Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP)
The park is endowed with a variety of attractions ranging from mammals, birds, vegetation and physical features.
The park is a habitat for about 76 mammals which include: Lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, hippopotamus, Hyenas, Nile crocodiles, giraffes, warthogs just to mention but a few.
Antelopes such as: Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda Kobs, waterbucks, oribis.
The park is a habitant to numerous birds with a recorded number of 451 species recorded. There is savannah, water, forest birds and migratory birds which are seen seasonally. Some of the birds spotted in the park include: Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quail-Finch. Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac Black-billed Barbet the Shoebill Stork, the Goliath Heron, Grey Crowned Cranes, Silverbird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver,
These are mostly seen in Budongo and Kaniyo pabidi forest. Olive baboons are regularly seen along the tracks as you head to the park, Blue and red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus, the savanna-dwelling patas monkey, about are recorded in these forests. Making chimpanzee trekking a popular activity.
These magnificent are the center piece of the park. They are clearly seen during a boat launch to the bottom and at the top. The Nile rapidly flows down with a roar in a rocky narrow gorge sprinkling water which forms a constant rainbow.
As earlier noted, the Nile bisects the park forming the northern and southern banks. The southern bank has more wildlife compared to the southern bank which is mostly covered by forests. There quite a number of animals and birds which are seen along the Nile especially during a boat cruise which leads you to the bottom of the “MURCHISON FALLS”. There is sport fishing, wild water rafting and nature walks along the banks.
Kaniyo Pabidi And Rabongo Forest
Kaniyo Pabidi forest is situated on the southern banks of the Nile in Murchison Falls Conservation Area 8 kms from Kichumbanyobo gate. The forest is a home to the black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys, olive baboons, Pottos, and a habituated chimp group which can be tracked. There are also some mammals such as: Elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards. Forest orest birds like: white-thighed hornbill, zoothers, camarones, little green sunbird, forest robin, the chocolate-backed kingfisher and Puvel's illadopsis endemic to this forest. Rabongo forest is also known as a birder’s haven because of the presence of endangered bird species which call it home. There is also numerous tree species such as mahogany one of the oldest trees.
Uganda’s largest natural forest is located on the southern part of Murchison Falls National Park, endowed with a variety of tree species mostly mahogany and a habitat to a number of chimpanzees which has made chimpanzee trekking a prominent activity in this forest. 24 mammals, of which 9 are primates. More than 360 birds can be seen in Budongo Forest, about 290 butterflies, 130 moths, 465 trees species.
Boat cruise to the bottom of the falls.
It gives you an opportunity to spot different animals such as: hippos, crocodiles as they bask, water backs, elephants and buffaloes feeding on the shores of the Nile. Birds which include; African darter, herons, pied king fishers, red throated bee eaters, white egrets just to mention but a few. Enjoy the cool breeze of the Nile as you sail upstream from the southern bank to the bottom of the beautiful falls. It is scheduled cruise in the morning and afternoon, departing at 9am and 2pm daily and lasts three hours. The afternoon cruise offers an idyllic sunset view as the sunrays reflect on the Nile waters.
Game drive. (morning and night)
This is one of the popular activities in the park, it gives you a chance to view game in the savannah plains. The northern bank of the park has plenty of wildlife compared to the southern bank which mostly forested. The park has marked tracks which are used during the game drive, the delta track has quite high chances of spotting the African Lion as it goes about hunting for its prey, water birds offshore and distant hippos can also be seen.
The Buligi tracks are known to have a variety of wildlife which are a must see such as; elephant, buffalo, antelopes, and giraffe and sometimes you can be lucky to also spot the lion and leopard. The savannah birds are also visible during the game drive such as; piapiac,
The southern bank has also been open for game drives despite being forested. There are numerous Uganda kobs which have led to the presence of lions which come to feast on them. 15 giraffes were translocated there in January 2016.
Murchison Falls National Park is a birders haven for water, forest, savannah birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s outstanding bird is the shoe bill stork which can be seen at the delta in the swamp mainly in the dry season from January to March. Birding can be done during a nature walk, game drive and a boat cruise on the Nile.
Other bird species found in the park include the Marabou Stork, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, and Widow Bird. Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters specifically seen in the Nyamusika Cliffs, Hornbills, Grey heron, Hamerkop, Shrikes, Flycatchers Pied king fisher, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Francolin, Cuckoos, Woodpeckers, Crombecs and Warblers, ducks, geese, stilts and plovers.
Nature Walks and Hiking
It is a guided activity very exciting as you walk through the natural trails of Kaniyo Pabidi, Budongo and Rabongo Forests on the southern bank. There are great chances to see quite a number of primates like the monkeys, chimpanzees, and baboons as they swing from one branch to another. Forest birds and tree species. Hiking is mainly done from the bottom to the top of the falls. After the boat cruise once you reach at the bottom of the falls, there is a hiking spot which takes you to the top of the falls. It gives you a chance to see the falls from the top.
It is unique activity which rewards with an opportunity to catch large Nile perch is dominates the Nile waters. There are also other fish species such; Cat-fish “semutundu, Tiger fish, Electric cat-fish, Tilapia and “Ngara" (Genus Alestes). The record largest Nile Perch was 113 Kgs which was caught at the water gauge opposite the crocodile pool, and the largest cat-fish was 45 Kgs caught near the Nyamusika Cliffs.
Community visit and Cultural encounters
The park is surrounded with diversity of cultures the bantu and luo people. You will have and opportunity to experience different cultures. The cultural dances from the dynamic dancers from Mubaku Community who are always ready to entertain you at the campfires. The Boomu Women's Group offer a hands-on rural life experience, they also make craft material which are sold to tourists as souvenirs.
Hot Air balloon Safari.
Explore the northern bank of the park at an elevation. Relish the distinctive experience of flying in a hot air balloon, this activity can only be done in Murchison Falls National Park. There is sunrise/Post sunrise hot air balloon safari with/without bush breakfast Sunset hot air balloon.