Tourist Attractions In Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls National Park’s main attraction is the mighty falls, the Murchison falls itself that is scenic, thunderous and also dramatic to look at and feel. This, coupled with the River Nile, which is the longest River in Africa. The Victoria Nile which forms the upper section of the Nile River as it flows out of the swampy Lake Kyoga in central Uganda will bless your eyes with its streaming hippo and a number of crocodiles along the sand banks as well as different wild life species seen concentrating to drink water and bath. Therefore, highlight of visiting the park is the launch trip up the falls to observe the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’ and the variety of wildlife. The park provides two launch trips daily, the first at 0900hrs and the other at 1400hrs starting at Paraa to the bottom right below the falls where the River flows towards Lake Albert. It is a 2 to 3 hours exciting journey whose return trip gives you an opportunity to watch the famous shoebill, which is also one of the biggest attractions in the park not leaving out sport fishing. Murchison falls National Park being the oldest park in Uganda and harboring over 76 mammal species, and over 450 bird species is among the most visited parks in Uganda.
The wonderful nature of the Nile which is right below the Murchison falls offers exciting challenges for anglers and the biggest Nile perch recorded was 108kg. Spot fishing is a prohibited activity that can only be done having purchased permits from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and only in designated areas. The park does not provide the necessary equipment for this activity so one has to come prepared prior, and book their spot in advance as the permits for this are limited.
The most rewarding tourist attraction in the park is the Murchison falls, which Sir Samuel Baker in company of his wife Florence Baker named after the President of the Royal Geographical society and is best enjoyed through sight-seeing at the top as one listens to the deafening sound of the Nile crashing while experiencing the splashing waterfall with high pressure and the permanent rain ball.
Listed below are the most visited top tourist attractions in Murchison falls National Park.
- The Nile
- Budongo forest
- Karuma falls
- The Kaniyo-Pabidi forest
- The game viewing tracks namely the Victoria, Queens and Delta tracks are a must visit for big game, cuts and birds.
The Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest
This is a natural forest covered by mahogany and ironwood trees. It is home to several primates and the most common activity in here is chimpanzee trekking, the biggest community of chimps lives in here with other monkeys like the Black and White Colobus, Blue Monkey, Red Tailed and the Varvet not leaving out the abundant Olive Baboons. There is a selection of Guinea Congo bird species only found in this area and the single bird looked out for here is the Puvel’s Illadopsis, as the hunt is on, look out and enjoy the sounds of the Grey and Long Longbill, Chocolate Backed, Dwarf and Blue Breasted Kingfisher, Rufous Sided Broadbill will be a great sighting, Forest Robin-chat and many others.
This is a natural forest covered by tropical rain forest and a sea of rewarding grassland in the South Eastern side of the park. It is a one-hour drive from Paraa safari lodge and is best explored while driving mostly on the honeymoon track, but be aware of the disturbing tse-tse flies whose bites are lethal. The forest also harbors various monkey types, baboons, several bird species and good for the White Crested Turaco, White-crested Helmet Shrike, Yellow Billed Shrike, Blck Scimitarbill Greed Wood Hoopoe among the savannah rarities in the park, plenty of butterflies, and plants that act as medicine to the neighboring communities
The savannah grassland here makes it thrilling for game viewing in addition to the attractive sights of the marvelous East African rift valley at the top of Lake Albert overlooking Democratic Republic of Congo. The famous activities carried out here are game drives and game viewing in the presence of an experienced Journeys Uganda guide to help with the identification of the various game among which expect the Lion, Leopard, Side Striped Jackals are common, the leafy eared Oribi, Uganda Kob, Jacksons Hearbeast and the shy Bohor Reedbuck that always camouflages in the Kob herds.
The Park’s Flora And Fauna
Savannahs both wooded and grassland occupy the largest area of the northern part of the park, followed by tropical forest and woodland in the southern section all well balanced with a chain of rivers and Lake Albert teaming up to make wonderful habitats to over 400 bird species and 76 mammal species, including four of the big five namely, the leopard, lion, elephant and buffaloes, for the those doing bird watching trips, some of the Recorded birds in this park include Shoebill, Secretary Bird, Abyssinian Roller and Ground Hornbill, Pied Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eaters, Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, Senegal and Spotted Thick-knees, Black-headed and Long-toed Lapwing, Little Bittern, Osprey, Red-necked Falcon, Vinaceous Dove, Buff-bellied Warbler, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Red-winged Grey Warbler, Spotted Morning-Thrush, Marabou Stork, Silver Bird, Beautiful Sunbird among others.
Budongo forest is situated in the South Western part of the park and connects with the neighboring community and forms the Kaniyo Pabidi section known for Chimpanzee tracking the section further links up with the royal mile where chimpanzee populations are for strictly researchand stretches all the way to Busingiro eco-tourism site on the Masindi Bugungu route to Murchison falls National Park, this is the Apex of forest birding in Murchison Falls conservation area and species sited here include among others the Blue Breasted, African Dwarf and Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Brown-eared and Yellow Crested Woodpecker, Dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Crowned Eagle, Forest and Chestnut Capped Flycatcher, Rufous Flycatcher-Thrush, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Narina Trogon, , Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Eremomera, White-spotted Flufftail, Yellow and Grey Longbills, Olive-bellied Crombec, the tiny Ituri Batis among the many
Karuma falls literally meaning a ‘great spirit’ as per the local people leaving near here, In African tradition before the coming of the Bible, we had many gods and these would be seen in strange occurrences of features like big stones, trees, powerful waterfalls and many others, the people here believed that there was a spirit that caused the waters to mover and thus forming the waterfall. This is an amazing place for sport fishing found in the North Eastern part of the park in the Kyobe area, the mega Hydro Electric Power plant is a great attraction as part of the falls.
Accommodation facilities in Murchison falls national park
Paraa safari lodge, Nile safari lodge, and Chobe safari lodge are luxury lodges
Sambiya River lodge, Fort Murchison lodge, Pakuba Game Lodge, and Murchison River lodge, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge, Twiga Tales Lodge are all midrange lodges.
Red chilli rest camp, Budongo eco lodge and Yebo safari camp are Standard lodges.
The Park can be accessed by road from all the different corners of the country as it has 5 entrance points, Kampala City through the Gulu highway where you turn west of Kafu junction to Masindi which is approximately a 5hour drive through the southern Kichombonyobo Gate, the western parth can be accessed through the Bugungu gate connecting from Hoima, the Northern part from the Pakwach area can be accessed through the Wankwah Gate and Purongo respectively.
The Park can also be accessed by air through Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi Airstrip in Entebbe. Air transport is more effective and faster and only takes one hour and ten minutes, the park has two airfields Pakuba and Bugugu.
Murchison falls national Park is the best spotlight for tourist with scenic views and a variety of activities to be carried out during one’s safaris to Uganda, at Journeys Uganda, we advise our clientele to spend at least 3 nights in the park to have the best out of it, if doing all sections a 6 days stay would be the best to explore and appreciate what Murchison Falls National Park has to offer.