Murchison Falls Park is the largest and most impressive wildlife reserve in Uganda. It is true that if you come to Uganda – of course there are Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the rain forests – but if you can afford both planning or prefer no primates, you must visit Murchison Falls National Park.
Murchison is an amazing park and you will appreciate the Ugandan parks board and rangers for protecting the wildlife and increasing the numbers over the past decades. In a few years’ time this place will rival any of the other great parks in Africa.
The park is surrounded by waters of the Albert & Victoria Nile so it has a high concentration and variety of wildlife but just the visit to the Falls is worth the effort. Due to lack of sufficient time to explore this park, most travelers opt for our 3 – day safari agenda, skipping the visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the was up and the chimpanzee trackng in the Budongo Forest.
Our 4-Day Murchison Falls Park Safari tour offers you more time to further explore this beautiful and can find all Big Five plus Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest, Birding, visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Four compact days giving you a variety of wildlife, the river Nile, old growth Mahogany Forest and so much more – Discover The Pearl of Africa - Uganda – Go with Lifetime Experience Safaris
Below is a quick recap of the 4-day Murchison Private Safari
Day 1 – visit the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary and afternoon safari drive – stay at the lodge you have chosen
Day 2 – Morning game drive and afternoon Nile River boat safari – return to the lodge
Day 3 – An optional safari drive, cross the Nile River, visit the falls and transfer to Budongo for lunch and afternoon chimpanzee tracking. Stay at Budongo Forest Eco Lodge. There is an option to do birding in the afternoon then chimp trek the next morning before returning to Kampala. It all depends on your check out time from the Lodge and of course your expectations but everything requires pre-planning since the chimps passes require advance booking.
Day 4 – (chimpanzee tracking if you chose to do it on this day) Return to Kampala arriving late afternoon.
Day One: Our 4 Day Murchison Falls Park safari starts with a pick up from your desired Kampala or Entebbe lodging at 6:30 am – preferably after breakfast – and we're heading for the largest game park and reserve in Uganda. We drive through Kampala and our first stop will be 3 hours away at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongola.
Upon arrival at the sanctuary visitor center, we check in, drive a short distance into the bush before heading out on foot – we trek the Rhinos on foot.
This is a 1 -1½ hour trek with knowledgeable rangers who will guide you within 10 meters to these magnificent, andangered animals that you will find here. Enjoy the opportunity to be so close to a crash of rhinos. The sanctuary works very hard to breed the species, which will be introduced back into the parks in the future. Unfortunately or fortunately the rhinos are in need of 24-hour protection, but that's what things have come to with all of the poaching. Rhinos are best tracked in the early hour of the day when they are all active otherwise many will be sleeping by 11am especially on a hot day. From start to finish the information provided is really helpful not just for this trip but also exploring Africa too. The staff is helpful and the atmosphere that has been created around the camp is excellent. You may also see some monkeys, birds etc.
A few things to note here; wear long trousers and tuck them into your socks. On some days you may come across some huge biting ants so keep your feet moving and watch your step.
A wonderful experience and you leave safe in the knowledge that you're helping to save these amazing animals.
We then proceed to Kabalega Diners or Masindi for lunch in an hour-drive. If we're done with the rhinos at an early hour i.e. before 11.00 am, we might just continue with the journey and have lunch inside the park. And if we're staying at Paraa – a late lunch will be proposed. We continue to check into the Murchison Park then drive to the Paraa ferry. If we're staying at any of the other lodges and didn't have lunch after the rhinos then we'll have lunch here at the Red Chili Camp and plan to cross the Nile river 4pm for the afternoon game drive.
We are off for the first and late afternoon game drive where you will probably see lions, large herds of elephants, giraffes, antelopes of all types, warthogs, buffaloes etc.
The vehicle you are in for your private safari comes equipped with a pop-up roof for the best game viewing and a Uganda Wildlife Ranger is on board of car for that extra input and security.
If we're staying at the Paraa Safari Lodge, it means the late afternoon game drive comes after check in but if were at any of the other lodges, we'll check in after the game safari. Check out the list of popular lodges at Murchison Falls Park.
