Go Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

The oldest and largest national park in Uganda, Murchison falls National Park formerly known as Kabalega national park is home to about 76 mammals and over 400 bird species, and a home to the historical ranging falls. It is a place that will make you appreciate nature and the beauty in the wilderness. And it is a perfect choice for those that love unique wildlife viewing experience. In addition to meeting all the Big 4 mammals in and around the park.

Murchison falls National Park is the best wildlife safari destination in the pearl of Africa and a natural reserve filled with impressive animal population and breathtaking activities.

The natural beauty in this park never fades for ages and fanatics of beautiful falls and wildlife must add this park on the list of places to enjoy a wildlife safari in Uganda. Wonderful scenery is the only thing to find here and fresh winds that change the entire mind set.

A voyage to Murchison falls national park from Uganda’s capital, Kampala is about 315km, taking up to 5-6 hours’ drive. It is found in the northwest of Uganda and was named after the dramatic Murchison falls. The park is split into 2 parts / regions (northern & southern regions) by the mighty River Nile which forms one of the most notable features of the park. The falls pass through a narrow gorge of about 6 meters width before thrusting 45 meters downstream forming one of the world’s most powerful waterfalls.

This park is one of the best destinations for birding in Uganda; it accommodates more than 451 bird species, including the Albertine rift endemics, Riverine / water birds and savannah birds. Exploring birds in the scenic and amazing Murchison falls national park is one of the unique and interesting experiences while on a Uganda safari tour. Murchison falls national park is found in the north western direction of Uganda of about 315km from Kampala and the journey is approximately 4 hours’ drive by road.

The park shelters very many bird species and some are rare, common and occasional such as the shoe bill stork, Abyssinian ground hornbills, Nightjars, Marabou stork, black headed lapwing, back-bellied bustard, giant kingfisher, giant heron, grey crown crane and many others.

In Murchison falls national park, birds can be spotted clearly while on a boat cruise along the Nile river, game drive, nature walks through the savannah grasslands, and bird species like the blue napped mouse birds, silver birds, weavers, among others can be spotted near Paraa and red chili Rest camp through the dry thorn-shrubs. The nocturnal birds like the nightjars can be seen along the Paraa lodge road and while on the boat to bottom of the falls.

Bird lovers can visit Murchison falls national park all year round though the best time is during dry season which is always in the months of January to March, though this time is a low season for tourism but the birds are always in plenty. However, during the rainy seasons – in months of December to February, birding can still be done. Other months are characterized by heavy rains making it difficult for bird watching experiences, since the walking trails become slippery and the roads are impassable in this season.

Besides birding, Murchison falls national park has variety of activities you can engage in such as boat cruise, game drives, hiking, chimpanzee tracking (in Budongo forest), nature walks, among others.

Murchison falls national park is without doubt a birders’ paradise in Uganda. And every traveler that wishes to explore multiple birds in the wilderness of the pearl of Africa should visit this park.

Exciting Uganda Safari Deals for 2018

Uganda celebrates gorilla tourism through conservation and sustainable travel across the globe  every year but for those planning to visit the country in 2018 , the unspeakable joy is that no gorilla permit price increase in all gorilla tracking parks-Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga National Park.

The two mountain gorilla homes in south western Uganda have become known as great wild adventure spots in Africa and worldwide. A few months ago Rwanda increased its gorillas permits from US$750-US$1500 changing the country travel trend from being a cheap gorilla safari destination to Luxury gorilla safari destinations for reasons and conservation and community development.

This somehow worried tourists with plans of tracking mountain gorillas in 2018 in Africa. However, Uganda gorilla permit price stability changes the all scenario and joy fills up the lives for many travelers to Africa. Uganda gorilla permits for 2018 go for US$600 per trek for all months of the year with discount offers in low season.Travellers will still secure gorilla permits at only US$450 per trek during the month of April, May and November.

If your plans where initially to fly to Rwanda-Kigali international Airport, it can still work and you connect to Uganda for gorilla tracking and later fly out from Kigali international Airport. This travel arrangement offers travelers an opportunity to explore the beautiful land of thousand hills as wells that of Uganda the Pearl of Africa.

Uganda hosts exciting gorilla safari experiences in both Bwindi forest and Mgahinga national park which is conducted every day in all the parks. Gorilla safaris in Uganda are best for all budgets and one can either see mountain gorillas in their home on budget or luxury gorilla safari tour. The experience of gorilla safaris in Uganda is just same like that of Rwanda  with a true fact that whoever tracks mountain gorillas get changed with various memories of  the beautiful jungle creatures.

Trekking gorillas is much more than taking a forest walk through the thick forest jungle and later meet up with gorillas .A lot can be experienced and enjoyed –the reason for many travelers who have ever seen the gorillas to describe the experience as “life changing encounter” and worth every effort and penny”.

