Murchison Falls National Park


Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley in central Uganda, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45 m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80 km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river's energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda's most remarkable spectacles.

First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, Murchison Falls is Uganda's largest and oldest conservation area and is a combination of grasslands, wooded savannah, tropical forests, wetlands, and open water covering approximately 39,000 hectares at an altitude of more than 600 m. The park is home to 109 species of mammals including; hippopotamus, antelope, giraffes, hartebeest, oribi and Uganda kob.


The park supports four of the "Big Five" with only rhino being absent. Buffalo and elephant are particularly common while out on game drive. The abundant herds of Uganda kob sustain a very healthy population of lion. Hyena are present, but rare, and zebra are no longer in the area. The Victoria Nile is a magnet for wildlife and teems with crocodile and hippo. Chimpanzees can be tracked in neighboring Budongo Forest Reserve and large herds of the localized Rothschild's giraffe are found in the park. The rare Patas monkey can sometimes be spotted on the grassy plains.

The park also boasts over 476 bird species and is one of the best safari destinations in Africa to find the shoebill stork. A boat safari on the Victoria Nile is a great start for many water-associated birds. With 53 species recorded, raptors are also very well represented. The park's impressive checklist contains more than 450 species. Migratory birds are present from November to April.


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