If you are ever planning a trip to the Murchison, it is better you plan spending a night over. There are a number of accommodation options available starting from Masindi town to the park itself. Inside the park is Pakuba Safari Lodge and Paraa Lodge. The choice is yours.
There are other accommodation sites at the peripheral of the park and can easily be accessed at the earliest opportunity of booking. In any case, the plan is to make sure that you can be able to make it in time for the game drives and the boat cruise leading to the top of the falls.
There is a ferry manned by UWA that voyages on the river every after two hours. One must be mindful not to miss out on its schedules lest they incur an extra cost of being ferried privately.
The game drive takes place every morning and evening. With the morning drive, the wildlife is just waking up from the night and the animals are coming out of their hiding to go about the day’s business. The big deal is finding two of the big five; the lion and the leopard. In case one misses to see one of them in the morning, they can always do in the evening or vice versa.
The lion is known to hunt in the dead of the night and during daytime, it is resting. Or at times, it is still following up on an unsuccessful hunt of the previous night. The leopard is known to spend most of its mornings in the tree branches as it looks at the passers-by before it can run into safe hiding for the day. It is very rare to come across both the lion and the leopard during the course of the day. The day wears them out.
The best way to enjoy your morning game drive is to use an open roof safari van. You may need to ask your tour operator to organise you one. This gives you the opportunity to stick out your head and have a closer look from the top as you get slapped by the cold Savannah breeze on your face.
A few meters away from Pakuba Safari Lodge, there is an abandoned hotel block that is known to attract hyenas for a night out. They come out in large droves before they can scheme on where to get their next meal. Beginning your game drive here can lead you to one or two. You are only assured to see these night fellows only if you begin your drive at about 6 am or there about.
The tracks are clearly marked and one cannot get lost. There are always other tourists doing the game drive so you can be assured of having company. After all, you are all looking for the same.
On your drive be ready to stop over and capture the early morning sunrise as it tears through the trees to assume its position in the sky. With it come the various wildlife species whose life depends on the movement of the sun. It is a common gesture to see the animals sneak out of the crevices of their night wandering towards the green Savannah fields with their heads firmly fixed towards the western side that is the water source. This they know without instruction. They are born to do this and they never stop. Most of the antelopes move in families forming an expanse of a large brown field of small anthills.
The giraffes tower over the small animals and shrubs as they gracefully cross the fields picking the top leaves off trees and the formation of the little green leaves. Giraffes find it easier to eat from above than below given it requires more effort for them to bend and pick grass. They have to spread out their legs which is a very hectic venture for them. Male giraffes tend to turn browner as they age while the female become somewhat brighter. Giraffes eat in communion with others and they are known to be very harmless.
For bird lovers, Murchison offers a variety that one can do a birding exploration for as many days as one might need. There are quite a number of unique birds that find their nesting within the park. The park is rich with the BIG Four of the FIVE which are; the lion, the leopard, the elephant and the buffalo. Rhinos in Uganda were on the verge of extinction until two decades back when the government established the Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola. Today there are 27 rhinos and soon they will be introduced in Murchison and Lake Mburo parks.
A game drive is incomplete if you do not make a stop by the banks of the Albert Nile to have yourself a breakfast as you have a view of the hippopotamus planning to go to bed. It is also a beautiful scene watching the birds by the river banks hunting for the worms to eat, remember the early bird?
Murchison falls park stretches between the Victoria Nile and the Albert Nile. Victoria Nile is the stretch between Lake Victoria and Lake Albert. Albert Nile is the stretch that carries on northwards.
The names Victoria and Albert are a common feat here because of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Queen Victoria was the monarch of Britain between 1837 -1901, a time when Britain reigned supreme in the biggest part of the world. John Speke, while on an exploration mission named the lakes Nalubaale and Mwitanzige after the reigning kingship of Victoria and Albert respectively.
Do yourself a favor and visit Murchison Falls today.