To begin with, Murchison Falls National Park is also known as the Kabalega National Park. More to that, it is famous for hosting the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls.
Location of Murchison Falls National Park
The park is located in Northern Uganda, Northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Additionally, it extends its boundaries to a number of districts within and beyond the Bunyoro escarpment such as Nwoya, Masindi, Kiryandongo and Buliisa. It is found on the Northernmost reaches of the Albertine Rift Valley with its terrain bisected by the Victoria Nile.
About Murchison Falls
Taking the position as the world’s most powerful waterfall, Murchison Falls emits large volumes of water about 300 cubic meters per second or 11,000 ft³/s at a very powerful pressure that causes the surroundings to tremble.
Animals in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls national park is endowed with about 73 animal species including Africa’s big five animals ie lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards and rhinos (at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary). Other animals include Rothschild giraffes (three-quarters of the world’s population), Uganda Kobs and others. You will also find various primates such as 610 chimpanzees, 451 bird species and 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
What you should expect to see during your visit to the national park?
The Murchison Falls
One of the main highlights in the park is visiting the Murchison falls to see how large volumes of water from the Victoria Nile forces its way through a gorge of about 7 meter wide to plunge 43 meters below into a pool. This powerful waterfall creates a thunderous noise with a splashing cloud of fog offering a very breathtaking view.
The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
This private non-profit project was established in 2005 to revive the population of the white rhino in Uganda following the intense poaching that happened during the 1990s that totally depleted this species from the Murchison Falls and Kidepo National parks where these animals previously lived. Today there are twenty two 22 southern white rhinos found at this sanctuary.
The Rich Wildlife
The diverse vegetation cover of the park which includes woodlands, savannah and riverine forests supports a great diversity of animals which can easily be seen in the park. These include the Uganda Kobs, Hartebeests, lions, elephants, leopards, Rothschild giraffes, buffaloes, cheetahs, and hyenas among many others. Birders as well the park has a diversity of species to see like the rare shoebill stork, the Goliath heron, the yellow footed fly catcher, African Jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, pitta as well as the pied giant and malachite kingfisher among the over 451 species.
Activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Boat cruise: This 2 hour boat cruise begins at Paraa and offers tourists an opportunity to see various wildlife including large numbers of giant crocodiles, hippos and various birds like the rare shoebill stork. This experience also offers great photographic opportunities to create lasting memories.
Game Drives: The game drives are conducted early in the morning and early in the evening offering you a chance to enjoy up-close views of the different animals. The Delta area, Buligi Peninsular and the Southern sector are the main game viewing areas.
Cultural Tours: Enjoy thrilling energetic cultural dances by the Mubako as you sit by a campfire. You may also embark on village tours to see the traditional lifestyle of the locals and the crafts shop by the Boomu Women’s Group. While at the shop, you will get an opportunity to get some souvenirs while supporting the well-being of the community.
Chimpanzee Tracking: Within the verdant forest of Budongo are some of the best chimpanzee tracking experiences in Uganda. You will enjoy up-close encounters with these great apes.
Hot Air Balloon Safari: Enjoy an aerial view of the park’s beautiful landscape and large numbers of wildlife at day break.
Bird Watching: There are various species including Albertine Rift endemics, water birds and savanna forest birds in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Birders will surely be satisfied. Bird watching can be done during the launch cruise and game drives.
Nature Walks & Hikes: The park offers several trails that can be explored on foot through the Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests to see birds and primates.