Like any other mountain gorilla tracking destination, one must have a gorilla permit to track gorillas in Uganda. Booking gorilla permits can be done through a tour agent responsible for organizing your gorilla safari tour or directly at the park management head offices in Kampala(UWA).However, its has always been very easy and flexible to reserve your gorilla permit with a tour agent.

The best time to track endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda is all year with a peak season from June-October and December to March. However, those who chose to visit the country during April, May and November enjoy more benefits on safari because they don’t only carry home huge memories of the unique gorillas but also save much for their next vacation. However, it’s a grantee to see mountain gorillas in Uganda on a single trek any time of the year but going for double trekking is a choice and open for every traveler to the country. Tourists are rewarded with gorilla certificates after the trek a reward gift that confirms that you made it successful to the land of mountain gorillas.

A trip to Watch Birds and Gorillas in Africa

One of the classic birding experience in Uganda or Rwanda is to combine gorilla tracking and bird watching on a safari holiday. Combining the experience of tracking the mountain gorillas in the beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable forest and birding is one of the most amazing wildlife experience you can ever take. Nothing will ever prepare you for the first glimpse or the sound of the silver back pounding its chest amidst the dense undergrowth on a gorilla trek within Uganda or Rwanda. The excitement kicks in when start your gorilla trekking trip into the tropical rain forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Volcanoes National Park and you get up close to the imposing and magnificent figure of a silverback and it’s all baby gorillas peeking through leaves or hiding behind their mothers. When these forest dwellers sense that all is well they will start showing off by swinging, twisting, turning and somersaulting all for your entertainment.

These forests also host various birds including endemics that cannot be found in any other destination. There are about 350 bird species, with 14 bird species not recorded anywhere else in Uganda. in addition there are 23 birds that are endemic to the Albertine Rift and several migratory birds that are present during the months of November to April.

Gorilla permits will set you back as they cost US$600 but don’t think twice about going out for this genuine once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Keep in mind that a portion of the fee goes to the park and gorilla conservation initiatives, helping to ensure their survival among us!

Go Gorilla Trekking and Birding in Uganda

A tiny landlocked country supporting more than 1000 species, Uganda deserves its reputation as “birders’ Eden”. A short trip here to soak up the bizarre and mind-blowing Shoebills at Murchison Falls, or Albertine Rift endemics at Bwindi National Park, is incredibly rewarding, while the chance to come face to face with Africa’s most noble beast, the mountain gorillas, is probably the most touching experience any wildlife enthusiast could hope for. Uganda is a superb destination for rain forest fanatics and those in search of the rare and elusive gorillas.

In terms of size, Uganda is the richest country in Africa for birds. It has an excellent infrastructure and a great diversity of habitats, from the papyrus-fringed swamps of the Lake Victoria Basin, through both lowland and highland forests of the Albertine Rift and north to the Guinea Savannah. Uganda could soon rival Kenya as the most visited country in Africa. Eco-tourism has been positively encouraged for the last decade. Below is a typical tour that includes both gorilla trekking and bird watching in the Pearl of Africa.

A PRIVATE GORILLA SAFARI ITENERARY

Day 1:Kampala – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

On arrival at Entebbe International airport, your private Charter plane will fly you to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi is home to the few remaining mountain gorillas. Bird life and primate life in Bwindi is quite superb, and there is an incredible variety of flora. Bwindi is the Bird watchers haven! It holds 348 species of birds and supports 24 of 26 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur in Uganda; and seven red data book species. Once continuous with the forests of the Virunga Volcanoes (Dian Fossey’s stomping ground), Bwindi is now an ecological island, surrounded by cultivation on the rich volcanic soils.

Should you have the energy this afternoon, take a guided walk on the Munyaga River trail, which is an ideal short walk. This trail leads to three delightful crystal clear waterfalls, and there is a profusion of tree ferns, epithytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colourful array of butterflies. Here you may also see birds and primates from the forest edge. Overnight at Gorilla Forest camp/ or Volcanoes camp (FB)

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest

You will rise relatively early for a hearty breakfast to give you the energy needed for gorilla tracking. Report to the ranger station at 08.00 am where the guides will take you through the bush, slashing at the undergrowth, parting thick creepers, to track gorillas. This trek can take from half an hour to five hours so a reasonable degree of fitness is required as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes. You sit in the forest among the gorillas listening to them grumble at each other and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male, the silverback. It is amazing to think that there are only 650 or so of these creatures left in the world!

If you have the afternoon free, how about a guided village walk – see how the Ugandans live, visit a local bar and meet the local medicine man! Overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp or Volcanoes camp (FB)

Day 3: Return to Bwindi Forest

Following a relaxed breakfast your guide will drive you to the Kayonza airstrip where you will you will meet your private charter to Entebbe International airport. A guide / representative will meet you on your arrival and show you to your outbound flight.