The National park is one of the prime attractions of the state of Uganda. It is very close to Lake Albert in the Northwestern part of the state. The National park covers an area of about 3893 sq. km. This forest region includes the Bugungu and also Karuma Wildlife Reserves. The National Park is named thus 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
Uganda is home to several tribes of Africa. The Bantu speaking people, however, dominate the region. The majority of the population is Christian followed by Muslims. Here are a sizeable number of Hindu and other religious groups. The traditions of the ancient days still are there in the region. The national dress for men is Kanzu and for women its gomesi, suuka and busuuti. The music and dance in the region is a mix of all tribe. Every community has its own genre of music, type of musical instruments and complex dances of their own.
Flora and Fauna
The animal population of the 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 savannah, 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 the 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 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 20th c the resident of Royal Geographic Society.
It is 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 huge vegetation of water lilies, papyrus and water hyacinth on the swamp.
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.
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.
The cuisine in Uganda is influenced by Asian and English cuisines while maintaining 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.
Reaching Murchison National Park
There are regular flights from the airport from 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 of 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.