Murchison Falls National Park is arguably one of the best conservation areas in Uganda and East Africa as well. So this gives a visitor an opportunity to engage in quite a number of activities in Murchison Falls National Park.
The best way to enjoy game viewing here is to do a game drive on an open roof jeep. Take an early morning and evening game drive north of the River in the savannah plains to find animals like lions, elephants having breakfast.
The abundant wildlife and scenic landscape offer a mesmerizing game drive encounter. Searching for the big 5? It is at Murchison that one is assured of meeting many. Mammals spotted here include the lions, giraffes, elephants, cape buffaloes, the elusive leopard, warthogs, hippopotamus, and the Uganda Kob; among others.
Bird watching is another activity in Murchison Falls National Park. Over 481 bird species have been recorded here. The beauty of bird watching here is that it can easily be done with or incorporated into the other activities.
The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, which is best sighted in the dry season of January to March. The commonest bird species found in the plains include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Bird.
Closer to the river where there are more thickets and woodlands, the commonest bird varieties include the Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters – particularly in the Nyamusika Cliffs; Woodland, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers. Others include the Francolin Hornbills, Grey heron; Hamerkop; Shrikes; Flycatchers; Cuckoos; Woodpeckers; Crombecs and Warblers. The riverbanks are also home to ducks, geese, stilts and plovers.
One of the most exciting activities in Murchison Falls is the Boat Cruise. Cruise up to the nile towards the powerful Murchison falls, past resident, migratory water birds, crocodiles, visiting elephants, giraffes and several antelopes. It is the highlight of any tour to Murchison Falls. The boat cruise is a wonderful way to see a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. Buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and elephants can be seen at their ease along the banks of the River Nile. Lots of water birds are also present. Just have your camera and binoculars ready. It is an unforgettable experience. The cruise departs at 9Am and 2PM daily; and takes three hours.
See, hear & feel the power of the river crash through 7 m gap in the rift valley at the Top of the falls. You can either drive to view or hike to the top walk to view this spectacular attraction.
The hike to the top of the falls can be done after the early afternoon boat cruise. It is a 45 minute hike that takes one through the woodland to the top of the Murchison Falls; giving one a completely different view of this magnificent waterfall.
South of Murchison falls is Budongo Forest. Primates & birds live in here. Get face to face with chimpanzee cousins in Kaniyo Pabidi section of Budongo forest. Chimp tracking here takes 2 to 4 hours; an encounter with chimps in the wild is an amazing experience. A chimpanzee tracking permit goes for $120 for advance booking. However, gate bookings / payments fetch a $10 surcharge, raising it to $130 per permit.
Nature walks provide an intimate tour of the vast ad varied sceneries of Murchison falls on foot. There are trails running through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests. Encounters on these walks include primates and birds.
Get to see and enjoy some traditional dances offered by the great singers and dancers of the communities surrounding the park. These energetic and cultural groups from Mubaku perform vibrant songs of Acholi and Alur people around the ferry crossing landing area. Most Lodges usually arrange cultural performances in the evening at campfires, to feel the power of the various dances and experience local cultural heritage.
Here you will travel by boat, game viewing along the Victoria Nile; elephants, hippos, birds. Look for iconic rare and elusive shoebill in mash wetland around Nile delta. This luxury cruise takes 4 hours.
The avid anglers can do spot fishing in Murchison Falls national Park, on the Victoria Nile. There are great opportunities to land a large Nile Perch or Catfish. Other fish include Electric catfish, Tilapia, Tiger fish and Ngara. The major sport fishing site is at the bottom of the falls near Paraa. To so spot fishing, you need a fishing permit. Currently, permits cost $50 per day and $150 for four days.
Enjoy a different game viewing experience by air on a hot air balloon. You will be rewarded with great general views of the park, Lake Albert and Victoria Nile; and wind up with a bush breakfast!. You will head out early, watch as the pilot starts the balloon; enjoy the adventure starting from 7am. It costs extra $380 per person.