Over eight separate trails specifically meant for birding in Murchison Falls National Park have been opened to promote avian tourism in Uganda’s largest conservation area.
According to Patrick Tushabe the Product Development Executive at UWA, the trails are situated on both the northern and southern banks of River Nile in the open savanna grassland and the forested area. Murchison Falls National Park boasts of hundreds of birds species including the most sought after ones like the shoe bill.
A principal Wildlife Officer from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Mr. Akankwasa Barirega who walked along some of the new trails on the Big Birding Day in late September, applauded the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) for opening up new trails to promote birding in Murchison Falls National Park and other conservation areas.
Mr. Akankwasa says this is a new innovation which government will support in developing infrastructure and diversification of products to attract more visitors and make them stay longer in the national parks.
The Conservation Area Manager, Murchison Falls Conservation Area Mr. Tom Okello says with the new trails to supplement the popular launch trips to the boat of the falls and the Victoria Nile delta during which a concentration of birds are sighted, the avian tourism will definitely generate more interest and revenue.
Tushabe says bird check lists for different national parks were being developed as well as the procurement of specialized equipment.
Besides the birding trails, an 18 km trail on the northern bank to the top of the falls has constructed with funding from Tullow Oil. The spectacular Top of the Falls which is a sight to behold has previously only been accessed by road from the southern bank. The new facility is expected to attract tourists to stay longer after the popular game drives along the northern banks of the Nile.