About Murchison falls national park
About Murchison falls national park: It is the country’s oldest protected area found in the northwestern part of the country with variety of attractions to include mammals, Murchison falls, Birds, River Nile, Boat cruise and primates. Murchison falls national park had been in existence for many years back and it was called Kabalega national park. The national park was named Kabalega national park after the king of Bunyoro by then. When sir Samuel baker visited the national park in 1864, he discovered the Kabalega falls which he named Murchison falls.
The national park from there changed from Kabalega national park to Murchison falls national park however during the region of Idi Amin Dada he instructed the national park to be called Kabalega national park. This was because of the differences between Africans and western people by that time. After the regime of Idi Amin Dada, the national park was again named Murchison falls national park until then.
Accessing Murchison falls national park
The park is located in the northwestern region of Uganda and it’s found in four districts – Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo, and Masindi district. It can be accessed using road transport or air transport in just a single day. By road transport, the national park can be accessed from Kampala via Luwero, Nakasongola to Masindi or Pakwach based on which side of the park you are going to visit.
This park can still be accessed by air transport but you need to book your seats early in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences. Flights to park starts from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport and land at Bugugu airstrip in the southern side of the park or Chobe airstrip and Pakuba airstrip in the northern side of the park.
Weather and climate
Murchison falls park experiences 2 dry seasons and 2 wet seasons every year. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February and it’s said to be the best time to visit the park because it has little or no rainfall which keeps the game trucks dry and the vegetation is short with clear views of animals.
The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November every year and this season is not the best to visit the park even though it’s always open. Tourists can always visit the park and it’s the budget travelers who benefit because they get huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season has a lot of rainfall which makes the game trucks muddy and slippery, the roads leading to the park are impassable and the vegetation is tall with unclear views f the animals.
Attractions in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls is one of the attractions in this park found on River Nile. This mighty falls were discovered by Sir Samuel Baker and it’s from these falls that the national park gets its name. The Murchison falls are the strongest falls in the worked and they do attract lots of tourists to the park.
A lot of tourists that visit this park want to take a visit to Murchison falls and this is always possible by taking a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls or taking a hike to the top of the falls. A hike to the top of the falls is the best way to see the Murchison falls because tourists will be able to see the water coming at a very high speed, go through a narrow gorge and then drop 40m into a pool hence producing the Murchison falls.
Murchison falls national park is home to over 451 bird species that have been so far recorded in the park and this makes it one of the best birding destinations in the country. Birds of Murchison falls national park are found in different areas with riverine, woodland, and savannah vegetation. The birding activity is guided and it’s best done in form of nature walks although it can still be done during game drives and boat cruises.
Birds in Murchison falls national park bar-breasted firefinch, African darter, red-throated bee-eater, grey-headed bush shrike, Vaseline masked weaver, northern shoveler, chestnut-crowned sparrow weaver, piapiac, silver bird, black-billed barbet, whistling cisticola, common teal, white-rumped seedeater, pied kingfisher, blue-naped moosebird, red-winged grey warbler, rock pratincole, black-headed batis, black-headed gonoleck, double toothed barbet, yellow-throated leaf love.
Other bird species in Murchison falls national park include Northern carmine bee-eater, black-lored babbler, fawn-breasted waxbill, spotted verreaux eagle owl, blue-napped mouse bird, giant kingfisher, white-bellied night heron, eurasian harrier, cassin’s spine tail, rock pratincole, swallow-tailed bee-eater, pied kingfisher, Egyptian geese, pal nut vulture, African shrike flycatcher, pygmy crake, African jacana, and chocolate backed kingfisher.
Over 76 mammals have been recorded in Murchison falls national park and these can be seen during game drives, nature walks, and boat cruises. The mammals are found every in the park and this is because there is food everywhere. The best way to see these animals is by taking a game drive activity where you go to different areas of the park looking for different mammals
During the game drives which are conducted in the morning, evening, and night hours, tourists are able to see as many animals as they can. The game drives give tourists opportunities to see animals such as lions, buffaloes, duikers, Jackson’s hartebeests, lions, leopards, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, giraffes, elephants, dik-dik, reedbucks, hippos, waterbucks, topis, and oribis to mention but a few.
Murchison falls national park has 13 primate species that have been recorded in the park and these are properly seen in Budongo forest which is in the south of the park. Budongo forest has only 9 primate species but as you do activities in Murchison falls national park you will be able to see other primates.
Of all 13 primates in Murchison falls park, only chimpanzees have been habituated and are open to trekking activity. Chimpanzee trekking is the main activity dine in Budongo forest but during the search, tourists are able to see different mammals in Murchison falls park which include red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, patas monkeys, olive baboons, and grey checked mangabeys among others.
River Nile is the longest river in the world and its source is said to be Lake Victoria. River Nile starts from Lake Victoria and powers its water in the Mediterranean Sea but as it flows it goes through Lake Kyoga then through this park before heading to Lake Albert which is in the west of the park.
Tourists in this national park can always explore River Nile by taking a boat cruise. The boat cruise can be to the bottom of the falls if one wants to see these Mighty falls and to the Nile delta if one wants to see Lake Albert. Any of the boat cruises on the River Nile will give tourists an opportunity to see different animals on the river such as hippos, crocodiles, water birds and different park animals on the side of the river.