Also known as the Kabalega National Park, the Murchison Falls National Park is popularly known for having the world’s most powerful waterfall that emits large volumes of water about 300 cubic meters per second or 11,000 ft³/s at a very powerful pressure that cause the surrounding to tremble. The park was first gazetted in 1927 and today is the largest park in Uganda covering an area of 3840 sq km / 1483 sq miles. It is commonly visited for Uganda Safari Tours because of its diverse safari activities and rich wildlife.
The contemporary Murchison Falls National Park was first gazetted as a game reserve in Uganda in 1926 and is the pioneer of conservation activities in the region. The park was named after Sir Roderick Murchison by Sir Samuel Baker who was an explorer on the African continent in the early 1860s though the area was first visited by John Speke and James Grant. This attractive National Park was formerly called Kabalega National Park named after the celebrated fearless monarch in the region.
The spectacular Murchison Falls National Park is the largest in Uganda covering an area of approximately 3,893 square kilometers.
The captivating National Park is located in the northwestern province of Uganda in the districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo and Masindi. It is about 305 kilometers from Kampala city which could take about four to six hours to drive.
The National Park is home to the Big 4 animals in the jungle, that is to say, the lion, leopard, African Bush elephant and the African buffaloes.
A brief history of the lively Murchison Falls National Park.
The magnificent national park was first visited by famous explorers from the European continent John Speke and James Grant in their African journeys. The park was later on intensively explored by Sir Samuel named it Murchison in respect to the British monarch Sir Roderick Murchison. The early inhabitants of the area evacuated it due to tsetse flies that had infested it and caused killer sleeping sicknesses to both young and old individuals in society.
In 1910, Bunyoro Game Reserve was created in the southern parts of the river Nile which was later converted into a reserve that was established in 1952 by the British colonial government that was ruling the entire land by then. Subsequently, the reserve was upgraded into a National Park in 1962 just after Uganda had gotten her independence from the British.
Uniqueness and attractions of captivative Murchison Falls National Park.
The spectacular National Park has a lot of attractions within it that boost its uniqueness from the rest of the national parks in the region and these incorporate;
The roaring Murchison falls.
These famous falls are the most powerful in the world and they are on river Nile. A whole river forces itself into a 7-meter gorge that makes water so powerful hence forming a plunge pool as it lands down on the riverbed which forms spectacular views that attract visitors from all over the world.
The cosmopolitan National Park it’s also home to 76 species of mammals. These mammals uniquely attract visitors as they encompass hippopotami, lions, fierce leopards, African bush elephants, African buffaloes, jackals and monkeys.
Over 400 bird species.
The beautiful National Park is home to over 400 bird species which include secretary birds, African fish eagles, turacos, Abyssinian ground hornbill, black bee eaters, cinnamons, egrets, hammerkops, cranes that come along river Nile that crosses the National Park to drink water and some others have their eggs laid along the river and the forests in the vicinity. These attract bird watchers to this beautiful land.
These are in the vicinity of Chobe Lodge. They provide spectacular views to the visitors in the National Park, especially from the balconies of the luxurious Chobe. These avail opportunities for photography and sensational videography.
Next to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
The National Park is next to the ambient Rhino sanctuary where these large animals can be viewed. Tour operators often blend this sanctuary with the National Park to provide a full experience of the big 5 animals.
Activities done in Murchison Falls National Park.
There’s a good range of activities that can be done in this magnificent National Park and these encompass;
Engaging game drives.
These offer opportunities to tourists to see rare wildlife species, especially cats like lions and leopards on their hunts in the early morning and evening game drives. They are conducted by professional tourist guides who provide information about the animals when encountered.
Gratified boat cruises.
Exciting boat cruises are also carried out in the National Park, they are conducted on the river Nile and launched towards the powerful Murchison Falls. These provide opportunities for viewing animals living in the water and reptiles such as crocodiles.
The National Park is home to over 600 bird species that can be viewed in the jungles and the open plains of the National Park on game drives and both cruises. The birds incorporate gray crowned crane, great blue turacos, gravers broadbill, secretary birds, marabou stocks, standard-winged nightjar, Abyssinian ground hornbill, black bee eaters, African finfoot, hammerkop, long-crested eagle, bar-tailed frogon, African jacanas, Doherty’s bush shrike, eastern plantain eater, African darter, piapias, saddle billed stork, brown-throated wattle – eye, pin tailed whydah, black-headed gonolek, African spoonbill, African fish eagles, Hadada ibis, African paradise flycatcher, yellow-billed oxpecker and African open bills. These attract bad lovers from both short and long distances to come and have a look at them.
Nature walks. These are conducted through the lush vegetation on the Savannah grasslands to forests as visitors get to appreciate the endowments of the National Park and nature at large. They are a relaxation opportunity after long hours of travel and busy schedules.
There are popular hikes that are conducted in the magnificent National Park, especially the hike to the top of the falls that provides spectacular views of Murchison waterfalls and gives chances to photographers to take nice pictures of the waterfalls which are worth the effort of the hike.
Hot air balloon adventures.
This is an exhilarating activity that is conducted in the National Park and gives visitors a bird’s view of the beautiful vegetation and wildlife as seen from above. This improves the experiences of travellers in the National Park which they lived to tell. It is famous for honeymooners.
How to get to the park.
The National Park can be accessed through its various gates especially the southern gates of Mubako and Kicumbanyobo gates. They are most popular with visitors from Kampala city. Purongo or Tangi gates – Packwach are also a popular entrance for visitors from the north of the park.