Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest National Park and the most famous for wildlife safaris. Murchison Falls National Park is famous for its powerful waterfalls that give the park its name. The National Park is a famous safari destination with a mix of incredible safari activities and attractions that will surely leave you amazed. The Top 8 things to do in Murchison Falls National Park are the best activities and experiences that you should include in your bucket list when planning a safari to Murchison. These 8 best things to do are the most requested by travelers and perhaps the most done in the park.
Murchison Falls Budongo forest is home to over 600 chimpanzees that live in the mahogany tree-lined forests. The habituated chimpanzees can be trekked during safaris in Murchison Falls National Park. For primate lovers, Murchison Falls National Park is a perfect place to visit especially for chimpanzee trekking safari tours since it is the second best chimpanzee trekking destination in Uganda.
For a normal chimp trekking experience, you will meet your guide early in the morning at around 7 am for a briefing before heading for a chimp trekking experience. You’ll then head out into the forests to search for these beautiful primates. Usually, a trek may last for about 3-hours or more. Upon locating chimps in the forest, you will be allowed to spend a full hour watching them in their natural habitat – with great opportunities to take photographs of these beautiful chimps. There are also chimpanzee habituation experiences offered in the park on top of a normal trek.
Chimpanzee trekking permits cost $85 for a normal trek and $220 for the habituation experience. It is important to note that permit prices vary according to the seasons.
Hiking up to the top of the falls hike starts with a boat ride to ‘The Baker Point’, named after the British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker. Hiking to the top of the falls is one of the top activities to do in Murchison during a safari – perhaps shouldn’t miss it. As you hike up to the top of the falls, the ever-present thunder of the crashing falls gets louder and louder.
On the top of the falls, you will be able to see the Nile River forcing its way between a narrow 7-meter gorge, before plunging 43 metres off the cliff and into the pool below.
One of the best places to visit for a game drive in Uganda is Murchison Falls National Park. The National Park is home to 76 different mammal species, and 451 species of birds – you can witness all this when you conduct over a 3 to 4-hour game drive.
The game drives are usually done in the northern part of the park, which is dominated by open savannah grasslands. A typical game drive in Murchison Falls will take you to the Albert Delta track, where many water birds, buffaloes, crocodiles, lions, and giraffes can be found.
The Buligi Peninsula is another wildlife viewing area in the Park. This is perhaps the prime spot for Wildlife Viewing Safaris – the open grassland here is hugged by the Nile River. Here you’ll likely spot elephants, buffalos, leopards, hippos, and giraffes by the water.
Murchison Falls offers 2 boat cruises with each heading in a different direction along the Nile that cuts through the park.
The first one is at the Albert Delta – it takes off from Paraa and will take you down the Nile towards the shores of Lake Albert. This cruise covers a distance of up to 28km, which usually lasts between 4 to 5 hours. The morning boat cruise is best for bird spotting along the Nile with opportunities to spot species like prehistoric-looking shoebill stork.
The second cruise, the launch trip, leaves Paraa and goes upstream towards the bottom of the falls Murchison Falls. At the bottom of the falls, you’ll witness the water cascading through a small 7-meter gorge, creating a splash and carrying mist that flows toward the boat. This area is also rich in wildlife and you will spot several hippo schools, and bathing elephants – this 3-hour trip won’t feel long enough.
Rhino tracking is one of the best activities to do while in Murchison Falls National Park. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is located along the way to the Murchison Falls National Park. Rhino tracking usually starts with Rangers sharing information about Rhinoceros, the history of the sanctuary, the breeding programme, and the wider conservation efforts. Afterward, they lead visitors to track the rhinos.
Sports Fishing is one of the other top activities in Murchison Falls. Huge Nile Perch weighing over 200 pounds can still be caught in the Nile River on a catch-and-release policy. The other common specie caught here is the Tigerfish and Tilapia. Sports Fishing can be combined with other activities like game drives and boat cruises on your Murchison Falls safari.
Murchison Falls Park is one of the best places for birding in the country. Bird-watching can be done during nature walks or on a safari vehicle. Bird-watching in Murchison Fall National Park starts right outside your lodge before you head to the Savannah grasslands, the forests, and along the Nile River. The commonly spotted species include the Abdim’s Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, African Quail-Finch, African Skimmer, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Beautiful Sunbird, Black Crake, Black Scimitarbill, among others
In Uganda, Hot air Balloon safaris are done in Murchison Falls National Park only. The Balloon ride is usually conducted early in the morning. After, the tourists will be briefed on safety issues before taking off. Hot air Balloon rides usually last for about one hour and provides opportunities to spot and take photos of the wildlife and forests from above ground. The experience is really breathtaking as you glide over vast herds of giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and the main predators coming back from the night’s hunt.
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