5 Popular Animals to See in Murchison Falls National Park

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March 6, 2019
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5 Popular Animals to See in Murchison Falls National Park

The popular Murchison Falls National Park is located suitably in northwestern Uganda just at the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley about 4 to 5 hours’ away from Kampala. It is Uganda’s largest national park with an area coverage of about 3840 square kilometers and its larger size comes with huge concentration of wildlife species. Murchison Falls National Park was established in 1952 to offer refuge to its vast wildlife species that today include over 77 mammal species, 451 bird species among others. In 1929, Murchison Falls National Park was gazetted as game reserve. It forms part of the vast Murchison Falls Conservation Area that also covers Karuma Wildlife Reserve which spans up to 678 square kilometers, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve with an area coverage of about 501 square kilometers.

Murchison Falls National Park is a must visit while on Uganda Safari. This amazing national park is home to African Elephants, Lions, Leopards, buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks, warthogs, Uganda Kobs, hartebeests, Rothschild giraffes, Murchison waterfalls, primates such as olive baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, chimpanzees that make up a total of about 800 and dwell within Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo forests, black and white colobus monkeys a mention but a few as well as several birds including shoebill stork, grey crowned cranes, blue headed coucal, swamp flycatcher, squacco heron, black billed barbet, silver bird, red throated bee-eater, giant and malachite kingfishers, eastern grey plantain eater, piapiac, weaver birds, white browed sparrow weaver, speckle fronted weaver, African quail finch, Denham’s bustard among others.

The 5 most popular animals to see in Murchison Falls National Park include;

Cape buffaloes    

Scientifically called Syncerus caffer, the Cape buffaloes are a few most remarkable and famous wildlife species you need not to miss to catch a glimpse while on Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park. The cape buffaloes are a subspecies and the largest in size in Southern and East Africa. In Murchison Falls National Park, they form part of the big game and can easily be spotted in large herds while you are on game drive in the north bank of the park.

African lions

Lions a few big cat species to see in Murchison Falls National Park while on Uganda safari. Scientifically, they are called Panthera Leo and the males usually weigh about 250 kilograms and they feature as the second largest living cats just after the tiger. Females have a gestation period of 110 days.  A pride comprises of up to 15 individuals and in Murchison Falls National Park, they can be sighted while you are on a game drive along the northern track.

African leopards

Leopards are a few most popular animals to see in Murchison Falls National Park. They are scientifically called Panthera Pardus one of the species in genus Panthera that is extant. Leopards are listed among a few vulnerable species in IUCN Red list as their numbers are highly threatened today due to habitat loss and fragmentation. They are nocturnal species and known to run up to 54 kilometers per hour and do hunt antelopes, fish, insects, repellents and fish.

African elephants

Murchison Falls National Park comprises of African elephants which are also popularly called Loxodonta Africana. Elephants are a few most exciting and largest terrestrial mammal species. They come in large grey color with long flexible trunk, thick legs and pointed tusks. They are largest land animals and they are bigger than the Asian elephants. The males stretch up to 3.64 meters and do weigh about 5455 kilograms whereas females stand about 3 meters and have weight of about 3636 to 4545 kilograms. You can catch a glimpse at these remarkable mammal species while on a game drive in the northern part of Murchison Falls National Park.

Rothschild Giraffes

Murchison Falls National Park is among the 3 places in Uganda where Rothschild giraffes can only be spotted. Scientifically, they are called Giraffa Camelopardalis rothschildi a sub species of giraffe and most endangered in the wild. In Murchison Falls National Park they can be spotted while on a game drive or hot air balloon safaris in the northern track.

Best time to see the 5 popular animals in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is open for wildlife viewing at any time of the year. But June, July, August and September then December, January and February are the best months of the year for you to have clear views of distinct wildlife species. However, you can also pay a visit in the months of March, April, May and October, November.

How to get to Murchison Falls National Park to see the 5 most popular animals

Murchison Falls National Park is the only national park set in northwestern Uganda and to get here, you will spend about 4 to 5 hours to drive from Kampala or Entebbe. A good 4 wheel drive safari car is more preferable to help you navigate through the remote routes. Drive through Kampala-Luweero-Masindi but have a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for rhino tracking to make a complete list of big five game in Uganda. Alternatively, take a flight from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield and land in at Pakuba, Chobe or Bugungu airstrip.

In summary, Murchison Falls National Park isn’t a home to only the 5 listed animals but also inhabits other wildlife species.

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