Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park locally known as Kabalega National Park, is situated at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley and it Uganda’s oldest and largest safari park. Murchison is located in the western part of Uganda just north of the midway part of the country managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is in north-western Uganda, spreading inland from the shores of lake Albert ,around the Victoria Nile, up to the karuma falls and can be accessed by road or flight. The park covers an area of 1503 square miles [3893 km] creating the largest national park in Uganda Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometers [289 square miles ] Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometer [280 square mile ] karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area creating over 2072 square miles of protected wilderness. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from the east to the west for a distance of about 115 kilometers [71 mi].The park is the location of the Murchison Falls ,Where the waters of the Nile flow through a narrow gorge only 7 meters [23 ft] wide before plunging 43 meters [141 ft.] .
Also in the park, adjacent to the Masindi-Gulu Highway, are the Karuma Falls, the location of the 600 megawatt Karuma power station, which will be Uganda’s largest power station when it comes online circa 2022.
Murchison falls national park history
Murchison falls National Park was named after the geologist Roderick Murchison, Sir Samuel Baker, the explorer named the park Murchison. The explorers John speke and James Grant were the first Europeans to visit the present day Murchison Falls Conservative Area in 1862. It was more thoroughly explored by Samuel and Florence Baker who named it Murchison falls . Between 1907 and 1912, the inhabitants of the area of about 13000 square kilometers[5000 sq mi]were evacuated due to sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies. In 1910, the Bunyoro Game Reserve was created south of the River Nile. That area roughly corresponds to the part of the National Park that is in the districts of Buliis, Masindi and Kiryandingo.in 1928, the boundaries were extended north of the river into the modern-day Nwoya District.
In 1952, the British administration established the National Park Act of Uganda. The area described becomes Murchison Falls National Park.
During the 1960s ,Murchison Falls was not only the most-visited park in Uganda, but was also among the most popular in all of Africa. The park was known for its large populations of the Big 5[leopards, lions, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos] and for its chimpanzees. The park contained some of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa: an estimated 15000 elephants freckled the landscape with their iconic silhouettes, 14000 hippos guarded the river, and 26500 buffaloes stampeded across its savannas. But in the 1970’s and early 80’s. As Uganda sank into civil war, wildlife populations declined. During the 1995 census, only 200 elephants, or just 1.3% of their pre-war population, had survived. Buffaloes plunged to around 1000 and hippos to 1500. Now the park is once again protecting over 70 mammals and 450 bird species and ambitious recovery plans are underway.
Murchison falls National park has a large number of wildlife species which can be encountered during a game drive, with the rangers who are well informed about different park mammals. During the game drive, you will have a chance to spot lions, buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Water bucks, Warthogs, Jackson hartebeests, antelopes, bushbucks, elephants and many other Wildlife species on your amazing Murchison Safari Tour.
Murchison falls National Park is also adjacent to Budongo forest Forest Reserve which inhabits over 76 species of mammals, as well as Uganda’s largest population of attractions in Murchison falls national park like Nile Crocodiles, 450 known bird species that range from the shoe-bill stork, water birds, Goliath heron, Kingfisher ,white-thighed hornbill, great blue turaco and many more