Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Wildlife safari in Murchison Falls Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park Uganda, Wildlife safari tours in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda wildlife safari game drives, boat cruises, nature walks, chimpanzee trekking when to visit, how to get there & where to sleep in Murchison Falls National.
Murchison Falls National Park formerly known as Kabalega National Park a name it inherited from one of the former kings of Bunyoro Kingdom is Uganda’s largest protected area covering an area of 3,840 square kilometers. Located in North western part of Uganda, Murchison Falls was first gazetted in 1926 as a game reserve and later graduating to Uganda’s first National Park in 1952. It protects so many wildlife and is home to approximately 76 species of mammals and about 451 species of birds including the rare shoebill stock that can be spotted in the delta region.
Murchison Falls is the name that was given to the point at which the world’s longest river, the river Nile, is channeled through a narrow gorge within the Rift Valley, descending almost 50 meters below. Sir Roderick Murchison (1851–1853), was President of the Royal Geographical Society, which was the catalyst for many explorations within ‘colonial’ Africa, most notably the search for the source of the river Nile.
The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.
Conservation in Murchison falls began in 1910 when the Imperial British government decided to designate the area south of the Victoria Nile as a game reserve which they named Bunyoro game reserve, this game reserve was created ideally as a result of evacuation of local residents who were living in this area as a remedy against an outbreak of sleeping sickness in this area. Later on in 1928, the area north of the Nile was also added on the game reserve hence expanding it to the modern day Nwoya district. When the national park act was enacted by the colonial government in 1952, Bunyoro game reserve was among the first game reserves to be elevated to the national park status and then renamed Murchison falls national park.
Murchison Falls Conservation Area comprises of Murchison Falls National Park, Bugungu and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves. This is where the Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and cascades down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos and crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species.
The park which hosts around 76 mammal species and an estimate of 451 bird species is the only park in Uganda that has the potential to contain all the big five animal species. These big five include the Lion (King of the Jungle), Buffalos, African elephants, leopards and these can be easily found in the northern part of the park especially above the Nile. The world endangered white Rhinos that were bit extinguished are now being recovered and protected in the Rhino sanctuary located south of the Murchison Falls National Park.
Tourists Attractions in Murchison Falls national park
Murchison falls national park has a myriad of attractions and these include: Murchison falls, over 3000 African elephants, largest concentration of Nile crocodiles, lions that are occasionally sighted, a variety of antelope species, Africa’s tallest mammals the giraffes, primates like chimpanzees and monkeys and a bird species count of over 400
Wildlife as a tourist attraction in Murchison falls national park
The diverse habitat ranging from woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest act as home to 76 species of mammals including four of the “Big Five”, with huge herds of buffaloes and elephants, well-camouflaged leopards and a healthy population of lions. It is also known for its giraffes; in Uganda these can only be viewed here and in Kidepo Valley. Other species viewed regularly along the game tracks include Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs. Resident crocodiles and hippos as well as other, visiting wildlife are found along the river.
African elephants are the largest land mammals in the world with a male elephant weighing in at 4,700-6,048kg or 10,362-13,334Ib and a shoulder height of 3.2-4.0m or 10.5-13.1ft while their female counterparts weigh in at 2,160-3,232kg or 4,762-7,125Ib and a shoulder height of 2.2-2.6m or 7.2-8.5ft. these land giants have 24 teeth in their mouths and usually lose their teeth 4-6 times in their life time which lies between 60-70 years. What sets these land giants apart from the rest of crowd is their elongated tusks which are in fact their second set of incisors. This means that the tusks are very strong as they are used to up root trees and also as weapons they use while fighting. The tusks weigh between 23-45 kg or 55-99Ib with a length of 1.5-2.4m or 5-8 ft
Lions can aslo be occasionally sighted in Murchison falls National Park. Lions are part of the big cate family and are muscular, deep chested with rounded heads. Most of the African lion males can distinguished from their females by the presence of a mane around the necks and heads of male African lions which is clearly absent in females but there quite many cases in Africa where the males also don’t have a mane or have a very short and thin one. The male lions are usually bigger than the females but their sizes vary according to location. In east Africa, adult female lions have a body length of 160-184cm or 63-72in weighing in at 119.5kg or 263Ib on average while the adult males have a body length of 184-208cm or 72-82in weighing in at 174.9kg or 386Ib on average. Lions are social animals who live in groups called prides. A pride is always led by a dominant male and their highly territorial animals controlling vast expanses that are strategic with a lot of prey and water
