The Murchison falls park earlier known as Kabalega National Park lies at the northern end of Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, the park is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area hosting more than 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.
Once you see the powerful waterfall of Murchison, you’ll understand why the entire 1,500 square miles of the park is named after the cascading falls. The water comes from the Victoria Nile River. The water surges through a narrow gorge in the ground that stretches about 6 meters, pushing onwards before it makes its way down a massive drop. Some people compare the Murchison Falls to the waterfalls found in Canada’s Nahanni National Park, only Murchison is more magnificent. There are two options for viewing the falls. The first is to make your way to the top where you can actually see where the water makes its way through the gorge – this gorge is often called the “devil’s cauldron”. The hike takes about 45 minutes from bottom to top and can be completed by anyone with two functioning legs. In other words, it is not strenuous. Another option is to view Murchison Falls from a boat safari, which will take you as close to the falls as possible from below. It is recommended that you view the falls from both perspectives since each one offers an entirely unique experience. However, if you must choose one then it is recommended to make the short hike to the top to add more adventure to your Murchison falls tour package.
Plane crush of Hermingway:
Ernest Hemingway the American author also short-story writer, journalist, and sportsman and his wife were reported safe after two plane crashes in the upper Nile in 1954, a chartered Plane carrying the novelist and his wife on a sightseeing trip cracked up Saturday in the wilds near the Murchison Falls but were picked up unhurt by a launch taking tourists to the falls after plane crashes on successive days, with injuries leaving him in pain and ill health for much of the rest of his life.
Exciting Game Drives: These are conducted early morning as well as in the early evening offering you a chance to enjoy up-close views of the different animals. The Delta area, Buligi Penisular and the southern sector are the main game viewing areas.Murchison Falls Game drive is one of the best ways to see and appreciate the rich diversity of Wildlife in the Park. This park is home to different wildlife species including 451 bird species and over 76 types of mammal including the Buffaloes, Antelopes, Lions, Kobs, Giraffes, Hyenas, Bushbucks, and Warthogs among others. They are widely spread all over the Savannah grasslands, grazing or hunting for prey. This makes the park’s landscape so amazing for a game drives while on a Safari. Game drives are best done along the Northern banks since that’s where you can find a large concentration of wildlife living in its Savannah plains whereas the Southern bank has a smaller number of antelope herds and other wild animals. There are different Game drive tracks found in Murchison Falls National that are followed while on a game drive such as; Albert, Victoria and Buligi tracks. Taking all these tracks while on the game drive gives you a totally different experience since each is endowed with various eco-systems. The Buligi is a 7km track north and is among the most commonly used tracks for game viewing. Also areas like Nyamsika gorge is home to a big number of water animals which come to get water and Nyamsika cliffs have a higher concentration of buffaloes, lions as well as different birds like the Egyptian plover and the bee-eaters. Game drives are an all year round activity. There is nothing as thrilling as watching predators such as lions make moves after their prey, it’s an amazing experience since most antelopes are hunted down and killed without noticing. All this is best observed during the dry season where the grass is short so game viewing is at its best. During the rainy season the grass is a bit tall hence give challenge especially during game viewing since some animals might be missed out. When we talk about the times for conduction game drives in the park, there are two main schedules and that is early morning and evening game drives and these take between 2 to 4 hours.
