Travel · Uganda

What you need to know about Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison National park is suited in the northern part of Albertine Rift Valley. A place where the massive Bunyoro escarpment amalgamate into the enormous plains of Acholi land. It’s well known to be one of Uganda’s ancient conservation areas. In 1926, it was known as a game reserve set up to protect the savannah grassland that was talked about by Winston Church chill in 1907 as the great Kew Gardens along with the wildlife blended on an restricted land .

The park is acknowledged for receiving prominent international visitors. Winston Churchill is a great man who is accredited for having done activities such as boat cruise, hiking as well as cycling the Nile corridor of the falls. Later on, he was followed by his predecessor who is believed for have spent a lot of money US$1.8m on his hunting safari in Uganda.

In 1951, a movie was shot with background scenery of the Murchison falls that was Humphrey Bogart in John Huston’s prominent movie. Another movie was the African Queen which was shot on the vicinity of the Murchison Nile along with Lake Albert. Other vital visitors include the Prince of Wales, Edward VII in 1930, Queen Mother in 1959 and the British royals

In 1954, Ernest Hemingway also visited park. The aim of his visit was to enjoy the adventure waterfalls although his plan got a problem on his way to venture the beautiful scenery of Park. Hemingway and the wife survived and where taken to Butiaba hospital for some treatment. Unfortunately the plan crushed.

The park covers an area of about 3,893km2 and its known to be one of Uganda’s well protected area. This area is an addition  to Murchison falls thus covering an area of about 5,072km2 including Bugungu  as well as Karuma wildlife reserves.

The Albert Nile corridor is on the low plains of about 612m at delta point. The temperatures tend to be hot with a maximum of 29Oc and the affected months are December,mid February, June as well as July. The rainy season is between April and November.

Some of you may be wondering how to get to the park. But by means of road, it will take you around 5hours from Kampala with about 305 km.Paara covers a distance of about 85km from Masindi town by the shortest route.

A direct or longer route will cover an area of about 135km.Alternatively one may decide to take on the Budongo forest route that will provide magnificent views overlooking Lake Albert from the direct position of the rift valley escarpment over Butiaba.

You can also access Paara from the north through Chobe Gate, Karuma Falls along with Tangi.The Gate that is close to Pakwach covers an area of about 25km2 to paara in addition to Wankwar Gate close to Purongo. 

People with Vehicles or public means will definitely go through the Nile at paara.It has a fixed time from 07.00 and 19.00.Besides road, Murchison can be accessed by air.Pakuba is the landing site for the charter flights and this takes about 19kms from paraa and Bugungu covers an area of 13kms from Paraa.

 

 

TOP  THINGS TO SEE AND AREAS TO VISIT

  • Paara Safari lodge Uganda

Paara Safari Lodge is suited in Murchison Falls National Park in the North Western Part of Uganda. This Uganda safari lodge is well known for its luxurious and comfortable accommodation. It has about 54 beautiful rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as balconies and some number of suits that offer a perfect view of the Nile. The location of the lodge can be obtained by both air and road depending on the means you want to use. By road, it’s a 6 hours drive from Entebbe International airport via Masindi.By air, it’s just an hours flight to get to the lodge.

Facilities

The lodge is well known for its high quality facilities that are offered to Visitors. These include swimming pool, restaurant with both international and local foods, full stocked bar, Lounge and the beautiful natural gardens on the landscape

Tourism Activities

There are so many activities offered at the lodge and among these include sport fishing, Ferry cruise,hiking,game drives as well as enjoying the cool breeze at the poolside.

Paara Safari lodge is well designed with ancient history Architecture that will remind you of the olden days. The maps are everywhere to give proper directions, Pictures as well as equipments that people used long ago. The tables of the lodge are made in a way of recognizing the strength of art.

