Murchison Falls National Park Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park Uganda – You can’t go wrong with Murchison regardless of whether you visit it in the dry season or wet season. It meets your imagination of Africa in its purest form, with plentiful wildlife roaming in its 3,840km² expanses. In this case, it has 76 mammal and 451 bird species.
Found at the Northern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, it comprises Lake Albert, River Nile, Budongo forest, and a lively savannah. All these landscapes have cozy eco-friendly lodges where wildlife can be seen with ease.
The Park doesn’t have sharks or zebras, but it has thousands of elephants, buffalo, Uganda kobs, hundreds of lions, leopards, and millions of spectacular birds. Umoja Motherland Safaris is privileged to have guides who know them all, and where to find them at different times of the day.
Before spot hunting was banned here, it used to attract a huge number of spot hunters from different corners of the earth. This includes the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt who visited the park in 1909.
Thanks to undivided conservation efforts, the park’s wildlife populations have shot up over the years. At a time it is so hard to come by Rothschild giraffes across most of Africa’s parks, Murchison has over 1,200 of these endangered animals. You will have seen at least 80 by the end of your four-hour game drive.
While it is true that these elegant animals are the tallest land mammals, their 16ft height is no match to that of Borassus palm trees that tower over the park. The park once had less than 20 of these trees. Today, they can be seen at almost every turn. This growth is thanks to dispersal efforts by elephant families that have lived in the park for over five centuries now.
At first glance, you are bound to mistake the elephants here for huge ant hills due to their enormous size. It’s not by mistake that they have earned a top spot among the world’s largest land mammals.
Although Murchison is one of the three most visited parks in the country, it is still an immaculate setting. This is partly because the tour operators respect the no off-roading rule and don’t harass animals. Best of all, poaching is almost unheard of thanks to the patrol efforts by the rangers. As such, you are guaranteed of encountering even endangered species, like leopards.
Game Drives and Boat cruises
Game drives in Murchison take place in the Northern section of the park’s natural bush-land. Some stretches of the road are bumpy, but that adds to the pleasure. You won’t have a hard time maneuvering over them as our cars are custom made for off-road adventures.
On the other hand, boat cruises take place at a 24kilometer stretch of the river Nile that dissects that park into two major territories, North and South. Stretches of white water rapids dot the river beautiful. They are created as a result of the resistance that the river encounters as it forces its way down past static rocks to get downstream.
The shoreline is alive with lots of lush vegetation that provide lions a perfect camouflage—as they wait to ambush prey. This shoreline is an immensely wildlife-rich expanse and there is no better way to see them than by pursuing a two hours boat cruise headed for the mouth of the falls.
The boat is lovely and well looked after. It has extensive shade cover to protect you from burning sun rays. Both its upper and lower deck is pretty basic but comfortable and bigger than anticipated. It was built without windows to allow plenty of breeze into the boat.
This swift machine is ensuite with a bathroom and minibar where cold Ugandan beers and sodas are sold. You cannot imagine how powerful this waterfall is till you have seen it from the boat and subsequently from a vantage point that faces it. It flows in great volume and plummets over 40meters drop, landing with a bang.
For better views, a hike from its bottom to the summit is much recommended. It takes about one hour along a zigzagging trail that offers a gentle climbing challenge. The experience climaxes with an unobstructed view of the only spot where the world’s longest river squeezes its self through a seven-meter wide cleft. Don’t forget to carry with your sunscreen and insect repellent, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Chimp trekking in Budongo Forest
Here, you will find the second largest population of wild chimps in Uganda, over 600 individuals. The best way to discover what makes them 98.7% human is by pursuing a guided chimp trekking adventure.
Fast forward, Budongo is a rain forest with the oldest mahogany trees in East Africa, lots of which are over 250 years old. If you have ever dreamt of seeing enormous trees that are as wide as 9 average-sized men combined, Budongo will bring your dreams to life.
Although the forest experiences lots of rain, its floor is usually in a passable state. This is thanks to the network of rivers that drain its water.
The result is a beautiful setting perfect for a nice long leisurely walk. In case you don’t have binoculars, our team will provide you with one to enhance the enjoyment of viewing chimps that are high in the canopy.
In this exquisite wild place, you will also find lots of forest elephants, Rothschild giraffes, and forest buffaloes. Their leopards, too, but being a shy animal species, they prefer to spend much of their time in extremely dense parts of the forest where no tourist can disturb their peace.
Budongo is not any forest, it is a world wonder that started out as a hunting ground for the Kings of the most authoritative Bantu kingdom in Uganda. Prior to being opened for tourism, it was a research ground for Dr. Jane Goodall in her 55-year study of chimpanzee behavior.
If bird watching makes you happy, Budongo’s checklist has over 360 bird species, 60 of which central African birds. It is the second easiest place to find Guinea Congo species after Semuliki National Park. Budongo is also one of the only two places in East Africa where you can find a Yellow-footed Flycatcher and Puvel’s illadopsis. Other specials include Lemon-bellied crombec, Blue-breasted kingfisher, African dwarf kingfisher, Ituri batis, Cassin’s hawk-eagle, Chestnut-capped Flycatcher, White-spotted flufftail, Chocolate-backed kingfisher, Yellow-footed Flycatcher, Grey-headed sunbird, crowned eagle.
Migratory bird species can best be seen from November to April.