The Nile Delta boat cruise highlights any visit to the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s most extensive and top savannah safari destination after Queen Elizabeth National Park. Murchison Falls presents some of the most spectacular wildlife viewing moments, with game drives sighting the abundant Rothchild’s giraffe, buffalo, elephants, and lion praying on the abundant antelope that roam the plains.
The Nile River flowing from Lake Kyoga into Lake Albert dissects Murchison park into the northern and southern parts, creating a magnet for wildlife concentration on the banks of the Victoria Nile. Taking the boat cruise along the Nile explores the park’s most abundant animal concentrations on the banks of the Nile.
There are two ways to explore the mighty Nile in Murchison Falls National Park. From the Paraa jetty, tourists take the boat cruise up the Victoria Nile waters to the bottom of the thunderous falls and hike up from Baker’s rock to Fagio Gorge to view the falls from above.
The other boat cruise starts at Paraa jetty, cruising down the calm Nile waters to the papyrus-filled delta. This is where the Nile joins Lake Albert before branching off to its northern journey. Both offer spectacular viewing of wildlife on the banks of the Nile—the closest you can get to Uganda’s big game animals.
The Nile Delta Boat Cruise
The Nile Delta in Murchison Falls National Park is located twenty kilometers downstream from Paraa jetty. It’s home to incredible waterbird species, including the prehistoric-looking shoebill stork—a famous find for most tourists on the Nile Delta boat cruise.
The three-hour Delta boat cruise, west of Paraa area in Murchison, through the scenic Buligi area, to the Lake Albert Delta Point, puts tourists very close to incredible wildlife sightings. You can expect to catch sight of herds of elephants, buffalo, and giraffe on the banks of the Nile.
Down at the Albert Delta, the boat cruises the timid Victoria Nile waters to catch sight of the prolific birdlife tweeting of the papyrus and swampy growth. Look out for the storky bird hunting in the wamp fish and frogs with a whale-like head. The shoebill is a highlight sighting in these parts of the park, but also, the landscape views are therapeutic for an afternoon sunset boat cruise.
At the Albert Nile Delta, the Victoria Nile passes through the northern tip of Lake Albert to become the Albert Nile that flows up into South Sudan. Spend some good moments in the delta; you may spot some elephants, Nile crocodiles, and other exciting animals in the area before you cruise up the Nile back to the Paraa jetty.
You can take a scheduled Nile delta cruise with “breakfast on board,” offered in the mornings (subject to minimum numbers.) The delta cruise leaving the jetty at Paraa on the south bank takes off at 07.00 am and 2:00 pm. We can also tailor-make your delta cruise trip with a private boat and timings to suit your journey preferences.
Boat Cruise To Bottom of The Murchison Falls
The most favorite activity in the park is the boat cruise to the bottom of Murchison Falls, the world’s most powerful waterfalls. The cruise also starts at the Paraa jetty cruising up the Nile, bypassing a display of dramatic wildlife along the Victoria Nile river banks and docks at Baker’s rock for tourists that want to hike up the Murchison Falls.
At the top of Murchison Falls, Fajao viewpoint, guests can watch the Nile gash out around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 ft³/s) of water through a narrow gouge less than 10 meters (33 ft) wide, creating 50 meter wide splashes and a permanent rainbow.
The thunderous water then tumbles down the falls back onto the Nile path to calmly continue its flow down the Victoria Nile. Guests can stop at the base to watch this magnificent sight unfold with hippo pods in the vicinity or hike up the rock to watch the spectacle from above.
Launch trips to the bottom of Murchison Falls usually leave at 0900 and 1400. We can also arrange a private boat cruise to enjoy a sundowner or breakfast cruise up the Nile. The cruise can last about three to fours hours.
3 Day Uganda Savannah Birding Safari
Trip will take you to Lake Mburo National Park, one of the most perfect parks with a variety if bird species
5 Day Uganda Savannah Birding Safari
Trip starts with birding in UWEC, the Botanical Gardens and along Lake Victoria Shores. The next day, visit Mabamba.
How much the boat cruise cost
The boat launch by UWA leaves the jetty at 0900 and 1400 daily. It costs $30 per person, with refreshments available to all passengers on board for a reasonable fee. Wild Frontiers offers an alternative with fancier boats for $32 per person, subject to minimum numbers on board.
We can also arrange private pickups and drop-offs by boat from the North bank at Paraa and lodge points along the southern banks of the Victoria Nile. Guests can opt for a special waterfall sundowner boat cruise, including drinks and snacks, departing at 1500 every afternoon. A private boat cruise costs $325 per boat, subject to trip duration, boat capacity, and boat type.
When to Take The Boat Cruise
The best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park and take a Nile delta boat cruise or a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls is during the dry season, December through to February and June through to September.
However, the dry season may present some challenges in booking because of the influx of travelers. It is the peak season for Murchison Falls Safaris and Uganda in general, during the dry season. So we advise that you book early to avoid disappointments.
The wet seasons on the Nile cruise may be dangerous because the water levels are high, making the Nile water flow faster. A not very appropriate time to cruise the Nile.
What Else After The Boat Cruise
Your visit to Murchison Falls can include the Delta boat cruise, the boat launch to the bottom of the falls, and a game drive safari in the Buligi section of the park. The Buligi area boasts a high concentration of wild animals to engage your morning or afternoon game drive.
Cruise down to the delta, return to Paraa, and take a game drive through the wildlife-rich Buligi area. Alternatively, leave your boat at the gorge below the falls and hike up for the view down into the thunderous chasm. The return to Paraa either by vehicle or hike back down for another cruise back to Paraa.
Murchison falls, one of the remotest national parks in Uganda can easily be combined with a trip further northeast into Kidepo Valley National Park for another savannah plains experience or down south to join the southwestern Uganda safari circuit via Kibale National Park.
Budongo Forest in the south of Murchison Falls is great to watch the habituated chimpanzee troops winging the pre-historic rainforest canopy.
Not far down south is Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offering Rhino tracking on foot. It’s an excellent activity to complete your list of the Africa BIG FIVE game. Four of them are present in Murchison Falls National Park except for the rhino, which you find at the Ziwa Sanctuary.
5 Day Murchison Falls and Budongo Chimp safari
Explore Murchison Falls National Park for wildlife game viewing, boat cruises and chimp trekking in Budongo Forest.