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The largest and oldest national park in Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is located in the northern Nwoya district and is one of the most popular places to visit. The park is called after the Murchison Falls, which is its main feature. The Nile divides the park into two sections, forming the northern and southern banks. The spectacular falls fit into a 7-meter-deep hole in the rock to drop downhill into Lake Albert. It was gazetted in 1952 as a method to safeguard the animal species that call here home. The huge Albertine Rift Valley’s floor is where the national park is located. The Karuma wildlife reserve and the Bugungu make up the Murchison Falls conservation area.

Murchison Falls National Park

While the southern portion of Murchison Falls National Park is primarily made up of forested areas, the northern portion is peppered with borassus palms, acacia trees, woodland, and savannah. The national park has 144 mammals, including the largest population of African elephants, in the Budongo woodland, which is home to chimpanzees and several woodland birds. The park is the only location where visitors may witness and see the four major wilderness animals: buffalo, lions, leopards, and elephants. A variety of other animals can be found in the Nile, such as crocodiles, warthogs, impalas, hippos, hyenas, jackals, waterbucks, and baboons, among others. The park harbours more than 400 bird species, 16 of which are native to Albertine; the severely endangered shoe bill stock is one of them.

The main attraction in the park is the Murchison Falls, which is very popular with tourists. The presence of the Nile allows for the opportunity to take a boat ride to the base of the thunderous falls; boat trips are scheduled starting from the Para section and last for two hours while offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Among the 451 bird species of the national park, there are many water birds that can be spotted, including the African fish eagle, kingfishers, famous shoe bill, sunbirds, and sunbirds. Mammals that can be seen include hippos, Nile crocodiles, water bucks, and warthogs. Boat rides are taken during sundowners in the evening or in the morning.

The savannah park is one of the few locations where night game drives are carried out with the assistance of a game ranger from the Uganda Wildlife Authority team. You will hunt for the nocturnal species, more so the cat family. Game drives are popular on the northern bank of the river because there are more animals on this part of the park. Game drives are conducted early in the morning in search of mammals; expect to see most of the species in the national park in action.

The Kampala Gulu highway provides access to the national park by vehicle. It takes about five hours to get there, and the drive through the breathtaking hills is rather picturesque. Charter aircraft can be scheduled to land at the Pakuba airstrip.

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