The Murchison Falls National Park, in the north-west of Uganda, is Uganda’s largest park. Its borassus forest and savanna are home to elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard. Indeed the Murchison Falls is the only place in Uganda where you will see large numbers of elephant and buffalo.
A healthy population of hippo and huge crocodiles lurk in the reeds on the River Nile. And many game and bird species are drawn to the river to drink. Specials at the Murchison Falls include Rothschild’s giraffe and Uganda kob.
The Murchison Falls is most famed for the narrow 7 metre gorge where the Victoria Nile is squeezed from 50 metres. Here it plunges off the edge of the Western Rift escarpment into a pool 43 metres below. This dramatic sight can be viewed on a birding and game viewing cruise to the very foot of the waterfall. A classic highlight on any Uganda safari!
Birding in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is well-known for its birding safaris. And there are about 450 bird species spotted here. Fish eagle, goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill and cormorant are all commonly sighted. A downstream boat trip is a highlight for the avid birdwatcher. And the much sought-after shoebill stork can often be seen here.
Walking Safaris are on offer. Enjoy walking trails up the cliffs above the Murchison Falls to enjoy a superb aerial view over the Nile River. And down into the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’ at the foot of the Falls.
One of the most relaxing wildlife-viewing options is the above-mentioned cruise below the Falls. Here the surging mass of water turns into a placid body of water which flows gently toward Lake Albert. The banks of the river are lined with papyrus . And it’s a birding hotspot with ample chance to see African fish eagles, Great Eerets, Goliath herons and the rare Shoebill stork.
Budongo Forest Reserve Chimpanzees
This reserve is a continuation of the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. It is part of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. And includes a huge Mahogany and Ironwood forest area. This is home to over 600 chimpanzees and eight other primate species. Many can be seen from some of the 115 km of trails through this pristine forest.