Murchison falls national park- the river Nile, Boat trips and game drives
The Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s largest park. The park was gazetted in 1952. It was named after the spectacular Murchison falls where the river Nile forcefully flows down 45 meters through an 8 meters narrow rocky gap. The river then continues its journey to the Mediterranean Sea. The river Nile divides Murchison national park into two parts-north and south. The northern side of the park has most animals.
The vegetation consists of savanna and borassus palms, riverine woodland, acacia trees and some forest patches. However the southern side of the park is mainly wood-land with few animals.
Well known visitors to the park include; Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and British royals.
Game drives and Boat trips
Game drives are carried out on the northern side. Tracks to be explored include the Buligi track where Leopards are commonly seen. The Queen and Commonwealth tracks are famous for spotting lions. Herds of Giraffes and Buffalos are common along the Victoria and Albert tracks.
Boat trips start from Paraa and they go both directions of the river Nile. The most popular boat trip goes upstream to the bottom of the Murchison falls. It usually takes place in the afternoon when most animals come to the river for a drink. However, the boat trip can be arranged any time of day as long as you can make up the numbers and payments. The boat tour along the Nile is the perfect opportunity to photograph birds and animals of the park.
The other boat trip goes downstream the river to the Nile delta. It is mostly preferred by birdwatchers- This boat trip is a great platform to see the swamp and water birds of the park. There are high chances of seeing the rare Shoebill and Papyrus Gonolek.
Biodiversity: 76 animal species in the park include Elephants, buffaloes, lions, giraffes, leopard, Hippos, water bucks, crocodiles, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs. Primates include the chimpanzees, patas monkey, Black and white colobus and the Olive Baboon. There are 451 bird species including the rare shoebill, Banded Martin, Red throated Bee-eater, Wooly-necked stork, Goliath Heron and more.
Size of the park: 3840 sq.km
Location: North western Uganda
Accessibility: Entebbe-Kampala-Masindi-Paraa 350 km. There is an airstrip north of Paraa Lodge and south of Pakuba Lodge on the northern side of the park. It is therefore possible to fly from Entebbe to the park. Flight time is about one hour