Nature Walks & Hiking adventures: The Park offers several trails that can be explored on foot through the Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests to see birds and primates.Hiking and Nature Walks are among the top activities in Murchison Falls offering holidaymakers an opportunity to explore this vast wilderness on foot. Located in North-western Uganda covering an area of 3,840 sq. km, Murchison falls National Park has varied sceneries and vast landscapes starting from the savannah plains, to the swamps, to the forests, the amazing wildlife, awesome culture and lastly the eye-catching magnificent falls on the Victoria Nile. The park harbors a lot of wildlife such as warthogs, buffaloes, antelopes, lions, elephants among others. Plant species like the whistling acacia, sausage trees, bird species, butterflies, and many more.Most attractions in the park and around the conservation areas can be explored on foot, and although there are different trails that can be followed; tourists are only permitted to follow particular designated trails such as: to the top of the falls, in Rabongo forest and in Kaniyo Pabidi. hiking and nature walk adventures will be a great reward to Nature lovers and birders as they will reward you with great views of wildlife in Murchison falls National Park, birds and different plant life at a close range as they walk through low hills, gullies and riverine forests.Hiking to the top of the falls this is considered to be the most remarkable hiking trail in Murchison Falls National Park. the adventure begins with a boat ride on the Nile to the base of the falls at a point known as the ‘The Baker Point’ where its alleged to be the exact spot that early explore Sir Samuel Baker back in 1864 stood as he admired and appreciated the splendor and might of the waterfalls which he named after the then serving president of the Royal Geographical Societ – RGS which sponsored his expedition in Africa.
Hot Air Balloon Murchison Falls Uganda
Balloon safaris in Uganda are a recently introduced tourist activity by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) in the Murchison Falls National Park and today are increasingly becoming popular. Hot air ballooning can only be found at the Murchison Falls National Park and the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Something to note about these balloons is that its size does not matter mainly because the more it is filled up with air, the more the weight it can carry. However for now only 8 passengers are permitted to fly up in the balloon. The age limit for a Hot Air Balloon safari in Uganda is a minimum of six (6) years considering that the flight takes you to a height of 10,000 feet above sea level which might make younger children quiet uneasy. You are taken to the launch site for the hot air balloons somewhere near the Paraa safari Lodge which is the Wildlife side of the park at around 5:00am. While there, you will be able to watch the assembling team do last minute preparations like pumping air into the balloon before you could soar high at day break. You will be given a briefing on the safety precautions, rules and regulations as you get ready to hop aboard the balloon. Once aboard, the pilot will launch for set off and the blowing wind will help the balloon rise to several feet off the ground and soar above the treetops. This will give you an aerial view of the Savannah below teaming with all kinds of wildlife, including large numbers of animals that crowd the Banks of the great Nile. At the end of this amazing hot air balloon tour, that normally takes about 1 hour, you are handed certificates that confirm your participation in this activity and then later, you finish off with a special bush breakfast and a bottle of Champagne all organized and provided by the commis chefs from the Paraa Lodge. From there, you will carry on with your morning with a game drive around the park and then return to your place of accommodation. There is also a sunset balloon flight that starts exactly at 4pm however; this one does not come with any special offers like the bush meals after the ride. Hot Air Ballooning at the Murchison Falls National Park will reward you with the following views: the general scenic view of the Murchison Falls National Park, views of the Off-road animals hidden away, Lake Albert and Victoria Nile; and then other remarkable features like: the bush breakfast experience in the wild, pickups from your accommodation, reward of participation certificates, crossings by ferry and the ride on the hot air balloon that lasts an hour among many others. Today, the price of a hot air balloon safari experience is $380 per person, while children of 12 years and below receive a 50% discount of this price which is $190. This rate includes the flight in balloon, a balloon certificate and refreshments before and after this ride.
Chance to track primates (Chimpanzee) Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo forest: Visit Murchison falls for Chimpanzee Tracking in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo forest reserve at affordable rates with Global safaris, Viewing Chimpanzees in Kaniyo Pabidi rotates around six groups of chimpanzees which are habituated for tracking. During months of May, June, July and August there are over 90% chance of viewing man’s closest cousin “the chimpanzee” there are two sessions during which chimpanzees can be tracked in Budongo Forest either Morning or Afternoon session. Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest is best done early morning around 7am
Planning to visit Uganda for wildife safari, we recommend you add a tour to Murchison falls park opn your itinerary given the above reasons, we at Mumwe Safaris organize budget Uganda tours for all types of traveelers, get in touch. You can get in touch with us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us now on +256-700135510.
By Allan Ategeka