There are a number of fascinating attractions to see on your safari in the Murchison Falls National Park as highlighted below
The Powerful Murchison Falls
According to the history of Murchison Falls National Park, when the park was established in 1952, the Game Department enthused, that the main tourist attractions of this park was definitely the unique Murchison Falls after which the pack was named. the waterfall found on the river Nile which presents a theatrical battle between the water and the packed rocks displays a large volume of water powerfully squeezing through narrow 7m crevice in the rocks that plunges over 40 meters below into a 50m radius water pool. The powerful force of the water results into a loud roar and a water spray around the fall. Interestingly a large number of tourists prefer booking accommodation located close to the waterfall so that they can hear its roaring water especially in the quite nights.
The River Nile
Second, the River Nile was listed as the other major attraction in this park. The Nile whose Source is found in Uganda’s tourist town Jinja is popularly known as the longest river in the world. this flows through the Murchison Falls National Park and it is crowded with streaming hippos and numerous giant crocodile seen along the sandbanks, as well as large numbers of different animal species and birds getting down to drink and bathe.
The best way to explore the river is by taking a launch trip up the stream all the way to the bottom of the waterfall during which you will see various animals and birds. The launch starts at 09.00 and 14.00 every day. The round trip takes about 3 hours. Another boat trip goes downstream from Paraa down to the papyrus delta at the point where the river enters into Lake Albert. This 4-5 hour round adventure provides a good chance of discovering the shoebill stork and different varieties of Uganda safari wildlife.
Top of the Murchison falls view
The most spectacular view of the waterfall is on the ‘top of the Nile’ where the sight & sound of the Nile crashing through a small chasm make a memorable assault on your senses. The site can be reached either by car or on a 30 minutes climb, from the boat at the bottom of the falls.
Buligi Game Area
This is the best game viewing area in the park popular for game drives and it comprises of open savanna grasslands, riverine vegetation, woodland and acacia. There are both morning and late afternoon game drives conducted in Buligi area normally on the 3 Day Murchison Falls safari, and a ranger guide from UWA is recommended to help you on most of your game drive. The area is located between the Victoria Nile and the Albert Nile with excellent views towards the western rift valley beyond Lake Albert into the DRC. A drive from Paraa passing Delta Point across the 170 km areas takes 3 to 4 hours.
The birds and animals in Murchison Falls National Park
Large mammals: The Park is comprised of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forests that are well known to be a habitant for over 76 mammal species and over 450 different bird species. Among the big mammals in the park include the hippo, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, cape buffalo, Uganda kob, hartebeest and elephants.
Birds: With over 450 bird species, the Nile corridor of the Murchison has a big array of water birds such as rare shoebill stork other popular species include: the Goliath Heron, African Quail-Finch, the elegant Grey Crowned Cranes, Blue-headed Coucal, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-throated Bee-eater, Squacco Heron, Silver bird, African Jacana, Piapiac, Sandpipers, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Denham’s Bustard, Weaver Birds, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Malachite Kingfishers and the Black-billed Barbet among several others
Primates: in addition there are various primates found in this park among which are over 800 chimpanzees, olive baboons, black & white colobus monkeys, the red tailed monkeys and many others found in Kaniyo Pabidi as well as the Budongo forest.
Another important area worth exploring while in Murchison Falls National Park is the Paraa area found close to the banks of river Nile. According to the local language Paraa means the ‘home of hippos’ a word that well depicted the large number of hippos found in this area. While in Paraa you can enjoy a diversity of activities such as game drives in the early morning as well as in the late afternoon, hot air balloon rides, cultural visits, birding tours, fishing trips, guided nature walks and launch boat trips. The launch cruise will offer you a chance to see various animals in the shallows of the Nile. During the guided walks you can also visit the native Luo people and get a chance to learn about their culture and way of life. In addition, you can also visit the museum with a gift shop found in the northern part of paraa. Within this area, there is a luxury accommodation facility – the Paraa Safari Lodge that offers great accommodation, a fine restaurant manned by professional chefs, a well stocked bar and a very hospitable and professional team of staff.
Another very important area worth exploring on your trip to Murchison Falls is the Budongo Forest found in the southwestern part of this conservation Area located close to the park, continuous with Kniyo Pabidi forest, and encompassed by farmlands and villages on the other side. the forest boasts of a huge diversity of wildlife among which are over287 butterfly species, 24 mammals, over 460 tree species and about 360 types of birds. Here you will be able to explore the ‘Royal Mile” a well maintained road stretch displaying the various tree species and popular for its good bird watching opportunities. The forest also offer amazing primate watching opportunities
Kaniyo Pabidi forests
Located in the southern part of the Murchison Falls conservation Area, the trails through Kaniyo Pabidi forest that stretch for about 8 kilometer inside Kichumbar Gate, offer the opportunity for Chimpanzee Tracking and seeing other primates such as the blue monkeys, olive baboons, as well as the black & white colobus monkeys living under Uganda’s largest remaining mahogany forest. Bird watching is excellent with opportunities of sighting various species like the yellow-footed flycatcher, white thighed hornbill and Ituri batis during the guided nature walks offered in this forest. Buffaloes, elephants and lions are some of the other species living in this forest. There is accommodation offered in cottages, a campsite as well as Lodges like the Murchison Falls Lodge from where you can base to enjoy the guided nature walks in the forest conducted in the mornings and evenings.
The Karuma Waterfall
Located in Chobe area within the northeastern part of the Murchison Falls national park, this thundering waterfall comprises of cascading natural rock-formations through which the water forces its way forming a characteristic ‘white foam’ that is very impressive to observe. Because of its prime location, it is a great place to do some sport fishing. The area surrounding this falls is home to various wildlife including monkeys, buffaloes, hartebeests, various antelopes like the Uganda Kobs, lions, giraffes, baboons and birds.