You think of wildlife safari in Uganda, Murchison Falls National park has to be the first sought after! This is located at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, bisected by the Mighty Victoria Nile, that flows from the west of the park and pours into L.Albert on the East of the park. The Murchison National Park is one of the largest national parks in Uganda covering 5308 square Kilometres.
Along the mighty Nile in the park, there is a small section which forces the vast Nile to force itself through plunging into a 45m over ridge with a thunderous roar, creating the dramatic Falls, and thus, the name Murchison Falls National Park, the centerpiece of the park.
Along this might Nile, there is a habitat for wildlife as hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents as well as regular visitors to the riverbanks including elephants, giraffes, waterbucks and buffaloes among others
Several British royals including Notable Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ernest Hemingway visited the Murchison Falls National Park and were amazed by the spectacular scenery of the park, covered by lash savannahs, untamed wilderness and savannahs, split through the middle by the dramatic river Nile.
Murchison Falls National park is sometimes referred to as Kabarega National Park, who was the Omukama of Bunyoro Kingdom and is famed for resisting colonization by the British before he was arrested and exiled by the British to the island nation of the Seychelles, who later died died in Jinja, in 1923 en-route to Bunyoro from exile.
There was great extinction of wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park in the 1970’s as a result of poaching that was a result of bad governance during Idi Amin regime.
The park, which is famed of all the Big Five including elephants, Buffaloes, lion, leopard, Rhinos so the Rhinos completely extinguished as a result of poaching.
The Rhino breeding has since been resumed and are being conserved at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongora en route to Murchison Falls National park, and will be re-introduced in the park once there is a good number of Rhinos bred.
Wildlife population in Murchison which include Giraffe, Elephants, Buffalos, lion, leopard, bushbuck, among others have now largely recovered and the population increased.
Apart from the big five, there are also primates in the park including Chimpanzee, baboons, Vervet monkeys among others. These are found in the Budongo Forest, which is in the southern part of the park.
The Murchison Falls National park also has the rare bird species including the Shoe Bill which is found on the Albert Nile and can best be seen by taking a boat cruise down to the Nile.
Getting to Murchison Falls National park.
Murchison Falls National Park can be accessed from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda by road and is approximately 300KMs from Kampala.
From Kampala, you pass through Luweero and Nakasongora area with a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongora. You then branch off from River Kafu and pass via Masindi, which is the nearest route. The other alternative is passing via Karuma and proceed to Pakwach, entering through Pakwach gate.
Apart from road, there is also chattered flights into the park as well as regular flights which fly from Entebbe to Pakuba airstrip, from where you can be picked up and transferred to the booked accommodation.
Many travelers would like to take weekend trips to Murchison Falls National park given that the most popular trips are 3 Days Tours. Many travelers can also combine gorilla safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with game viewing in Murchison Falls National Park.
Where to Stay.
There are several accommodations in the park and these range from camps to lodges. Some of the accommodations include; Budongo eco lodge, Pakuba Lodge, Sambiya river lodge, Kabalega wilderness camp, Paraa Safari lodge, Chobe safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge among others.
What to see.
Murchison Falls National Park is rich in attractions ranging from nature, cultural, wildlife. Most fascinating in the park is the breathtaking Murchison Falls where the Nile forces itself through a narrow gorge plunging down with a thunderous roar. The other activities include chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest, Birding in Budongo and along the Nile river, game drives along the northern sector, Launch Cruise along the mighty Nile river, Spot Fishing on the might Nile river among other activities.
Visiting the park can at least take three days including transfer to and from Kampala, but to fully exhaust the park’s attractions, one need at least four days. For more information on Murchison falls national park visit www.murchisonfallsnationalparksafaris.com