The Save Murchison Falls Campaign is still in high gear and conservationists are not going to rest untill the Government of Uganda drops the proposal to develop these magnificent into a hydro Electricity Dam. With many Ugandans sharing photos of the spectacular falls, a lot more is needed to create awareness as to why these magnificent falls need to be preserved for the later generations. here are some of the unique things that you probably didnt know about the Murchison Falls National Park, the home to these falls;
The Park is Named After the Falls
The Murchison Falls National Park is named after these beautiful Falls. Uganda’s largest national park was formerly called Kabalega National Park. The park was named after the past King of Bunyoro, an ancient kingdom in Uganda. Kabalega was one of the leaders who resisted colonial rule in Uganda. This led to his deportation to the Seychelles Islands together with Mwanga, the Kabaka of Buganda.
Unfortunately, the park was later renamed after the falls to become the Murchison Falls National Park by the Museveni Government. It is surprising that the same government is yet to approve the destruction of the falls from which the park attained its name.
Flora and fauna
The Uganda’s largest park is dominated by rivers, woodland,savanna, wetlands and tropical forest habitats that provide homes for 76 different mammal species and 450 different bird species. Large mammals that are often seen on a Uganda safari through the park include leopards, elephants, lions, hippopotamuses, Rothschild’s giraffes, hartebeests, oribi, warthog, Cape buffalo,and Uganda kobo.
The Nile corridor offers permanent water for these animals and lots of waterbirds which include the rare shoebill stork as well as Uganda’s biggest population of Nile crocodile. Kaniyo Pabidi forest also provides sanctuaries for chimpanzee and different primates along with an amazing 360 species of bird.
Murchison Falls is the Star Attraction of the Park
The main tourist attractions of this park is definitely the unique Murchison Falls as well as the Rive Nile with its streaming hippo and serried ranges of crocodile along the sandbanks, as well as large numbers of different species getting down to drink & bathe. It is from the falls that the park derived its name from. The most spectacular view of the waterfall is on the top “where the sight & sound of the Nile crashing through”. Wide chasm make a memorable assault on the senses. The site can be reached either by car or a 30 minutes’ climb, leaving the Paraa launch.
Great Habitat for Primates
Few travelers know that Murchison Falls National Park offers thrilling primate watching safaris to its visitors. Several primates can be found in Budongo forest and Kaniyo Pabidi Forests that are located within the Murchison falls National Park. Budongo is one of the best places to see chimpanzees in Uganda. Alongside the road, common primates that include the Olive baboons can be seen on a safari through the park. It is a good idea to keep car windows and doors shut in order to stay safely with your lunch while exploring the park! Blue and red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus can be found in the forested sectors. The savanna-dwelling patas monkey is only found here and in Kidepo Valley National Park.
A Haven for birds
The park is also a home to a variety of birds with 451 species recorded, the Shoebill being the main birding attraction. Others are; Goliath Heron the largest heron in the world – and pairs of elegant Grey Crowned Cranes – Uganda’s national bird. Also along the banks of the Nile are the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silverbird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quail-Finch.
Uganda’s Favorite National Park
Unlike other, national parks, Murchison Falls National Park provides a number of activities carried out while in the park such as visiting the top of the falls, Chimpanzee tracking at Budongo forest, Guided nature walks through Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests, guided swamp walks, Sport Fishing on the banks of the River Nile, the experience on the boat lauch cruise offers good opportunities for bird watching. On top of all, a game drive from Paraa passing via Delta Point takes 3 to 4 hours. The best time for this activity is early in the morning when animals are looking for food and water to quash their thirst and late afternoon.
A game drive is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals like Buffalos, Lions, Elephants, Leopards and so many others.