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Murchison Falls National Park – Tips & Safaris

Facts about Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park was named after the attractive fall’ Murchison’ It’s the largest in Uganda and covers about (3840 sq. km).

It’s situated in the northwest, which is roughly about 90km from Masindi, it’s comprises of Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Re-serves, where river Nile explodes viciously from end to end of a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to fall into a frothing pool 43m below. Its banks are thronged with crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks and buffaloes. Savannah grasslands, riverine forest and woodland distinguish Murchison vegetation from the others 9! Some of the wildlife available for you to see includes Lions,

IMG_8630Kobs, Chimpanzees, bird species and many others. Murchison wildlife populations have greatly recovered from poaching which it suffered in 1980’s but this is now history following the support rendered by Uganda wildlife authority! 95% of all the animals are now sighted while on a game at 3hrs game drive.
Nile River does accommodate most of Uganda’s reptiles for example crocodiles, Hippos, water birds, shoebill stork. Chimps are habituated in Rabongo forests which is southeast of the park and many of the tropical forests animals.

IMG_1786Facts about the protection area

Average temperature: high 29oc low 21oc.
Hot seasons: mid-December to mid-February, June and July.
Wettest season: April and November.
Wildlife: 450 bird species and 76 mammal species.
Total area of MFPA: 5025km2, (MFNP 3,877 SQ KM, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve 473sq km, Karuma Wildlife reserve 675sqkm).
Altitude: 619m at the delta and 1,292m at Rabongo hill.

Fishing Sport in Murchison

Fishing is usually done from the Nile River that crosses through the park and booking is done prior to the actual activity because a limited number of people are allowed at a time. The Nile Perch and tiger-fish are usual fun to fish. Please carry along your own fishing tools. Available are some boats for hire but booking is done in advance for those who need a boat cruise. Please you need to organize this through your tour guide if it’s not included in your package.

Game Drives:

Game drive is done very early in the morning before the sun rises and there is a lot of wildlife to see in the park via servral tracks i.e. Albert and Queen’s north of the River Nile. Tourist can enjoy the view and observe wildlife on the green hillsides at Nyamusika Cliffs. This is a 3-4 hrs game drive. Please ensure you’re accompanied by a tour guide. The best time to embark on this trip is 0700hr and 1600hr.

Nature Walks

Nature walks are done in Rabongo forest situated in Murchison falls; here you’re offered a chance to walk around the wild creatures on foot. The top of the falls, Vegetation, Birds and animals and Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo are gently observed.

Boat Cruise

The boat cruise from the board point to the fore view of Murchison Falls is one the striking activities in Murchison Falls National Park that makes a safari highlight. On this Nile cruise you will see Birds i.e. kingfishers ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagle, heron, shoebill and animals like Hippos, crocodiles and elephants, buffaloes.
The 1st boat takes off at 0800pm for 3 hrs. which is 17 km to and fro but there other boats from different companies follows UWA boat between 0800-0900 pm every day, In case you need to arrange any special cruise thus can be arrangement with Park management., whereas the 28km boat trip from Paraa to the Delta and back takes about four to five hours.

Top view of the fall

Get a chance to explore the top view of the falls go right up to the water’s edge. You can have an opportunity to hike to the top of the falls and to get proxy to the narrow gorge through which the river explodes into the falls after the boat has landed. As you hike you get to see Campsites, picnic sites and hiking safaris.

Kaniyo Pabidi Adventure

Kaniyi Pabidi is located 8kms from Kichumbanyobo along Masindi-Paraa road. Chimpanzee tracking is the most famous activity here but assuredly you will see a variety. The Kaniyo Pabidi exploration avails a peaceful area of natural vegetation within Budongo Forest Reserve, here you can walk below mature buttress rooted mahogany and iron wood trees. Forest birds which including the following: chocolate-backed kingfisher, the white-thigh hornbill and puvel’s illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa. Kaniyo Pabidi is under the management of the national forestry authority and it also manages the campsite that has water

Rabongo Forest;

This situated in an island of tropical riverine forest southeast of the park. Rabongo is covered with Savannah grassland which is 11/2hr drive from Paraa. Then, a guide will help you to adventure the forest on foot; viewing primates like red-tailed monkeys, baboons and sometimes chimpanzees, other animals, birds, the black and white colobus monkeys, tree species and medicinal plants. So, one can picnic and camp by the Wairingo River.

Getting to Murchison falls National Park

By road: From Kampala through Masindi -via Kichumbanyobo gate, Paraa is a 41/42hours drive, 2 hours on tarmac and 21/22 hours on murram roads. A 4WD is recommended. The ferry at Paraa operates on scheduled time between the southern and northern bank of River Nile.
By air: At Pakuba about 19kms northwest of Paraa and Bugungu 13kms from Paraa, Charter services are available to all-weather aerodromes.
Available are the campsites at the Top of the fall, Rabongo Forest, Paraa and delta area. Traditional and self-contained bandas are available at Red chilli Rest Camp they also offer meals and beverages. Toilet or pit latrines and showers or bathing shelters are provided at the sites.
Also available are luxurious accommodation is at Nile Safari Camp, Sambiya River Lodge and Paraa Uganda safari Lodges.

You must read this!

Walk only on designated trails.
You should be accompanied by a guide while on nature walks and game drives
Camping done only at designated campsites.
Do not cut plants, pick flowers or destroy any vegetation.
Pets are unacceptable while in the park.
Firearms are not permissible in the park.
Do not litter the park; rather dump in the provided trash cans.
Entrance into the Park through Kichumbanyobo, Bugungu or Tangi gate.
Any activity must be done between 6:30 am and 6:30pm.
Driving is only on selected roads while in the park.
Don’t sound your horn is while in the park.
Kindling fires is permissible only at the fire rings at the campsites.
And finally, keep all official receipts issued for park activities.

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