Nile crocodiles. Murchison Falls National Park has the largest population of these enormous reptiles plying the water of the river Nile. Nile crocodile is very popular with Murchison falls national park habituating in the Victoria Nile and the swamp areas around lake albert. The Nile crocodile is one of the biggest reptiles in the world. These reptiles have a dark bronze color on the upper body part while the under part is of diggy yellow. The crocodile’s body is armored with hard scales to deter bacterial infections and also as a defensive mechanism. The crocodiles in Africa have varying sizes depending on their location but on average the male crocodile is 3.5-5m or 11.5-16.4ft long and weighs in at 225-750kg or 550-1650Ib but the females are 30% less than their male companions in size
Hippos: In Murchison falls National Park, hippos are mostly found in the Victoria Nile and shores of lake albert. Hippos are large animals only behind the African elephant that can weigh anywhere between 1300-1500kg or 2870-3310Ib for both sexes. The hippos are semi aquatic as they both live on land and in water. Hippos are herbivores animals and do come on land in the evening to graze, they can be easily identified basing on barrel shaped body, short legs and long muzzles or mouths, their body is hairless with a purplish gray to blue black color which is also thick about 2in or 6cm. due to lack of body hairs, hippos secret an element that is reddish orange to brown to act as a protective layer both from the scotching sun and bacterial infection. This phenomenon is referred to as “blood sweating”, hippos have a very powerful jaw which can open as wide as 180o and its filled with monstrous teeth with their incisors growing up to 40cm or 1ft4in and canines growing up to 50cm or 1ft8in. Despite their short legs and big sizes, hippos can burst to 30km/hr in short distances. Hippos are highly territorial while in water but not on land, they have a gestation period of 243days and can live up to 40-50 years.
Primates as a tourist attraction in Murchison falls national park
Primates in Murchison falls National Park are found in Budongo forest reserve which is also part of the greater Murchison falls conservation area. In this forest canopies there are primate species which include the following.
Chimpanzee: These are close relatives of humans alongside gorillas and orangutans, there are two species of chimpanzees, Common chimpanzee species and the Bonobo species, Murchison falls National Park in Budongo forest reserve has about 600 of the Common chimpanzees’ species and a community of 80 individuals has been habituated for you to get close and observe them as they go about their lives in the forest. An adult Common chimpanzee can weigh between 40-60 kg with a height of 1.6 meters or 5ft3inches while an adult female can weigh between 32-47kg with a height of 1.3 meters or 4feet3inches. Common chimpanzees have coarse black hair except on their toes, face, fingers, palms of hand and the soles of their feet. The chimpanzees have a firm grip because their thumbs and big toes are opposite to each other. These chimpanzees reach puberty stage between 8-10 years and they have a life span of up to 40 years in their natural habitat, this can increase to up to 50 years of age in captivity. The chimps have a gestation period of 8 months. These chimps live in groups called communities ranging between 15- 150 members and each community is led by a dominant male called an Alpha male.
Black and white colobus monkey: These monkeys have a black color with a strip of white color on the side of their body, limbs and around their face, these monkeys live in groups of 5-15 members led by a male, their weight ranges between 4-14 kg, they have a body length of up to 75 cm or 30 inches. The black and white colobus are herbivores primates and they have a gestation period of 4-6 months,
Pottos monkeys: This is a special in Budongo forest, as its only found here in Uganda, the Potto’s monkey is a small species of monkeys that grows to a body length of between 30-39cm and a tail of 3-10cm. It’s an average weight that lies between 600g-1.6kg. This monkey has opposable thumbs with which it uses to have a firm grip on tree branches. The Pottos monkey has a moist nose and a toilet claw on the second toe of its hind legs. These monkeys both males and females have a scent gland below their tails which is referred to as a pseudo scrotum in female Potttos and they use this gland to secrete a scent to mark their territories. Their scent has been described as a curry like scent by primatologists. The Pottos monkeys is rather a silent monkey that moves with cryptic movements in order to evade its predators. The diet of Pottos consists of mainly fruits, tree gum and insects. These monkeys are very territorial and it has been known for female monkeys to pass on a share of their territories to their daughters only as their sons will have to leave their mothers when they mature. They have a gestation period of between 193-205 days and usually give birth to one or two babies. They have a lifespan of about 20 years.
Birds- as a tourist attraction in Murchison falls national park
The varied habitats of Uganda’s largest park make it home to a variety of birds with 451 species recorded. The list includes the rare Shoebill Stork species most found in the delta area of the park, the Goliath Heron – the largest heron in the world and pairs of elegant Grey Crowned Cranes – Uganda’s national bird. Also seen along the banks of the Nile are the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silverbird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quail-Finch.
