Murchison Falls Protected Area (MFNP), Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves. Murchison Falls National Park derives its name from the Murchison falls where the mighty River Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and flows down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by Savannah, Riverine forest and woodland.
Wild life includes lions, Uganda Kobs, chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare shoebill.
Game Drives: Wildlife Safaris
In the cool early morning before the sun rises too high, you will see plenty of game on the Buligi, Albert and Queen’s tracks north of the River Nile. At Nyamusika Cliffs you can picnic, enjoy the view and watch elephants and other game on the grassy hillsides. Go well prepared for a four-hour game drive and ensure a guide accompanies you. The best time is 0700hr and 1600hr
Launch Cruise on the Nile
One of the highlights of Uganda safaris to Murchison Falls National Park is the launch trip from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls. Hippos and crocodiles are abundant and you will see elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and a variety of birds like herons, cormorants, ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagles kingfishers and sometimes the rare shoebill.
The launch trip from Paraa to the falls (17km) and back takes about three hours. A boat trip from Paraa to the Delta (28km) and back takes about four to five hours and you can see a similar variety of animals and birds. The boat trip is scheduled for 0900hr and 1400hr every day. Any special time arrangement can be made with Park management.
Nature WalksMurchison falls protected area offers the opportunity to explore the wild on foot. Animals, birds and plants can be closely and quietly observed. Nature walks are offered at Rabongo Forest, Top of the falls and Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest.
Sport Fishing Uganda Tour
Nile Perch and tiger-fish provide an exciting challenge to anglers. Sport fishing is possible in the river sections above and below the falls. Prior booking with the park has to be made, as the number of people doing sport fishing at designated sites at any time has to be regulated. Do bring your own fishing equipment and some boats are available for hire on prior booking.
Top Of The Fall Trail
Trails around the top of the falls go right up to the water’s edge. You have an opportunity to hike to the top of the falls from the boat landing and to get close to narrow gorge through which the river explodes into the falls. Campsites, picnic sites and walking safaris are available here.
Kaniyo Pabidi is an undisturbed area of natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve, where you can walk beneath mature mahogany and iron wood trees. Chimpanzee tracking is the most famous activity.
You will certainly see many forest birds, including the chocolate-backed kingfisher, the white-thigh hornbill and puvel’s illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa.
Kaniyi Pabidi is on Masindi-Paraa road, 8kms from Kichumbanyobo gate. There is a campsite where water and firewood are available. The National Forestry Authority manages Kaniyo Pabidi.
Rabongo Forest Ecotourism centre is situated in an island of tropical riverine forest southeast of the protected area. The forest is surrounded by Savannah grassland and is 11/2hour drive from Paraa. Uganda safaris guides will help you to explore the forest on foot, spotting primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, baboons and occasionally chimpanzees, identifying animals, birds, medicinal plants and trees. You can picnic and camp by the Wairingo River, the place is also ideal for student groups.
Campsites are available at the Top of the fall, Rabongo Forest, Paraa and delta area. Toilet or pit latrines/ showers or bathing shelters are provided at the sites. Traditional and self-contained bandas are available at Red chilli Rest Camp also offering meals and beverages. In addition, luxurious accommodation is available at Nile Safari Camp, Sambiya River Lodge and Paraa Uganda safari Lodges.
By road from Kampala through Masindi (via Kichumbanyobo gate), Paraa is a 41/2hours drive, 2 hours on tarmac and 21/2 hours on murram roads. A four-wheel drive is recommended. The ferry at Paraa operates on scheduled time between the southern and northern bank of River Nile.
By air: Charter services are available to all-weather aerodromes at Pakuba about 19kms northwest of Paraa and Bugungu 13kms from Paraa.
Introduction Facts about the Conservation Area
Dos And Don’ts While IN The Park
- Enter the Protected Area through Kichumbanyobo, Bugungu or Tangi gate.
- Retain all official receipts issued for park activities.
- Drive only on designated roads.
- Do not sound your horn.
- Walk only on designated trails.
- A guide should accompany visitors on nature walks and game drives.
- Camp only at designated campsites.
- Do not pick flowers, do not cut plants nor destroy any vegetation.
- Dogs or any other domestic animals are not allowed the protected area.
- Firearms or ammunition are not allowed in the protected area.
- Do not litter.
- Drive only between 6:30 am and 6:30pm.
- Light fires only at the fire rings at the campsites.