The bottom of the falls boat cruise – Murchison falls national park
The bottom of the falls boat cruise – Murchison falls national park: This park is Uganda’s largest protected area covering 3893 sq. km. The national park was gazetted in 1952 making it one of the oldest in the country. It was gazetted to protect wildlife and as of today, over 75 mammal species, 13 primates, and 451 bird species have been recorded in the park.
A lot of activities can be done in Murchison falls park but in this article, we are going to look at the bottom of the falls boat cruise. The bottom of the falls boat cruise is one of the most done activities by travelers who love to have a close encounter of the Murchison falls.
The bottom of the falls boat cruise is a 2-3 hour launch trip to the base of the Murchison falls. The boat cruise is operated by Uganda Wildlife Authority, Paara Safari Lodge, and wild frontiers twice a day, in the morning and afternoon.
The bottom of the falls boat cruise experience
Travelers that are to participate in the bottom of the falls boat cruise must be at Paara dock in time. The ranger will check if they have the right tickets to allow them to be part of the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and then they will get on to the boat. On the boat, there is always a ranger from Uganda Wildlife Authority who will welcome you onto the boat and give you stories about the park and the river.
By taking a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, you will be able to know about the history of the River Nile, how its name changed from Kabalega falls to Murchison falls, and you will be able to know about the national park itself. The ranges will go ahead to tell you every animal you will come across among which include hippos and crocodiles within the waters, the fish, and the aquatic birds seen along the river banks.
Some of the birds you are likely to encounter during the bottom of the falls boat cruise in Murchison falls national park include papyrus gonoleck, African jacana, malachite kingfisher, red-throated bee-eaters, swamp flycatcher, shoebill stork, and African fish eagle among others. Tourists are able to encounter most of these birds clearly with a help of a pair of binoculars.
During the boat cruise, one will be able to encounter some of the park animals at the shores of the lake trying to graze or drink water mostly in the dry season. The evening hours or after boon hours is when animals come to the river banks to drink water because most of the pools are dry. The animals include lions, buffaloes, leopards, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, warthogs, and Uganda kobs among others.
The boat cruise upstream Paraa will take you to the bottom of the and somewhere the boat will stop on the rock to allow you to spend some time seeing how the waterfalls are made. You will see how the water passes through a narrow gorge down 40 meters to produce the waterfalls which make a very loyd sound. You will be able to record videos and take videos to show your friends back home.
After spending some time encountering the falls, the boat will turn and those that want to hike to the top of the falls will can use the trail right there through the forest to the top of the falls which takes less than an hour. The boat will thereafter return to the starting point at Paara dick with new opportunities for seeing animals and birds.
How much does it cost to be part of the bottom of the falls boat cruise?
Are you wondering about how much it cost to be part of the bottom of the falls boat cruise? well, to be part of the group to take a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, you need permission from Uganda Wildlife Authority. You buy a permit from the park headquarters at a cost of $30 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents and East African citizens its UGX30,000.
Travelers should note that to access Murchison falls national park for the boat cruise, they must pay a park entrance fee which is $45 for foreign non-residents, $35 for foreign residents, and UGX25,000 East African citizens. The park entrance fee comes with a free game drive around the park where tourists are able to encounter several wildlife species.
Best time to do a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.
The bottom of falls boat cruise in Murchison falls national park can be done at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best for the bottom of the falls boat cruise in Murchison and they happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall which keeps the water level normal for the boat rides. The vegetation is short in the park giving clear views of the park animals and the water animals are always seen at the river banks trying to drink water or graze especially in the evening hours.
Tourists can still visit Murchison falls national park for the bottom of the falls boat cruise in the rainy season of March to May and October to November because the park will be open. The rainy season however comes with heavy downpours which make the water levels rise which can delay the boat cruises or make them get postponed. The vegetation is tall in the park making unclear views of the park animals and a few animals are seen at the river banks because the food and water are plenty in the park.