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Location: Northwest Uganda
Area: 3840 sq kms
Nearest rail head: NA
Nearest airport: Entebbe International Airport
How to reach: by chartered flights from Kampala/ Entebbe or by road from Kampala
Famous for: wildlife, Murchinson falls, Lake Albert
Months open: all year
Best time: June to September and December to February
The Murchison Falls National park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. It is very close to Lake Albert in the North western part of the state. The National park covers an area of about 3893 sq. kms. This forest region includes the Bugungu and also Karuma Wildlife Reserves. The National Park is named so because of the Murchison Falls which are in close proximity to the core area of the forest. The region was declared a protected region in the year 1952. The conservation area is known for the variety of landscapes like savannah, riverine forest and also woodlands.
WHAT TO SEE ON MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK TOUR (To be researched and written)
Wildlife, birds and aqualife
Flora and Fauna
The animal population of the Murchison Falls national park is diverse and huge. It includes mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and aquatic life. The major animals seen in the region include Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Elephants, Nile Crocodiles, Baboon, Giraffe etc. there are several species of butterflies in the region. The wildlife of Murchison was devastated during the wars but most of them have returned. However, the Rhinos here have gone extinct and therefore the park is now a highly secured region. The bird species in the region include savannah, water and forest species. As diverse is the fauna, so is the vegetation of the region. There are savannahs, grassland as well as dense forest spreads in the national park.
Also known as Kabalega Falls the waterfall is sandwiched between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert. The surroundings of Murchison falls are lush green and serene. There are several birds and butterflies near the falls. The water gushes in huge volume through a narrow gorge making it look like a fall of milk rather than water. The scene of the falls is a memorable experience. One can spend hours near the falls. The fall is named after Sir Roderick Murchison who was in the 20 th c the resident of Royal Geographic Society.
Lake Kyoga is a huge but shallow lake drained by Victoria Nile i.e. the first few miles of the River Nile. The lake is swampy but worth a visit. There is a huge vegetation of water lilies, papyrus and water hyacinth on the swamp.
The forest is famous for the East African Mahogany and Chimpanzees. The Forest is still home to over 800 chimpanzees along with many other primates and mammals, over 360 species of birds, 289 species of butterflies and over 465 plant varieties. This makes the forest one of the most biodiverse areas on earth. The nearest town is Masindi and it
lies on the North east of Lake Albert.
The lake is one of the Great African Lakes. It is situated in close proximity to the park. It forms the border of the state of Uganda with that of Congo. The source of the lake is said to be Lake Victoria which drains the lake through Victoria Nile. There are several birds surrounding the lake. Several species of butterflies can be seen here.
Various kinds of safaris are available to go around the park. There are gorilla safari, birding safari, wildlife safari, Elizabeth national park safari and others. One can choose any of the safaris based on time in hand.
A boat safari on the River Nile will take you as close to the falls as possible while letting you take in the life on the shores and in water. Near the falls the waters can get very turbulent and hence boats are not allowed to go near beyond a point.
The Budongo forest is home to over 800 Chimpanzees walking through the forest with a guide is your best chance at seeing these primates in their natural habitat.
There are over 450 species of birds harbored in the Murchison Falls National Park. A boat tour on the Lake Albert Nile Delta will give you an opportunity to see many of the rare bird species found here like the Shoebill Stock and Albertine Rift endemics.
The cuisine in Uganda is influenced by Asian and English cuisines while maintaining the traditional tastes. Yams, potatoes, pork, chicken and fish constitute major ingredients of the food here. There are Chinese, Italian and Indian restaurants in major towns and cities of the state. The traditional dishes include Millet bread, Chapati, Simsim, Mandazi, Pombe, Matoke and Posho etc.
How to reach
There are regular flights from the airport of Entebbe to Murchison Airstrip. From here one has to take a cab to go to the park. The only way into the park is via road. The nearest town is Masindi in the Kichumanyobo side and around Lake Albert in the Bagungo side. One has to hire a cab to go to the park as there is no public transport available.
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