Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison is an absolute A-list destination! Where else can you be following a lioness and her cubs towards their hideout and at the same instant see a tower of giraffes gracefully matching in search for food? The park is a delightful revelation with a richness of wildlife and great concentration of Africa’s wild animals from reptiles to mammals and anything in between. It has everything that Kruger has...plus such once-in-a-lifetime sightings chimpanzees. Its waterfall is and rejuvenating boat cruises are justifiably its biggest drawcards but if you have time head for a sport fishing excursion along the Nile or an early morning hot air balloon safari.
Famed the world over for its thunderous waterfall, a dense tropical rainforest and lush savannah, Murchison is Uganda’s biggest wildlife park, covering 3,840km2. It boasts of 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds, including Shoebill, Widow Bird, Marabou Stork, Secretary Birds, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Open-billed Storks and Black-bellied Bustards. Most of these live within the savannah and swampy areas. On the other hand, the thickets and woodlands are a preferred habitat for Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters, Woodpeckers, Francolin, Woodland, Grey Heron, Pied, Crombecs, Harmerkop, Hornbill, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers geese, plovers and stilts. The list of mammals comprises of lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, giraffes, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs.
You can top your game drive with a sightseeing boat cruise along the shores of river Nile. Massive numbers of grazers and browsers gather here to quench their thirst and cool of the day’s steam. This in turn provides an incredible opportunity for predators to strike for a feast. It’s a captivating wildlife sighting that will leave you squealing in delight.
Murchison’s magnificent landscape doesn’t disappoint. To its Northern section lies rolling grasslands with towering borassus palm trees and an open savannah on an epic scale. On the other hand, the Southern wing is dominated by a vast-dense tropical forest where Kings of Bunyoro-Kitara dynasty used to hunt in the prehistoric times. Its name, Budongo forest. In the interest of conservation, they no longer do this. This positive twist of development has facilitated the rapid population of wildlife, making Budongo home to the second biggest population of chimpanzees in Uganda.
Most of the predators here seem so used to the presence of vehicles that you can really observe their behavior from upclose. Ironically, they just go on as if you weren’t there. We have had leopards using our vehicles as a cover to approach their prey.
Best time to visit
All the above drama unfolds throughout the year, but the biggest spectacle develops around June-end of August, when the peak breeding season of prey is on. This is the time of the year for the Nile crocodiles to get their fill as unsuspicious babies of prey come to the shores of river Nile to drink water.
In the rainy season of February, afternoon thunderstorms roll over Murchison’s horizon and over the savannah. This causes light to duel with the shadows briefly as murky clouds cover pale blue skies. In this regard, if you particularly want a photographic trip, the dry season from December to February is a better option. During this time, the scene is truly picturesque thanks to the clear blue skies.
Nature of accommodation
Murchison Falls is deservedly popular, with its range of accommodation to suit all budgets. In an effort to reduce on rate of poaching in the park, the hotels we shall reserve for you employ locals as a way of providing them an alternative livelihood.
At night, you will be treated to a little Luo culture, with folklore tales and after-dinner dance performances.