Another exciting activity is the boat cruise that will give a chance to see large concentrations of hippos as well as crocodiles resting on the shores of the river. There are also different types of bird species such ass fish eagle, Kingfishers,bee eaters along with Pelicans. You will also enjoy the big crowds of Elephants and Buffaloes along the rive cooling off the heat in the water.

  • Budongo Forest Uganda

Budongo Forest is situated approximately 3 hours drive northwest of the capital city Kampala on the way to the prominent Murchison Falls National Park. this is the biggest Mahogany forest found in the whole of East Africa as well as habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. The major tourist sites within this forest are: the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, Busingiro Ecotourism site and Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site which are located at boundaries to Murchison Falls National Park and dominated by Mahogany and Iron-wood trees. The 115 kilometer expanse is a remote chunck of the Budongo forest. Its isolation once in a while offers a safe haven for the Lions, Leopards as well as Buffaloes. Early in the morning is the ideal time to set out touring because then you will have an opportunity to find a number of the forest inhabitants licking salt by the forest glades. River Waiga offers refreshment to the various wildlife species within this forest.

Some of the Activities to enjoy within this forest include: 

Birding; the forest is among the most ideal places in Uganda to have a guided bird watching tour by the Royal Mile that extends from Nyabyeya Forestry College to the research station.
The Chimpanzee Tracking experience: is the number one priority here. Starting in October up to January, the time when the fruits are shorter in supply, the chimps move a lot covering a wider area so the success of seeing them drops to about 50% rate. Fortunately there is a diversity of Accommodation facilities available from where you can base to enjoy the Chimpanzee trekking as well as the exciting forest walks.

Birding in Budongo Forest

Among the various bird species that have been recorded in this forest are more than 360 species that will certainly reward you with a very amazing birding safari experience in this great forest in Uganda.  in addition there are 290 butterflies species, 130 Moths species, 465 tree species, as well as 24 mammals nine of which are actually primates.

budongo chimpsThe Budongo Forest reserve is among the most significant birding destinations in Uganda, and is located  on the escarpment northeast of the stunning Lake Albert. The forest is characterized by a medium altitude damp semi-deciduous verdant forest that covers 42 800 hectares, with patches of Savanna as well as woodland. Kthis forest reserve sits on a gently rolling landscape, with a wide-ranging slope north-northwest towards the  great Rift Valley. This forest is drained by 4 tinny rivers which are Waisoke, Sonso, Bubwa, plus Wake that empty into the Lake Albert.  the Budongo has 5 major forest types which include: swamp-forest, mixed, Cynometra-mixed, colonizing plus the  Cynometra. The greater part of this forest reserve is sheltered by tropical high-forest communities. The Mid altitude semi-deciduous Cynometra-celtis forest occupies close to half of the total site whereas the Combretum savanna is extensive within the drier regions. There are a number of Eco-tourism sites found at Kaniyo Pabidi plus Busingiro.

There are 2 endemic bird species within the Budongo forest which cannot be seen in other parts of East Africa. This forest comes second after the Semliki National Park as the most important forest in Uganda with species of the Guinea Congo forest-Biome. The Yellow-footed Flycatcher, simply known in Budongo within Uganda, was common within mature forest, however today it is extremely rare to see. Illadopsis puveli, a new addition, isn’t seen in another place in East Africa. Additional species that rank Budongo one of the finest bird watching destinations in East Africa include the Zoothers camaronensis, Ceratogymna fistulator, Neafrapus cassini, Batis ituriensis, Smithornis rufolateralis, Sylvietta denti as well as Ixonotus guttatus. These different species are as well seen in just a few additional forests within Uganda. Rare forest birds have recently several times been recorded within the forest and among these are the Pitta reichenowi as well as Parmoptila woodhousei. Within this forest, Bird watching is properly facilitated with a widespread properly maintained 115 kilometer truck system.

