Mighty Murchison Falls Boat Cruise

The Mighty Murchison Falls Boat Cruise: Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s renowned national park with a rich history that provides visitors with an amazing experience stretching from the stunning natural beauty to the diverse wildlife and adventure opportunities.  The park got its name as a result of it’s magnificent, powerful cascading waterfalls, At a particular point, the Nile forms the falls as the fast water tries to rumble its way through the hard, rocky, narrow gorge of just 7 metres. The water falls down into a plunge pull from a cliff of about 130 feet, hence the name Murchison Falls National Park.

The main attraction of the park is the mighty Murchison Falls Boat Cruise, which is formed as a result of these magnificent waterfalls. Gently moving at the base of the Nile, the falls form the famous Victoria Nile and the Albert Delta, which are well-known for the amazing boat launch that gives visitors the chance to explore wildlife like hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles, and elephants, as well as unusual water birds like the African Darter, Giant Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Goliath Heron, and African Skimmer, among others.

Boat Cruise along the Victoria Nile Delta       

The launch journey from Paraa to the base of the falls is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter that provides a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and wildlife. This picturesque 17-kilometer boat trip departs from Paraa and heads upstream in the direction of the striking falls. You will be surrounded by lush vegetation and craggy rocks with holes from the falls’ turbulent waters during this three-hour excursion. Watch as water shoots through a tight 7-meter gorge to demonstrate the force of Murchison from your vantage point at the base of the falls.

Clear days enhance the grandeur of the falls and provide ideal conditions for photography as the sunlight mixes with the spray of the falls to form a rainbow that envelops the falls. Anticipate to see creatures such as Buffaloes, Elephants, Schools of Hippos, reptiles like Crocodiles, Monitor lizards and water birds like African Darter, the African fish Eagle, African Skimmer, Marachite, Giant and Pied King fishers, among others.

Boat Cruise along the Albert Nile

The Albert Delta begins at Paraa and flows leisurely downstream, away from the powerful force of the falls, down to Lake Albert, where the Albert Nile empties its waters. The “sundowners” tour provides morning and afternoon sessions, but because you are on the river as dusk falls, the afternoon session is the most enchanted. Nestled amidst the natural world, the vivid green surroundings take on an orange hue as the sun sets, creating an ideal scene for very memorable photographs. It takes 4-5 hours to complete the more than 28-mile journey.

Along the shoreline and margins of the Albert Delta, there is a greater chance of witnessing the ancient Shoebill Stork throughout the boat trip. These birds’ fish are plentiful, but because of the dense vegetation floating on top of the water, they have difficulty finding food. Sometimes you may see them following Hippo trails, which allows the water to subside and allow them to fish.  Your soundtrack will be the sounds of birdsong as you get ready to see a variety of rare game as well as breathtaking bird species, including the Goliath Geron, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Saddle-billed Stork, Red-throated Bee-eater, Pel’s Fishing Owl, and African Darter.

What to see on a boat cruise?

The boat cruise offers stunning scenic views of wildlife and exciting birdlife species to visitors. This happens as a result of the magical attraction from the magnificent waters of the mighty Nile River and the lush greenery habitats of these unique species. The boat cruise harbours a wide range of wildlife such as Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos, Bushbucks, Crocodiles, the rare monitor lizard and striking bird species like African Skimmer, African Jacana, Goliath Heron, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Giant Kingfisher, Red-throated Bee-eater, African Darter, Saddle-billed Stork, Collared Pratinole, Grey Heron, Pink-backed Pelican and the diving African Fish Eagle, among others.

Cruise details and delights

The mighty Murchison Falls boat cruise sets off from Paraa twice a day, in the morning and the afternoon. The cruises are run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in collaboration with World Frontiers and Marasa Africa, two private enterprises. They offer first-rate services, including warm and knowledgeable guides who will provide you with a safety briefing, a life jacket, and extensive background information on the activity and the surrounding area. They can tell you a plethora of knowledge about Murchison Falls, from the location of Ernest Hemingway’s 1954 plane accident to the hotel The Queen Mother stayed at during her 1959 maiden cruise.

Cost of the Boat cruise

As of the time of writing, the boat tours cost between $30 and $35 per person, not including refreshments. However, all guests can purchase drinks for a nominal price. Boat tours are very popular during the dry season, so you will need to book your spot well in advance. If you have made your travel arrangements with Journeys Uganda, we will handle all of this on your behalf.

Other activities to do in Murchison Falls National Park

Besides the boat cruise, Chimpanzees trekking is one of the amazing nature experiences offered by Murchison Falls National Park. More than 600 chimpanzees can be found there, mostly in the Budongo Forest Reserve, which is a part of Murchison Falls National Park, and the Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests. Other things to do are go on nature walks, where you can frequently see primates like Red, Blue, Black and White Colobus Monkeys playing among the tall mahogany trees. You can study and watch the chimpanzees’ behaviours in their natural environment for an hour by going on a trek with them in Murchison.

Best time to go for a boat cruise

During the dry season, which runs from December to February and from June to September, it is ideal to take a boat cruise. With temperatures ranging from 25 to 32 °C, Murchison Falls is one of the hottest places in Uganda. Reaching the falls is a pleasant break after spending an afternoon on the water, taking in the African sunshine as you feel the cold mist from the water.

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