The shoe bill is also called the whale head bird given its large shoe shaped bill. The shoe bill has a height ranging from 110-140cm or 43-55in with also a body length of 100- 140cm or 39-55in and a wingspan 230-260cm or 7ft7in-8ft6in. the male shoe bill is larger than its female counterparts with male having an average weight of 5.6kg or 12Ib while the females weigh 4.9kg or 11Ib. The shoe bill can be distinctively identified by its signature large bulbous bill that has greyish markings on it. this bill has a length of 18.8-24cm or 7.4-9.4in measured along the upper mandible. The shoe bill mandible is very hard as it is made out of keratin and it has sharp edges which enable this bird to decapitate its prey.
The shoe bill also has long dark legs that have 21.7-25.5cm of length with large feet as its middle toe can measure up to 16.8-18.5cm or 6.6-7.3in. and this enables to stand on water vegetation when it goes fishing. Adult shoe bills have a blue grey color with darker slaty grey flight feathers. The shoe bill stock is not known for flying long distances as it usually flies between 100-500m or 330-1640ft when flashed or scared. Their wings are highly adapted to soaring and they have low flap rate that can only go up to 150 flaps per minute. The shoebill has a lifespan of about 35 years in their natural habitat. Both male and female shoe bill participate in nest building, incubation and chick rearing. Their incubation period is 30 days and usually lay between 1-3 eggs per mating season.
Murchison Falls- as a tourist attraction in Murchison falls national park
Murchison Falls is characterized by eternal war between rock and water. The waters violently compress through a narrow gorge, spraying misty droplets along their wake over a 50m radius. This creates a permanent rainbow over the battlefield and causes a continuous roar. From Baker Point on the southern side, you can also view the Nile splitting into the smaller Uhuru Falls, created in 1962 when the river burst its banks. These roaring spectacular Murchison falls are formed as a result of river Nile wrestling itself into a narrow gorge of about 23m wide after which it plunges itself 43m down of a cliff, leading to the formation of the world’s strongest falls as it tumbles and wrestles its way through this narrow path on its voyage to the Mediterranean Sea.
The falls form an incredibly beautiful show of nature’s beauty as well as its power which is best observed from the top of the falls as it is on the raised plateau giving you a once in a life time spectra of a view at this magnificent nature’s creation. Because of its sheer beauty elegance and power, Murchison falls has attracted movie makers form all around the world, all with a single agenda which is to feature this incredible beauty in their movies, it has been featured in movies like the 1951 African Queen film starring Humphrey bogart, Katherine Hepburn and directed by john Huston. A multitude of local films have also featured this spectacular beauty in their works of art.
River Nile-A boat ride along the Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls is a rewarding experience for nature lovers, as the northern bank teems with a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. Guided nature walks along both the north and south banks are another refreshing activity, and sport fishing is also possible here.
Nile-Lake Albert Delta-This wide, calm stretch of water, where the tranquil Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert, is a key area for bird watchers. Its papyrus-lined banks are bursting with birdlife, including Goliath Herons, Great Egrets, and African Fish Eagles. The most sought-after species here is the rare Shoebill.
Karuma falls-These are located in Chobe, in the northeastern sector of the park. These roaring waterfalls on the Victoria Nile are made up of a series of natural rock formations which cause the waters to ripple and give them a white, foamy appearance. It is an ideal area for sport fishing.
Budongo Forest- as a tourist attraction in Murchison falls national park
Budongo Forest, which is contiguous with the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, lies south west of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. Budongo is astonishingly biodiverse, with 24 mammal species, over 360 birds, 289 butterflies and 465 plants. All the forest’s tree species are on display along the “Royal Mile”, a beautiful stretch of road highly regarded for its bird watching. Budongo is also known for its primate population, which includes around 800 chimpanzees. Forest walks are possible at Busingiro Ecotourism Site on the Masindi-Bugungu route to Murchison Falls National Park.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest-In the south of Murchison Falls Conservation Area, this forest ecosystem contains black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys, olive baboons, and a habituated chimp group which can be tracked. Elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards are also frequent visitors. Many forest birds can be viewed here, including the chocolate-backed kingfisher, white-thighed hornbill and Puvel’s illadopsis which is found nowhere else in East Africa.
Rabongo Forest-Surrounded by savanna and covering just 4km2, Rabongo Forest is considered a birders’ paradise because of the endangered species found here. Rabongo is ideal for educational tours as it provides opportunities to identify animals, birds, medicinal plants and trees. For relaxation, visitors can camp and enjoy picnics by the Wairingo River.
Tourist Activities in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison falls offers a variety of activities to guests that visit and these include game drives, white water rafting, chimpanzee tracking, bird watching, boat cruise or launch trips, nature walks, hot air ballooning and community encounters but for any of these activities to be conducted a park entrance fee has to be paid at any of the park offices and this fee is 40$ foreign nonresidents adults while children 20$, 30$foreign residents adults while children 10$, 20000ugx east African citizens adults while children 5000ugx, 5000 local university students and high school students and 3000ugx for local primary pupils.
