Murchison Falls National Park Activities
Murchison Falls National Park Activities : First of all, Murchison Falls National Park renown as Uganda’s oldest and largest park above all, most visited among the national parks and reserves on Uganda Safari unlike gorillas in Bwindi forest gorilla trekking national park .Despite the fact that ,the park was established in 1952 as national park to protect diversity of wildlife, located in northwestern region of Uganda, approximately 4 to 6 hours’ drive from north of Kampala Uganda’s capital.
This nation park is home rich in diversity of wildlife with over 76 mammals such as lions, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, kobs, Nile crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, warthogs among others,450 bird species such as rare shoe bill stork, white-thighed hornbill, great blue turaco, Goliath heron, dwarf kingfisher many more.
What makes Murchison most famous; The powerful waterfalls on Victoria Nile with its stunning spraying water.
Below are the activities one can do on visit to Murchison Falls National Park as high lightened;
Boat Cruise-Launch Trip –Murchison Falls
Boat cruise is one of common done activities by tourists on visit to Murchison Falls, it starts right upstream from Paraa that presents impressive view at the beginning of the experience. Where wildlife is displayed along water banks and culminates with the gainful frontal view of the falls. The boat cruise departs at 9am and 2pm daily and it’s a three-hour life time experience, as the boat can be able to cruise near to the devil’s cauldron the view is quite interesting and memorable.
The boat cruise is more recommended for bird lovers where you can be able to view variety of notable water birds such as white egrets, cattle egrets, shoe bills among others, animals linking for water like buffaloes, elephants and other water species can be seen like hippos and crocodiles. The morning cruise downstream to the Nile Lake Albert Delta provides the best chance inside the park to see the Unique elusive shoebill. You can choose to do 4 to 5-hour return voyage to takes a close view of variety of other wildlife including hippos, elephants and many birds.
Apart from doing boat cruise, you can choose to do a tranquil sundowner cruise that offers a rewardable view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river. A tranquil sundowner boat cruise starts at 5 :30pm and expect to get perfect view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river.
Birding in Murchison Falls
Birding in Murchison can be done on both game drives and the launch trip that offers a great chance to travelers to come across distinct birdlife such as the water birds, savannah forest birds and Albertine Rift endemics. Murchison Falls national park main birding attraction is the unique Shoebill which are sighted in the dry season from January – March.
Murchison’s commonest species which can be encountered in the plains include Open-billed storks and widow bird, Black bellied Bustards, Secretary, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Marabou stork among others.
Birders in the park can also view bird species near the river where there are more thickets and woodlands with lots of varieties such as Swallow-tailed, Red-throated Bee –eater, Nyamusika Cliffs also a perfect bird viewing areas such as Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, Crombecs, Warbler, Hamer kop, Shrikes, Grey heron, Francolin, Hornbills, Woodland, pied, Giant and Malachite kingfishers many more. The riverbanks are also spotting area to duck ,geese ,plover and stilt.
Game drive in Murchison
This activity is the main activity done in Murchison Falls national park because is home of diversity of mammals which can be enjoyed or explored in different designated game drive areas. The main spotting area are the Delta where there are great chances of adventuring the Lions in wait for prey, the Buligi peninsula and the southern sector popularly known as the heart of Murchison all are rewardable for animal viewing and the best way to enjoy the activity is use of 4×4 wheel with a pop roof provided.
The best way to have prime game viewing in the park do it in Buligi Peninsula, a triangle of grass bounded by the Victoria Nile that connect Lake Albert and Albert Nile flowing out if it. Where tourists expect to see species of buffalo, elephants, antelopes and giraffes and keep your eyes open, you might come across lions and leopard if your lucky. There is game track at the Delta point where the Nile flows north out of lake Albert very convenient place to stop for refreshments and view water birds offshore and distant hippos.
Visitors can choose to do hot air balloon to explore the plains north and west of Paraa in a hot air balloon.
Heart of Murchison
This area is located in the southern part of Murchison Falls national park covered by bush and forest with a delightful tract of savanna rolls down to the river Nile from the Rabongo road which is centered besides the park. Along here on game track expect to see herds of Uganda kob and other species. Furthermore, the area has turned into a prime location for seeing lions among others.
Hiking and Nature walks in Murchison Falls
The park boosts with vast landscape and varied scenery surrounded by Conservation area which can explored on foot with reward. Nature walk in Murchison Falls can be done in Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests thus offering rewardable sights of primates and birds. You can still do it around the Nile Lake Albert Delta which takes two to four hours guided swamp walks and offers chance of seeing Shoebill when the water level is low.
While in Murchison Falls, visitors can hike a 45 minutes through woodland to the top of Murchison Falls for a completely different experience of this powerful waterfall.
Hiking or nature walk is the best experience that brings all the senses into play, where one can be able to observe white water tumble hypnotically through this six-meter chasm, taste the spray on your face as well as feel the rock shake beneath your feet. You can trek to the top of the falls, stop off at the north bank during your game drive and walk down and take a step to stand within meters of the rapids.
Visit the top of the falls is worth it because of its powerful falls with splashing waters.
Both birder and nature lovers can simply enjoy short treks beginning from Sambiya River Lodge or Mubako Junction or encounter the hidden treasures on foot along the north bank from Paraa passing the Emmy River. All walks done within the park can take one and a half to two hours.
Sport fishing in Murchison Falls
This is quite rewarding activity with great opportunities to land a large Nile Perch, Cat fish and other caught species include Tiger fish, Tilapia, Electric cat fish among others.
Chimpanzee tracking is quite an exciting and unforgettable experience done in Budongo forest a home of mahogany tree species, birds and primates. Chimpanzee tracking starts in the morning with a guide who leads you to the tracking trails in search for them, an activity which can lasts 30 to 6 hours depending from where last seen the previous day. Once are located an hour is given to the trackers to observe their way of life in the jungle watch them playing, grooming their younger ones, swinging on the tree branches, feeding among others.
The largest recorded caught Nile perch was weighing 113 kilograms and the largest cat fish was weighing 45 kilograms landed near the Nyamusika cliffs. Tourists are recommended to use ‘’UWA’’ guides Uganda Wildlife Authority who lead them to best fishing spots. Fishing permits are sold at a small fee.
Hot Air Balloons in Murchison Falls National Park
This is the best activity to enjoy the park’s species in aerial view, with bush breakfast sunset very fantastic experience.
During cultural encounter in the park can visit Mubako small craft shop sells carved wooden sculpture and handwoven item made by local community. You will also be entertained by the local cultural groups with vibrant songs and dances around the campfires of local lodges well accompanied by the sweet sounds the adungu.
Visit the village and encounter traditional thatched huts around a clearing.