All About Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda

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Uganda as country is one of the mostly visited Africa’s destinations, receiving huge percentage of tourists from different countries of the World per year.

Many of the people wishing to take a safari to Uganda are more interested in experiencing and exploring its wide range of different unique and exciting touristic features which include Wildlife Species recorded in its Biodiversity and other attracting natural features like physical features which include Rivers, Falls, Mountains, Lakes and more.

Uganda is geographically located in the Eastern part of the African continent sharing boundaries with Magical Kenya in the East, South Sudan in the North, Rwanda in the South West, Tanzania in the South and Democratic Republic of Congo in the West.

Uganda’s per year huge percentage of tourists received is not only brought about by existing wide range of attracting touristic features as mentioned above but rather there are other major key attracting factors which include;

Easy of accessibility, welcoming locals, available good service providers like tour operators, stable financial status, favorable climatic conditions, good transportation systems, characterized good accommodation facilities, existence of different tourist sites to go which include National Parks, Sanctuaries, Game reserves and major towns among others.

One of the main highlights for Uganda which let different tourists from various countries of the World consider it an exciting destination to spend some time while in Africa is the Murchison Falls National Park that was recently visited by the American celebrity couple of Kanye West and Kim Kardhashian.

Murchison Falls National park

Murchison falls national park is popularly known because of its great fall and the stunning Wildlife offered, taking up most of tourists’ minds and interests letting them recommend others to come and be part of the exploration.

It is one of Uganda’s major exciting tourist sites rated highly by different tourists who spare some time and adventure its attracting Biodiversity including the first time visitors.

Murchison Falls National Park is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority and it was established in 1952 with the aim of providing home to different Wildlife species which were dwelling in the suburbs of North western part of Uganda.

Among Uganda’s top ten highlighted National Parks to go for Wildlife Safaris and Tours, Murchison Falls National Park is ranked to be the largest in size covering a total area of 3,893 km2 including land area and watery areas.

The park stretches from the shores of Lake Albert up to Karuma falls including Budongo forest characterized with thick tropical rain forests, Savannah grasslands and Woodlands, Shrubs, and fertile Swampy areas.

Animals in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park provides habitat to wide range of different Wildlife species including Wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Giraffes, Zebras, Kobs, Spotted hyenas, Forest hogs, Bush babies, Warthogs, Bush bucks, hartebeests and more, Primates include Chimpanzees in Budongo forest, Vervet, Patas monkey, Red Colobus monkeys, Blue monkeys, Black and White Colobus monkeys, Mangabey, baboons and more.

Other Species on list include Reptiles like snakes, geckos, chameleon and more, different insect species plus huge species of birds including endemic and non-endemic species.

How to get there?

By Road

Usually visitors starting from Kampala access this park either by road transport or air transport. Traveling from Kampala by road using a suitable 4×4 Safari jeep go via Kampala- Masindi- Gulu highway. This route includes a stopover in Nakitoma – Nakasongola district for the Rhinoceros tracking in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

It takes about 7-8 hours for the drive from Kampala up to Murchison Falls National Park in North Western Uganda depending on speed used, traffic on the way and en route stop over included.

By Air

If not road transport means, private charters are always arranged from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip up to Pakuba airstrip in Murchison Falls National Park, when you go by air there is no option of stopping over for Rhinoceros in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

What to do in Murchison

Several exciting activities are done by different tourists while on a safari in Murchison Falls National Park and these include Game drives, Launch trip cruise, Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest, Hiking up to top of the falls, White water rafting and Bird watching.

Game drives

These usually involve driving around the Park using suitable pop up roof Safari jeep with the main interest of sighting different Wildlife species particularly Wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes, Giraffes, Zebras, Lions, Leopards and more, other species to see while on game drives include forest monkeys like Colobus monkeys plus different bird species.

Launch Cruise trips

This is another exciting activity done in Murchison Falls National Park which involves sailing on the Waters of the fall using a speed boat; the cruise is usually started from the top to the bottom of the falls. Launch trip cruise usually exposes tourists to different aquatic species including hippopotamus, crocodiles, water birds and some wild animals like Elephants, Buffaloes and more which dwell near the shores in need of Water.

Hike to the top of the Falls

This another Popular activity to do while i the Murchison falls. The top of the falls is one of the most interesting areas within the park as the visitor experiences the beauty of the Nile waters squeezing into a 7 meter gorge deep down over 45 meters with thunderous roars.

Chimpanzee Tracking

You can also track chimpanzees in Budongo forest, Kaniyo Pabidi, a section of Murchison falls National park. Here you can see the playful primates including chimpanzees and other species of monkeys playing in the trees.

The forest also home to a number of bird species making bird watching experience spectacular to those that would love to do so.

Where to Sleep?

A range of privately operated accommodation facilities in and around the park caters for up-market, medium range and budget visitors.

Uganda Wildlife Authority operates a campsite and a student’s center dormitory style with 60 beds at North Paraa. Camping is also possible t the top of the falls. Other accommodation facilities include the Chobe Safari lodge that offers breathtaking panoramic views coupled with the sounds of the Nile’s magnificent rapids, Paraa Safari lodge, Pakuba Safari lodge among others.

About Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Many of the visitors to Murchison Falls Murchison park make a stopover at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary to track one of the last of Uganda’s rhinoceros.

Ziwa Rhino sanctuary is a protected area in the Central part of Uganda which was established with the main aim of reintroducing the already phased out species of Rhinoceros back to Uganda. Rhinoceros were recorded in Uganda’s Biodiversity but due to some unfavorable factors, these species phased out. These unfavorable factors included hunting and poaching, loss of habitat due to civil wars, constant disease attacks and limited pastures.

Absence of Rhinoceros in Uganda majorly affected its tourism and that’s why they decided to establish Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakitoma- Nakasongola district, first species of Rhinoceros were exported from Solio ranch in Kenya and others were donated by Disney Kingdom of animals found in United States of America.

Tracking of these rhinos usually last for about one hour at a cost $45 USD per person.

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