Murchison Falls, Budungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves comprise of Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP). Murchison Falls National Park derives its name from the Falls where the mighty River Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and flows down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare shoebill.
In the cool early morning before the sun rises too high, you will see plenty of game on the Buligi, Albert and Queen’s tracks north of the River Nile. At Nyamusika Cliffs you can picnic, enjoy the view and watch elephants and other game on the grassy hillsides. Go well prepared for a four-hour game drive. Ensure you are accompanied by a guide. The best time is 0700hr and 1600hr.
With the return of stability and security of the area, wildlife is increasing with leaps and bounds! Wildlife viewing include sightings of giraffe, buffalo, elephant, warthogs, leopard, lion and antelope. Stunning views take in the winding path of the Nile, which is laced with the adventures of history’s most ardent explorers. The experienced Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger/guides are a necessary asset to ensure the best viewing and maximize the experience. Masindi Hotel can supply drinks and packed lunches upon request.
Nile Perch and tiger-fish provide an exciting challenge to anglers. Sport fishing is possible in the river sections above and below the falls. Kick back and relax on the River Nile and do a little fishing in one of the world’s best places to do sport fishing. The keen fisherman can try to catch one of the record-breaking Nile Perch that this area has to offer. Nile Perch are good fighters and considered a prime catch to make the experience absolutely unforgettable! Few realize just how big Nile Perch are, records weigh in at over 70 kilograms! It is the perfect location, with the thundering backdrop of Murchison Falls, and under the watchful eyes and supervision of the inhabitants of ‘Crocodile Alley’ to experience fishing on the Nile. Fishing permits, equipment and boat hire are organized through the Uganda Wildlife Authority can be arranged through the hotel in advance or your tour agent.
Launch Trips on the Nile
One of the highlights of a visit to Murchison Falls National Park is the launch trip from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls. Hippos and crocodiles are abundant and you will see birds like herons, cormorants, ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers and sometimes the rare Shoebill.
The launch trip from Paraa to the falls (17km) and back takes about three hours. A boat trip from Paraa to the Delta (28km) and back takes about four to five hours and you can see a similar variety of animals and birds. The boat trip is scheduled for 0900hr and 1400hr every day. Any special time arrangements can be made with park management.
Set aside half a day for this experience, and remember to bring your bird book, binoculars and cameras. Samuel Baker, a British explorer did not have much time to enjoy the view during his explorations in the 1860′s when he discovered it. A shy hippopotamus charged his boat, flipping him and his wife Florence into the water precariously close to the crocodiles. Fortunately, the hippos are now accustomed to visitors! Masindi Hotel can supply drinks and packed lunches upon request.
A Drive to Top of Murchison Falls
This is also a must-do activity. Every drop of water in the River Nile plunges and explodes through a narrow ravine, creating the most powerful single concentration of water in the world. Invigorating spray christens its jagged mouth, crowned by an almost permanent rainbow that has become a trademark of this extraordinary natural wonder. For the more adventurous, there is a steep pathway leading down to the froth and roar below.
Bird Watching and Walking Trails
Uganda is a true African birding destination. Located at the center of the continent, Uganda attracts migrants from the North and South. Uganda is the richest country for birds in Africa. It has almost half the species known on the African continent and over 10% of those recorded throughout the entire world.