Murchison Falls National park
Murchison Falls National park
Murchison's picturesque scenery makes it so hard to fail to love, and that is exactly why scenes of many award winning movies were shot here, inclusive of the African queen movie of Uganda .
Murchison harbours the classic elements of a paradise. For starters, it is a little out of reach; paradise after all is not paradise if you could just jump on a random boda and reach it. Secondly, paradise is a wonderland spread over countless miles. Murchison spreads across 3,840km2. It is Uganda's largest game park, full of the most pristine wildernesses and untamed savannas in Africa.
It stands at an altitude of more than 600m and is bisected into two wings by the world's longest river – River Nile. On its grassland-dominated Northern wing, you will find a mix of carnivores and heavy browsers like of elephants, antelopes, giraffes, buffaloes, hippopotamuses, hartebeest, oribi and the Uganda kob.
On the other hand, to its south is Budongo, a forest sanctuary with a healthy population of primates, especially man's closest relatives; chimpanzees. This contrast avails the means to find out what differentiates forest species like buffaloes and elephants from their Savannah counterparts, for those interested in studying animal life deeper.
There is only one powerful waterfall in the world whose water squeezes through a five meter wide cleft to take a 45m plunge over the remnant rift valley wall. It is found in this park and yes, it is after it that the park was named. This was in honour of Sir Roderick Murchison, the president of the Royal Geographic Society (1851-1853). Downstream of this river is an 80km stretch of rapids. Thundering ones!!!
How to explore Murchison
There are so many ways to explore Murchison. A game drive is perfect if you want to see much of it quickly and easily. However if you want real photographic encounters, you can’t go wrong with a nature walk off the beaten tracks. If you want to see birds without so much hassle, do not hesitate to pursue a boat cruise destined for the twin falls in the park. The park has over 470 recorded bird species.
On your way downstream, you will be awed by a parade of animals strutting about at the riverbanks.
If you love sports fishing, Murchison offers excellent chances of catching many species including the biggest Nile Perches in the country, some of which can weigh as much as 80kg. Others include the electric eel, Tiger Fish and Catfish.
Following the 1980's war that brought Uganda on its knees, Murchison falls suffered immense poaching, a vice that threatened its giraffe population to near extinction. Thanks to consistent conservation efforts as spearheaded by different conservation initiatives, the park quickly regained its population of giraffes (now over 900 from less than 100 in 1990), particularly in its Northern wing. Plans are ongoing to translocate as many giraffes as possible to its southern wing. The move is partly inspired by the possibility that a natural calamity could strike the North, threatening the giraffes again. Should this happen, the ones in the south will help in rebreeding. So far, over 30 giraffes have been moved here.