Things to do in Murchison Falls National Park : Uganda the Pearl of Africa is a richly blessed country which has 10 National Parks and12 wildlife reserves with a variety of beautiful nature to view like; savannah woodlands, mountains, tropical rain forests, stunning rivers and lakes which attract very many tourists in the country but a tour to Uganda is not a complete one without visiting one of the most ranked as the top most destinations to visit while on a Uganda Safari such as Murchison Falls National Park.
Murchison Falls National Park is located in Masindi District in the Northern part of Uganda. In 1926, it was gazette as a game reserve and it split into two by the the Victoria Nile, later it was established in 1952 as a national park which makes it one of the oldest national parks in the country. The most interesting thing to know about this park is that it is the largest National Park among all the other national parks in Uganda covering a total surface area of 3,840 square kilometers.
The Murchison Falls National Park derived its name from the Murchison Falls, which were named by Sir Samuel Baker after Sir Roderick Murchison who was known to be the president of the Geographical society. But in the years back in, the 1970’s the former Ugandan President Idi Amin Dada renamed the falls as Kabarega falls after the Omukama/ King of Bunyoro kingdom and later in 1979, the National park was changed back to Murchison Falls.
The southern part of Murchison Falls National Park is dominated by forests and woodland and the park itself is characterized by the following features; Marshy woodland, acacia tree, borassus palms, savannah, and forests.
Murchison falls National Park is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which has the major of protecting all the national Parks in the country. This National park is a home to 76 mammal species, and 451 bird species and these; Buffaloes, Elands, antelopes, hippos, duikers, African bush elephants, Nile crocodiles, giraffes and the aquatic birds like the rare shoebill stork.
Tourists visiting Murchison Falls National Park are always given a chance to engage in several activities during their stay and some these activities include the following;
The best time to go for bird-watching activities in Murchison falls is between months of January to March, June to August and Mid December to February during the dry season. Birders in this park get a chance to look at a variety number of birds which include the following; Secretary birds, Widow birds, Open- billed storks, the black-Bellied Bustards, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, the Grey heron, the Hamerkop, Flycatchers, woodpeckers, the Francolin Hornbill, woodpeckers, Malachite king fishers, the crombec and Warblers, when they are closer to the river and the woodlands. However, the bird that most tourists are always interested to see is the rare shoebill stork.
Boat cruise activities in Murchison Falls National park all begin at Paraa landing area. All boat cruises take about 4-5 hours for example the round trip to the Nile Delta and back to paraa and these are normally the sundowner boat cruises, which always take place around 5:30pm blessing tourists with classic views of an equatorial sunset, which is reflected on the river. Tourists usually use tis chance to take pictures of the sunset, which always look epic.
The Launch trips in Murchison falls National Park begin at 9am in the morning and 2pm in the afternoon and the cruises last for three good hours. While on the boat cruise, tourists get to explore by seeing some creatures in the water like; hippos, Nile Crocodiles, waterbucks, buffaloes, and elephants as the bird lovers also get an opportunity to sight see bird creatures like; the shoebill stork, Kingfishers, and cormorants and many more.
There is a history that the largest Nile perch that weighed 113kgs and the largest cat-fish that weighed 45kgs were ever caught from Murchison falls and this record is exciting to most of the tourists who get to hear of it and it ends up making them pick a lot of interest to come visit Murchison Falls national park and engage themselves in the sport fishing activities. Tourists will be able to catch a variety of fish species such as; the Nile perch, catfish, tiger fish, electric catfish, tilapia fish, and many more.
Before going for the sport fishing activities, visitors are always advised to carry their own fishing equipment has and acquire fishing permits which cost at UDS 50 dollars per day and 150 dollars for four days incase tourists are still interested in the activity.
Hot Air balloons.
Murchison falls National Park offers it is Visitors with the opportunity to explore and get to experience this national park from the sky in the Hot air balloons. Tourists can decide to do the sunrise or post sunrise hot air balloons and there are short sunset hot air balloon safaris that are always available for students or big tourist group with many members.
Murchison falls national park gives a chance to the tourists to go on game drives where they get to see a variety of wild animals in the park such as; leopards, hippos, zebras, duikers, elephants, antelopes, hartebeests, Nile crocodiles, and the side stripped jackal. More so, while in the mark the major spots for game drives include the delta where visitors have high chances of glancing at lions and the Buligi Peninsula, which is in the southern sector of the park.
In Murchison falls national park, cultural encounters involve paying visits to the Boomu women’s group and Mubako community. During these cultural encounters, tourists get to learn about the ethnic groups as they interact with the individuals within the communities and learn more about their cultures as they enjoy watching traditional dance performances listen to their music and do not always miss the story telling part where they get to tell the history of their ethnic groups.
Hiking and Guided Nature Walks.
Well-trained and experienced guides while going for hiking expeditions and nature walks always accompany tourists. During these nature walks, tourists view wildlife species like; the red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus, tree species, medicinal plants and birds like the rare shoebill stork and many more.