The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the Falls. Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta. Alternatively, a tranquil sundowner cruise offers the classic view of an equatorial sunset reflected on the river.
Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
In Murchison Falls National Park game viewing can be enjoyed while on a game drive in several designated game drive areas. The main areas are the Delta where there are great chances of seeing the Lions in wait for prey as they go to drink, the Buligi Peninsula and the southern sector famoulsy known as the heart of Murchison.
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoebill sightings.
Sport fishing in Murchison falls National Park is quite rewarding for the avid angler. There are great opportunities to land a large Nile Perch "mputa" or Cat-fish "semutundu". Other fish include Tiger fish, Electric cat-fish, Tilapia, "Ngara" (Genus Alestes).
The record largest Nile Perch was 113 Kgs landed at at the water gauge opposite the crocodile pool, and the largest cat-fish was 45 Kgs landed near the Nyamusika Cliffs
Enjoy the unique experience of flying in a hot air balloon with one of the following options only available at Murchison Falls National Park:
Sunrise/Post sunrise hot air balloon safari with/without bush breakfastSunset hot air balloon safariShort rides for large groups and students
Balloon Safaris Mutungo Hill rd.
Confusing to early explorers, who described it as a cross between a camel and a leopard, the giraffe is certainly an awkward-looking creature. Its swaying gait comes as a result of it moving both right legs simultaneously, followed by both left legs; and its favourite food is the hideously spiky acacia, which it strips of leaves using its long, dark purple tongue. Though they are the world’s tallest land mammal - even a newborn giraffe stands at six feet (2m) tall! - their neck contains just seven vertebrae - exactly the same as a human.
Little wonder, then, that this curious gentle giant fascinated Africa’s prehistoric inhabitants, who depicted it in cave paintings across the continent. Unfortunately, the giraffe’s unique characteristics also led to them being heavily hunted.
Their tails alone were made into bracelets, fly-swatters, threads for sewing and threading beads, and the species found in Uganda is the Nubian Giraffe formerly known as Rothschild giraffe and is now one of the most endangered giraffe species.
In Uganda giraffe are found in Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian-upe Wildlife Reserve
The recent estimate for this park is over 1500 individuals, 45 in the southern bank where giraffes were introduced for the first time in January 2016 with an initial seed population of 18 giraffes with assistance from Giraffe conservation foundation. An additional 19 were translocated in August 2017.
It is assumed that a combination of illegal hunting (poaching) and disease caused giraffe to disappear from Lake Mburo National Park about 100 years ago. In July 2015, 15 giraffe were re-introduced into the landscape for ecological and ecotourism reasons from Murchison Falls National Park – an exciting and bold venture by UWA to expand the range of the endangered Nubian giraffe. Whilst poaching is minimal, the giraffe’s new home will be under pressure from expanding human populations surrounding the park and increasing demand for land. After the birth of at least seven calves the giraffe population is now estimated at 22. GCF is supporting UWA and a local conservation group to regularly monitor the giraffe population and work with local communities to make giraffe play a valuable role in this landscape once again.
In the 1990s the giraffe population in Kidepo Valley National Park was reduced to only three individuals. Illegal hunting (poaching) was a major issue in Kidepo Valley National Park in the past due to civil unrest in neighbouring South Sudan. While poaching has since stopped and the giraffe population has seen a slow increase, these giraffe are still under threat by habitat loss and fragmentation, and disease. All these threats can ultimately be linked to human population growth.
In 2015 GCF initiated the first-ever annual giraffe census in Kidepo Valley National Park. Our annual surveys in partnership with UWA have determined that the population continues to grow slowly and increased to 36 individuals in 2018. To provide a boost for the population’s viability, an additional 14 giraffe (13 females and one male) were translocated to the park in August 2018 from Murchison Falls National Park during Operation Twiga III by UWA with the support of GCF. Ongoing monitoring of the natural and translocated population is critical. Regular field surveys are complemented by fitting several giraffe with GPS satellite units to help us track their movements.
The process of translocating Giraffe is now (October 2019) under way. The plan is to have a seed population of about 40 giraffes in 2 years. 15 giraffes will be translocated in October 2019 and the rest in 2020 or 2021.