 

  • Karuma Falls Safari in Uganda

These roaring waterfalls foundon the beautiful Victoria Nile are among the most impressive and leading tourist attractions in Uganda. Locally called the Karuma Falls, the name was derived from a notion that Karuma, a great spirit, positioned the stones which break the waters of the river. The stunning Karuma Falls are located on the eastern border of the Murchison Fall National Park (which is the largest reserve in Uganda), and just an hour drive from the district of Gulu in north-western Uganda. the land of the park around these falls pride in a broad diversity of birds, buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, Uganda safari lions, baboons, elephants, leopards, Uganda Kobs, Hartebeest as well as giraffes.

karuma fallsThe Karuma Falls comprise of a sequence of natural good locking rock formations all the way at the base of the Victoria Nile, within this place, and these result into the waters of the great River Nile to ripple, offering the Nile an appearance of stunning white foam. The falls are situated at the place where the main road of Masindi-Gulu crosses the great river Nile, about 110 km northeast of the town of Masindi and only 70 km south of the town of Gulu. These 2 districts are connected by the Karuma Bridge, constructed in 1963 to assist cotton farmers within the west Nile. this bridge crosses the huge waterfall whereas the sprays of water of the white water move towards Southern Sudan in the northern part of Uganda.

This traditionally falls, in a supposed that the explorer John Speke moved past it during his search for the source of the great river Nile, and so it is among the significant landmarks in Uganda. The Karuma falls are habitat to the Karuma Power Station, which is a 750 Megawatts hydropower development that was implemented by the government of Uganda in partnership with its other foreign partners.

.Once upon a time, these falls were designated as a hazardous zone for the reason that the Lords Resistance Army  also called the LRA rebel staged several attacks within this area. These rebels would hide within the bush, and from there attack cars as well as buses traveling to both directions. However, today it is very safe, given that the rebels were set out of this region by the Ugandan army all the way to the rainforests within the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007.

Getting to the Karuma Falls:

Traveling from the capital city Kampala, board buses heading to Gulu. These can be found from the Baganda Bus Station as well as the bus terminal at Nakivubo. On the other hand, arrange private transport through any of the tour operator found in the capital city – Kampala or directly contact the lodge where you will be residing while at Murchison falls, to organize a trip to the splendid Karuma falls.

Accommodation For Karuma Falls Visitors

There is Up – market as well as budget accommodation offered just within the Murchison Falls National Park. Among the Budget accommodation here are: Red chilli Rest Camp for camping and Karuma Falls Campsite along Gulu Road.

 

  • Nile Cruise in Uganda, Murchison Falls

RIVER NILE

River Nile is famous to as the longest river in the entire world  with its source beginning in Jinja found in Uganda. Its name was derived from a Greek word ‘Nile’ for ‘valley’. The river begins from the North-eastern section of Africa and flows to the nearby areas adjacent to the equator continuing to the Safari desert until it finally pours into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is approximately 6696 km long flowing through 9 countries (Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Egypt,Kenya) although most concentration is focused on Uganda and Egypt.

This well-known river has 2 major twigs, the blue Nile which joins in Khartoum and forms the central part of the Nile that comprises of Cataract Nile and the Egyptian Nile, and the white Nile which is the longest and separates into 3 parts; the lake plateau area, The sudd and the central Sudan area.

The Nile has played a great role in the modernization of several countries such as Uganda plus Egypt. Because of its fascinating history, many people have visited Uganda. The Nile offers power to Uganda as a form of hydro electricity (the Nile has the Owen Falls Dam where hydro electricity is generated plus another dam constructed almost to completion) which the people use to run their day to day activities as well as run the economy. The Nile’s banks are very fertile and suitable for agriculture as well as offer water for domestic use. The Nile in addition is a source of life to various animals that come to drink its waters like crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes among many others.

many tourist activities such as white water rafting, boat rides, bungee jumping, fishing and  Kayaking are done on the Nile. These have drawn big numbers of foreign tourists to visit Uganda hence enabling tem explore Uganda – the peal of Africa.