Day Two; Choose to have breakfast or go for a sunrise game drive in the African Wild of Murchison Falls Park, simply an awesome experience. Game Drives begin at dawn at about 6:30am and you can see the sunrise over the Borassus Palm Tree studded Savannah taking in the various wildlife before you such as the predators returning from the hunt.
We drive across the savannah, along Lake Albert Delta, abundant wildlife as you move slowly as the sun rises. Welcome to Africa! What you are sensing and feeling, seeing around you cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world, this is Murchison Falls with its birds, lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, humorous appearing warthogs.
Each game drive is a different experience and we do not hurry you along since this is a private safari, you are in control of the vehicle and the game drive. The game drive is about 3 hours in length – standard but may take a bit more time.
Return to the lodge, lunch and short break – more opportunity for viewing animals before you reach your lodging. Relax by the pool (if you are staying at Paraa Safari Lodge or Pakuba Lodge) sit on your balcony or veranda with a good book like Abyssinian Chronicles and enjoy the day as you get ready for lunch.
Lunch at the Lodge Restaurant
At 2pm, it is one of the highlights of your Murchison Falls National Park Safari, the boat launch trip up the Nile River. Slowly moving along the riverbank viewing crocodiles, an abundance of hippos, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lots of birds including the fish eagle, storks and so much more. The boat moves gently up the river and stay on the left hand side so that you see most of the animals who come to the river. Herds of Elephants cooling off, Hippopotamus frolicking, crocodiles just dozing in the African sun.
Close by there is a bank on the river filled with Nile crocodiles basking in the afternoon sun, just down from there you can see a group of hippos frolicking in the water of the Nile. There are literally thousands of hippopotamus to be found here, birds in abundance.
The journey down river slowly begins and more opportunity for viewing animals before you return to your lodging for dinner and an evening of rest and relaxation, don't miss spotting some storks, eagles, egrets and many other birds, there are also a variety of primates to be found on the shores. Enjoy the Nile.
Return to the Lodge, dinner and another night in the wilds of Africa with its peculiar night sounds that are quite different from Berlin, London or New York.
Day Three; Breakfast and check out of the lodge – we cross the Nile again with the ferry then we take a trip to the top of the falls - the Murchison Falls that are an awesome display of the power of nature. The river is 50 meters above the falls, moves down through a 6 meter gorge and falls down 43 meters, the sound is deafening and the sight makes one realize how forceful nature can be. The water at the bottom of the falls is churning, any vegetation is literally is mulched by the force of the water resulting in large sheets of foam, not from pollution but from the power of the river.
Option: instead of the morning game safari, you might consider a Hot Air Balloon safari. Murchison Falls Park is the only park in Uganda where you can take an early morning Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Savannah seeing the wildlife at sunrise from above. If you like to add this experience, you have to do so at the time of booking this trip.
We move to Budongo Forest for yet another highlight of our trip. Onward to Budongo Forest which is a part of the vast Murchison Falls and check into Budongo Eco Lodge where you will find better – budget priced cottages that are delightful.
Lunch at Budongo Eco Lodge.
Afternoon choice of forest walk, birding, including the Royal Mile, a birding highlight in Budongo forest in the Busingiro Sector of the forest. You can also take a walk to the Catholic Church built during WWll and still functioning today, there is also a polish cemetery here.
This is a lovely forest with Mahogany Trees, countless butterflies, birds, 9 different primates. you will find it a most refreshing experience in the quietness of Budongo Forest.
Lodging: Moderate or Budget – Budongo Eco-Lodge
Day Four – Chimpanzee and return to Kampala
Breakfast and Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest. A 3-hour experience, spending one hour with the chimpanzees of Budongo Forest. Return to the lodge, check out and transfer to Masindi for lunch in a 1 – 1½ hours drive.
Return to Kampala early evening hours and your lodging, if you need advice on a hotel in Kampala – just ask us.... as the Murchison Falls Park 4 Day Big 5 Wildlife Safari comes to an end after having seen the most powerful water fall on earth, the River Nile, the abundant wildlife, and tracked Chimpanzees in Budongo Forest and Rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and hopefully got a look at the Big 5 on this safari with the added plus of chimpanzee trekking all on a budget or moderately priced safari.
Below are things we offer in this 4 Day Private Safari:
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