To get a safari experience that you will not forget is not an easy task but contacting Encounter Africa Safaris to arrange you one is something that you will not be disappointed by as we always deliver on our promises to offer the best service available. We offer tailor-made packages that are both affordable time conscious and fan packed with activities. Although many people know Uganda mostly because of Gorilla tracking there is much more to this country than just visiting the Gorillas and if you book a package to Uganda for gorillas be sure to ask for other safaris and you will be in for an experience of a lifetime. Due to Coronavirus, Encounter Africa safaris have come up with the new normal safari guidelines (SOPs)
One of the best places to visit while in Uganda and a must-see on your to-do list. Murchison Falls National Park is located in the Murchison Conservation Area which includes Bugugu and Karuma wildlife reserves. The park is the biggest national park in Uganda and with over 76 mammals species and 4 of the big five animals (lions, Leopards, elephants, buffalos) Rhinos can be found along the way to the park in nearby conservation (the Zziwa Rhino conservation) other animals in the park include Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, Warthogs, Giraffes, hyenas, dikers, the Nile crocodiles and hippos among others. The park is also home to several primates including baboons, monkeys and Chimpanzees in Budongo conservation area. More than 450 record bird species in the area among those the shoebill stock and 23 Albertine rift endemics making this place a birding haven.
The park is famous for game drives but the major highlight of the tour is the Murchison Falls its self, the strong and powerful falls are a beauty to watch as they bounce off the rocks and with a view from both the top and bottoms it’s very beautiful scenery to watch. The River Nile finds its way through the narrow 8 meters wide gorge and doing a launch cruise to the base of the falls is an experience that you will not forget while viewing lots of animals and birds as they flock the river banks for water.
The park is easily accessible by both road and flights, depending on where you are coming from the park can be accessed from any direction as it has multiple gets into the park. The park is located north of Kampala and while driving its approximately 4 hours’ drive to the park. The roads to the park are all the way tarmac except for those inside the park for reasons of conservation and protecting the environment in its natural state. Even those already on safari can connect to the park say from Kibale National Park its approximately 6 hours’ drive through Hoima and those from Kidepo its approximately 7 hours’ drive between the parks.
Domestic flights are available to the park with either Aerolink Uganda at Entebbe Airport or Kampala Executive Aviation at Kajjasi Airstrip into Bugungu, Pakuba and Chobe Airstrips per seat rate applies or a minimum of 4 pax. This is the fastest means to the park which takes just one hour to the park and gives you time to relax and do other activities around the park. Contact us for rates on flights options.
Game drives. These are the most popular of the activities in the park, can either be done in the morning or the afternoon. The game drives take you through the savannah grasslands, woodlands and riverine vegetation and while on this you will get to view various animals depending on your luck on the day. These include lions, elephants, buffalos, jackals, kobs, hyenas etc. multiple game drives in the park are encouraged to enhance your chances of seeing more out of these game drives.
Boat cruises. These make part of the trip with the Nile Delta cruise an interesting one that takes you through the hippo pods, crocodile zones and bathing buffaloes and not to mention the numerous birds that can be spotted while on this game drive. Also, it’s during this cruise that you will get a chance to search for the elusive shoebill. The other trip is one that takes you to the bottom of the falls to view the magnificent falls as the drop about 30 meters below and is very strong. On this trip, you get a chance to hike to the top of the falls.
Nature walks and hikes. Walks to the top of the falls off the boat are common cruise to view the falls from the top and also those interested in walks in the budongo conservation area during the chimpanzee tracking experience. The walks usually go for between USD20.00 per person. Searching the rare shoebill in the guided swamp walks.
Brid watching. Common birds in the park include; silver bird, Common and Purple Swamphen, Lesser Moorhen, Hottentot Teals, Long-crested and Martial Eagles, African Crake, Harlequin and Blue Quail, Common Button-quail, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Short-toed, Black-chested and Brown Snake-eagles, African white-backed, among others and savannah animals
Those doing birding trips should involve in both game drives and launch trips to encounter different birdlife including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The boat cruise on the Nile will give one an opportunity to experience different bird species at the banks including the rare shoebill. Forest walks are also rewarding to the bird watchers.
Murchison Falls. Don’t talk about visiting the park without talking about the falls, with both options of seeing them from below as they pour down the Nile River and also during the boat cruise that takes you to the bottom of the falls. They are the strongest falls in Africa and something not to miss on this trip.
Rhino tracking. This activity is not in the park but is along the way to the park, if one is coming from Kampala, you have to pass by the Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary to track Rhinos before you proceed to the park or on the last day when returning back to Entebbe after the trip. If one see the rhinos and is lucky which in Murchison, it’s the only trip where you will get to see all the big five on the same tour.
The park can be visited around the year with no particular time, the dry season from December to February and from June to September. These months are generally dry and more suitable for game activities in the park as sighting is much clearer since the grass is dried out and animals come out in spots around water bodies which remain with green. During the rainy months, it’s slightly much wet and the vegetation in parks grows tall, roads of the park are slippery, and sometimes you’ll be advised not to drive to the park if the roads are incredibly slippery which requires a 4×4 vehicle for the trip.
Accommodation options. Depending on which style you travel be it budget, mid-range or luxury the park has all options to offer. With the likes of Bakers Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge and the Nile Safari Lodge in the luxury type, Murchison River Lodge, Kabalega and Pakuba Safari Lodge in mid-range while for the budget we have Redchilli Rest Camp and UWA Bandas providing stay among others.
Contact Encounter Africa Safaris to organise for you one of our packages on the website, and if you don’t find anything that works for you, still we can tailor a package for you to suit your needs time and interests. Our safari consultants are very experienced and will get a response back to you within no time of sending through your request. We pride ourselves in providing excellent services and reviews from our TripAdvisor and safari bookings justify for this.
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