The perfect way to get a closer feel of the great Nile is by joining in on a Nile cruise, which will help you unveil the hidden beauty of the country. As you organize a tour to Uganda, the Nile should be among the must-visit places before you return home.

Reserving a safari along the River Nile offers you the various activities such as Bungee jump. A small number of kilometers away, is Bujagali Falls, a capital for adventurers with Grade Five white-water rafting, mountain-biking, kayaking, as well as river boarding. These exciting activities present an exceptional opportunity to explore the banks of the river, going though farms, villages plus forests beside the River Nile.

Along the course of the Nile is Lake Kyoga which feeds the Nile with fresh water. From here it flows on through the stunning Murchison Falls National Park, and there it pours its millions of liters through a small 7 meter gorge dropping below to 43 meters hence forming the breathtaking Murchison falls. Activities like spot fishing, scenic viewing plus game drives can be enjoyed on a safari in this area to offer you a thrilling experience.
The Murchison Falls National Park derived its name from the Murchison falls and it offers boat trips to the bottom of the falls with en-route sights of hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles and various bird species. In addition this park organizes enjoyable nature walks to the peak of the falls which are also very rewarding.

From here, the Nile flows on through Lake Albert on through northern Uganda, to Sudan all the way through to Egypt where it pours it volumes into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

  • Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests

The Kaniyo Pabidi forest extends over an expanse of approximately 8 km within the middle of Kichumbanyobo gate. Its presents all guests an opportunity to track the impressive chimpanzee in addition to other species of primates which can be found within the mahogany trees there. It is a habitant for quite a number of species of birds such as the yellow-footed flycatcher, the Ituri batis in addition to the white thitghed hornbill. A number of tourists enjoy taking nature walks within these forests, although Rabongo forest presents the finest experiences the best.

kaniyo pabidi

The Buligi region is as well recognized among the major game viewing safari Uganda areas. The Savannah grasslands offer a perfect place to enjoy this African wilderness in addition to the attractive sights of the great East African rift valley on top of Lake Albert just overlooking the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some the activities to enjoy are the thrilling game drive conducted from Paraa rewarding you with splendid sights of the delta going for approximately three to four hours drive. Viewing the game will certainly be very favorable if done in the morning or in the late afternoons. Your safari guide will offer all the necessary information regarding the park as well as the forest. All the way through this, visitors will have a very memorable experience while on the game drive.

The Nile offers shelters to a huge number of hippopotami as well as crocodiles, in addition to a wide variety of aquatic bird species like the uncommon yet highly sought after shoebill stork

The Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a good-looking natural forest covered majorly by huge mahogany trees plus ironwood trees. Within this forest, Chimpanzees may be tracked from the Kaniyo Pabidi tourism site that is managed by the Jane Goodall Institute. The Birdlife within this area is very plentiful with a diversity of species among which are; Puvel’s Illaposis (found in no other place throughout the whole of  East Africa) the Chocolate Backed Kingfisher in addition to the White thighed Hornbill.

However the Rabongo Forest stands as an island covered by tropical river-forest with in a sea of stunning grassland in the southeastern part of the conservation area, it is only one and a half hours drive from Paraa Safari lodge. The verdant forest may be explored not just in safari vehicles but on foot as well and that way you will have an opportunity to set out in search of these very impressive giants occasional chimpanzees (who are the closest relatives to human among mammals and share about 98 percent of their DNA structure with humans), in addition to other primate species like the baboons, Black and white Colobus monkeys in addition to the red tailed monkeys. You can also choose to picnic or even camp by the shores of the stunning river Wairingo. This area is in addition perfect for teams of students. It offers a diversity of bird species, trees in addition to medicinal plants which are all worth exploring.

