Murchison falls national park tour and Ziwa rhino sanctuary
Murchison falls national park tour and Ziwa rhino sanctuary: This tour takes tourists to Murchison falls national park which is the largest protected area in the country and Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is the only home to white rhinos in Uganda. On this tour, tourists will be able to encounter all the big 5 mammals on the safari and these are lions, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, and leopards.
Murchison falls national park is located in the northwestern part of Uganda and Ziwa rhino sanctuary is located in Nakasongola district. There are over 76 mammals in Murchison falls park, 13 primate species, and 451 bird species while Ziwa has 26 mammals, and 350 birds
This Safari gives tourists an opportunity to see the big mammals in Murchison falls park. The safari can start from Ziwa rhino sanctuary and end in Murchison falls national park or it can start from Murchison falls national park and in Ziwa rhino sanctuary based on the itinerary.
Murchison falls national park tour and Ziwa rhino sanctuary
Activities to do on this tour
White rhino tracking : White rhino tracking on this tour shall be done in Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is located in Nakasongola district. Ziwa rhino sanctuary is the only place where white rhinos are being protected in the whole country and this place happens to be on the route to Murchison falls national park. The rhino tracking is one of the safari activities in Ziwa that can e done before or after visiting Murchison falls national park to complete all the big mammals in Murchison falls park.
The rhino tracking activity at Ziwa is done in form of nature walks and tourists are able to see the rhinos while on foot. Tourists are able to get close to the rhinos about 6 meters away and watch them do daily activities like feeding, resting, and playing. The armed ranger guides will be in a position to teach tourists different information about the rhinos.
Game drives: Is one of the Safari activities in Murchison falls park. Game drives are best done in the northern sector of the park where a high number of wildlife animals does live. Game drives are done during the day, evening and night for those that want to see nocturnal animals.
The game drive on this tour will give tourists an opportunity to see different wild animals among which include lions, duikers, buffaloes, waterbucks, hyenas, leopards, Uganda kobs, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, topis, oribis, jackson’s hartebeests, lions, olive baboons, birds, primates, River Nile and much more.
Bird watching: Bird lovers n this safari will be able to see birds in Ziwa rhino sanctuary even though there are no birding activities but the main birding activity shall be done in Murchison falls national park The national park has been listed among the best birding areas within the country because it has over 451 bird species.
The birds of Murchison falls national park live in the riverine, woodland, and savannah vegetation where tourists can see them during game drives, boat cruises, and nature walk activities. Birds you are likely to see on this tour include Senegal thick-knee, long-toed plover, veracious dove, northern spotted morning thrush, secretary bird, spur-winger geese, African darter, red-throated bee-eater, northern shoveler, speckle-fronted weaver, beautiful sunbird, black-billed barbet.
Other birds include yellow-fronted tinkerbird, whistling cisticola, common teal, giant kingfisher, marabou stork, rock pratincole, black-headed gonoleck, grey-headed bush shrike, rock pratincole, yellow-throated greenbul, blue-napped mousebirds, fawn-breasted waxbill, dwarf kingfisher, pennant winged nightjar, grey crowned crane, denham’s bustard, red-winged grey warbler, northern red bishop, rock pratincole, Senegal thick-knee, swallow-tailed bee-eater, shoebill stork, Egyptian geese, pal nut vulture, African shrike flycatcher, and African jacana.
Boat cruise: The boat cruise on this safari can be done in Murchison falls national park on the river Nile. The boat cruise starts at Paraa jetty ferry and goes all the way to the bottom of the falls or to the Nile delta. The bottom of the falls boat cruise is the one you shouldn’t miss out on because it comes with an opportunity to see the strongest falls in the world.
Tourists who will take part in the boat cruise will get an opportunity to know certain things about River Nile, Murchison falls, and the park. Tourists will also be able to see different hippos, crocodiles, water birds such as shoebill stork, kingfishers, marabou stork, and much more. Animals will be seen in the morning or evening at the shires drinking water or grazing.
Hike to the top of the falls: A hike to the top of the falls is done for tourists who love to see the Murchison falls. It’s a 45 minute walk to the top of the falls even though tourists are able to drive to the top of the falls. The activity is guided by armed ranger guides who play an important role in giving information about Murchison falls and the park.
A hike to the top of the falls will give you an aerial view of the Murchison falls national park, the Murchison falls, and the River Nile. At the top of the falls, everyone will be able to see how the Murchison falls are made. They will see water running at a high speed and forcing itself through a narrow gorge to form the Murchison falls as it finds its way down the pool.
Chimpanzee trekking: On a Murchison falls national park and Ziwa rhino sanctuary tour, tourists are able to be part of the chimpanzee trekking activity which is done in Budongo forest next to Murchison falls national park. The chimpanzees in Budongo forest have been habituated and they are open to trekking activities.
Chimpanzee trekking is done in the morning and evening and both sessions start with the briefing where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the activity. Armed ranger guides then lead them into the jungle where they search for the apes for 1-4 hours depending on the speed of trekkers and the location of the apes.
When the chimpanzees are spotted, tourists are given 1 hour to be around them and this gives them a chance to know about their habits, watch them do daily activities, take photos, and learn about their habits. During the chimpanzee trekking activity in Budongo, trekkers will be able to see different primates, birds, mammals on Murchison falls park and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Best time to have a safari in Murchison falls national park and Ziwa rhino sanctuary
Tourists can have a safari in Murchison falls national park and Ziwa rhino sanctuary at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months from June to September and December to February are the best to have this safari because they have little or no rainfall, vegetation is short and thin with good views of animals and the roads are in good condition.
Tourists can still have a safari to Murchison falls national park and Ziwa rhino sanctuary in the rainy season from March to May and October to November because these areas will be open. The rainy season however comes with a lot of rainfall, the vegetation in the areas is thick and tall with unclear views of wildlife and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Accessing Murchison falls national park and Ziwa rhino sanctuary.
The best way to access these protected areas on a safari is by using road transport. Ziwa rhino sanctuary can be accessed by road transport in about 2 hours from Kampala through Luwero to Nakasongola where one branch off the main road to the sanctuary. Murchison can be accessed from Kampala via Luwero, Nakasongola to Masindi or Pakwach where the park is accessed using any of the gates.