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An Experience Through The East African Rift Valley in Murchison Falls Park- Uganda

April 28, 2020


Murchison Falls National Park lies in the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley in Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. It was first gazetted as a game reserve in 1926 and gazetted as a national park in 1952. It is Uganda’s largest covering 3893 sq./km and the oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.

The park is intersected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the trace rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park, and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty waterfall drains the last of the river’s energy, altering it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Consistent visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes, and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are perpetual residents.

The following are activities done in Murchison Falls national park.

The Boat Cruise upstream from the ferry docking area presents an astounding display of wildlife and terminates with the unforgettable frontal sight of the Falls. For the birders, a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Delta gives a great opportunity to witness a lot of birdlife that includes the shoebill stock, African Jacana, Lesser Jacana Open Billed stork among others. Alternatively, a tranquil sundowner trip offers the standard sight of equatorial dusk mirrored on the river.

Birdwatching including savannah forest birds, water birds, and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted at the Delta point downstream.

Game viewing can be enjoyed while on a game drive in the morning. The main areas are the Delta where there are great chances of seeing the Lions in wait for prey as they go to drink, the park has different tracks where game viewing can be done including the Buligi track among others and the southern sector is popularly known as the heart of Murchison. 

Relish the exceptional involvement of flying in a hot air balloon with breathtaking views on the Sunrise hot air balloon safari with/without bush breakfast Sunset hot air balloon safari Short rides for large groups and students

The massive landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails provide sightings of many primates including the chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest and birds, while around the Nile Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoebill sightings.


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Brian Ahereza

Safari Expert

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