  • Buligi area

The park’s superior savanna game viewing aspect, this grassland wilderness is located between the Victoric Albert Niles with excellent views towards the western rift valley beyond Lake Albert in the DRC. A drive from Paraa passing Delta Point takes 3 to 4 hours. Morning & late afternoon are the best times for sight game drives. A ranger guide from UWA is recommended to help you in most of your game drive.

  • Flora and Fauna

The park is subjugated by woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest that is well known to be a habitant for over 76 mammal species and over 450 different bird species. Among the big mammals include hippo, Rothschild’s giraffe,warthlog,cape buffalo, Uganda kob,hartebeest and elephants.The Nile corridor of the Murchison has a big collection of water birds such as rare shoebill stork and also has a large concentration of Nile crocodile.Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a home to primates, chimpanzees and over 360 species of different birds.

  • Red Chilli rest camp Uganda

Red Chilli rest camp is well known to be a financial plan camp, that is located within Murchison falls national park adjacent to the south bank of the River. The camp is mainly for budget travelers.

Accommodation

Since it targets budget travelers, accommodation is in form of bandas and camp tents. The tents are free to all visitors who enjoy camping. The rooms have better services and they contain single, double as well as family. The bandas have facilities such as en-suite bathrooms, toilets, cooking area along with security lights in case of any danger.

Bar and Restaurant
The camp has a restaurant that serves both international and local cuisines and a fully stocked bar. They are designed within the thatched house giving a perfect view of the Nile. The opening hours are usually from 6.30 am to9.30pm.The bar is open up to midnight. There is a set camp fire that will give all the warmth you need and you can enjoy your meals as well. The camp manages tours to and from Kampala at a low cost.

  • Sambiya Safari Lodge Uganda

Simbiya Safari Lodge is positioned in the glorious Murchison Falls National Park. It has accommodation that will favor all tourist. The lodge is located within and it takes only 15 minutes to get to Murchison falls.

The lodge has about 26 thatched Cottages, of which each is designed with en-suite bathroom, self contained along with a balcony. The lodge will give a perfect view of the game and the beautiful view of Sambiya River. In your room, you will hear the sweet melodies of the morning birds and enjoy the misty on the hills.

Bandas accommodation for Budget travelers
The most exciting aspect about this lodge is the fact that they offer budget accommodation at a low price particularly for budget travelers.It has about ten thatched bandas with better facilities. For those who may wish to stay in Bandas, their food is usually served around the swimming pool and those who stay in Lodge, their meal is always in the dining room.
Facilities
*Restaurant with both international and local foods
*A well designed dining area
*A well stocked bar
*Swimming pool

  • Nile Safari lodge Uganda

This lodge is suited on the southern banks of river Nile surrounded by the well-to-do papyrus forest Nile Safari Uganda Lodge is designed to with beautiful wooden chalets along with lavishness tents that are located in a perfect area to give an amazing view of the park along with the African wilderness. The most exciting aspect about this lodge is that natural feel that you receive when you get close to the environment. Experience the beauty of Africa.

Accommodation
Nile safari lodge is well designed with ten spacious rooms, 5 wooden chalets as well as lavishness tents that are well equipped with en-suited washrooms along with air conditioned rooms that are comfortable. Luxury balconies that will give a perfect view of the area.
Facilities
The lodge has high quality facilities that include a full stocked bar, restaurant with both international and local foods, the lounge along with the beautiful wilderness. Camp fire in the evening accompanied with traditional dancing. The swimming tools help you to cool off the heat of the day and after the long day’s activities.

Tourist Activities Around the camp

There are so many activities you can get involved in once you are at Nile safari camp. Among the activities include nature walks, boat cruises, bird watching, viewing hippos and crocs from your verandah enjoying the waters of Victoria Nile. Other facilities provided by the camp include swimming pool,safaris,cabins,camping,restaurants with a camp fire and natural gardens and fully stocked bar. Discover the Africa wilderness at Uganda’s best Safari lodge.

 

For more information source: http://www.murchisonfallsnationalpark.com/

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