Murchison fall national park gets its name from Murchison falls named after SirRoderick Murchison.
This area was gazetted in 1952 as a protective are for wildlife.
At Murchison Falls national park, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow.
The northern section of the park contains savanna and Borassus palms, acacia trees and riverine woodland. The south is dominated by woodland and forest patches.
The national park
The Murchison Falls also referred to as the Kabalega Falls, is a waterfall found on the course of the great river Nile. It actually breaks the stunning Victoria Nile, that flows across Uganda’s northern region from the vast Lake Victoria to the deep Lake Kyoga and continuing to the northern tip of Lake Albert within the western arm of the great East African Rift, the waters of the Nile force their way through a small slit within the rocks, which is just 7 meters or 23 feet wide, and topples to 43 meters or 141 feet below with a thunderous roar forming a residual water stray that forms a beautiful rainbow; the view is very breathtaking! From here it then continues its westward into the stunning Lake Albert.
Murchison Falls Conservation Area ( MFCA ) comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. This is where the Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and cascades down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos and crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterised by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species.
Naming of the National park
Named after Murchison falls, the conservation area which is made up of Bugungu game reserve, Karuma game reserve, and Murchison falls national park. Murchison falls is where the River Nile squeezes through a 7meter gap, exploding into episodes of powerful waves falling 40meters below. It is at the bottom of the falls that the beginning of the Victoria Nile is. A boat safari starting at Paraa (meaning the place of hippopotamus in Luo) takes 2 hours up the river and brings you to see the falls from the bottom.
This national park being the largest of all the national parks Uganda has, travelers will find a variety of wildlife animals such as elephants, lions, leopards, african buffalo, antelopes, giraffe, hippos, hyenas, jackals, birds, forests and many more including reptiles such snakes as well as crocodiles.
There several lodges within and around the national park where travelers can stay during a safari visit. Activities such as game viewing, boat ride, walking safari, chimpanzee watching, bird watching will give a safari traveler a memorable experience.
While visiting this game reserve it is also very possible to combine with a visit to the ziwa rhino sanctuary hence completing the tradition big five African safaris.
Altitude: 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.
the Bwindi forest was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
April 1993 the Mubare gorilla group was the first for tourism in Uganda.
Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.
Bwindi forest national park is located in the southwest of Uganda on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The bwindi forest was gazetted as a reserve in 1932 today it is a world heritage site recognized by UNESCO for Mountain Gorilla tracking safaris. Bwindi impenetrable forest ranges at an altitude of 1,200m and 2,700m above sea level. The Bwindi forest national park covers a series of steep ridges and valleys that form the eastern starting point of the Albertine rift valley. With annual rainfall on average at 1600mm supplying five rivers that flow into Lake Edward as a source since it is a catchment area.
More than half the world’s wild mountain gorilla population is resident in Bwindi forest national park. Estimated at 540 individual gorillas in Bwindi forest, living in separate 23 families.
Though the focus is mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest, there are a staggering 93 mammal species living in this forest more than any other national park in Uganda except Queen Elizabeth national park.
Although the list of mammals consists of mainly small ones such as rodents and bats, you will find chimpanzees, varieties monkeys with common viewings of the blue monkey and black-and-white colobus.
Occasionally forest elephants can be spotted or heard, there are six species of antelopes; the bushbuck and five types of forest duiker.
For bird lover, the impenetrable forest has 23 particular species characteristic to the Albertine Rift with 14 species found nowhere else but Bwindi forest, among them the African green broadbill, white-tailed blue flycatcher, brown-necked parrot, white-bellied robin chat and Fraser’s eagle owl.
Bwindi forest national park is also home to roughly 300 butterfly species.
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest national park is conducted in four main sectors namely Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.
Gorilla tracking in buhoma will bring you to either one of the following gorilla families Rushegura, Mubare, Katwe, habinyanja.
The Ruhija sector is located east and it has the following families Ruhija, Bitukura, and Kyaguriro.
While Rushaga located south of has Kahungye, Busingye, Nshongi, and Mishaya.
Nkuringo is in the southwest with two families the Nkuringo and Christmas gorilla families.
When to go
All year round you can visit, although the heavy rains are seen in the months of April, May, June, October, and November.
Private tour operators, public transport and self drove are options
Where to stay
There is a span of accommodation standards and campsites.
How to get a gorilla permit
Visiting the Gorillas of Uganda require that you get a tracking permit at a cost of $ 600. Here are some guidelines to follow