Game Drives in Murchison Falls-
A game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile Valley. Visitors will marvel at herds of buffalos, dozens of elephants, warthogs and towering giraffes, along with bushbucks, reedbuck, duikers, kobs, oribi and the unusual-looking hartebeest. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding, and you may even spot a leopard at dusk.
The early morning game drives which set off at 6:30am are done in Buligi game tracks which stretch between the Victoria and Albert Niles. The 120-170km in length game trucks, take tourists through open savannah grassland, woodland, acacia and riverine vegetation which support variety of wildlife grazers like Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs Giraffes, lions, elephants, among others. Most of the park’s game can be viewed here, especially during early morning and early evening tours.
The other game viewing sector is the heart of Murchison, this is located in the southern bank of the park and with the presence of many antelopes here, its quickly turning into a good spot to sight predators like lions which are on the lookout for their next meal or snack of the day. Game drives in Murchison can happen on any day and anytime. You can hire a game drive vehicle which costs 30$ for both foreign nonresidents and foreign residents per person and 30000ugx for East African residents per person during day time, for a night game drive this vehicle costs 40$ per person for both foreign residents and foreign nonresidents while 40000ugx for east African residents and this vehicle requires a minimum of 3 persons for it to be hired out. But for a private daytime game drive, it costs 20$ for foreign nonresidents, 20$ foreign residents and 20000ugx for East African residents while private night drives cost 100$ foreign nonresidents, 100$ foreign residents and 10000ugx for East African residents. Night game drives require you to go with a UWA ranger.
Birding in Murchison Falls-
With about 450 bird species Murchison falls has to offer, this becomes a birder’s paradise to come and have a glance at many of these species. Many birders are attracted to Murchison falls park to come and watch the rare shoe bill commonly sighted along the banks of the Victoria Nile. Birding in Murchison falls costs 30$ for both foreign residents and foreign nonresidents and 10000ugx for east African citizens
Both the game drives and the launch trips offer an opportunity for one to come across distinct birdlife, including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics. The commonest species found in the plains include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Bird.
Closer to the river where there are more thickets and woodlands, the commonest bird varieties include the Swallow-tailed and Red-throated Bee-eaters – particularly in the Nyamusika Cliffs; Woodland, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers; Francolin; Hornbills, Grey heron; Hamerkop; Shrikes; Flycatchers; Cuckoos; Woodpeckers; Crombecs and Warblers. The riverbanks are also home to ducks, geese, stilts and plovers. The park’s main birding attraction is the Shoebill, best sighted in the dry season from January-March.
Cultural Encounters in Murchison Falls
Mubako Cultural Campfire Performances-
The remote community of Mubako is located beside the sprawling savannah of Murchison Falls National Park. The village is a cluster of traditional thatched huts around a clearing, where villagers gather to escape the midday sun under the shade of a large tree.
Mubako’s small craft shop sells carved wooden sculptures and hand-woven items made by community members. At dusk, the local cultural groups perform vibrant songs and dances around the campfires of local lodges, accompanied by the beautiful sound of the adungu. Originating from this region, this instrument is made of cowhide and twine, and the harmonies of the various-sized adungus against the backdrop of a Nile sunset are magical.
There are few economic opportunities in this region and the climate makes farming hard, but with the money generated through tourism, the community can buy produce from local markets, pay school fees and support a nursery for 90 children.
Boomu Women’s Group-
The subsistence farmers from the villages of Kihaguzi and Kigaragara in Uganda’s dry northern region had little produce left over to sell, so in 1999 the Boomu Women´s Group was formed, with the aim of reducing poverty and malnutrition, and providing an income for the members to be able to pay their children´s school fees. What began as a craft group has evolved into a wonderful community tourism project, with traditional accommodation, a restaurant, unique guided tours and a well-tended garden.
The scenic village tour reveals the features of everyday rural life, as well as explaining the hardships facing the community. Your guide will show you various crops as well as taking you to visit the village blacksmith. Storytellers share tales about customs and the local way of life, and a visit to the nursery, a cooking demonstration or a basket weaving class can be arranged on request.
Hiking and Nature Walks in Murchison Falls-
Nature walk trails have been developed in the park to bring the visitors close to nature as they can easily feel, listen and smell what mother nature has to offer in this wilderness. If you are a birder, then try the trails in Kaniyo, Pabidi and Rabongo forests, while here, you will not miss out on the many bird species available in this forests such as the grey longbill, dusky long tailed cuckoo, slender billed greenbul, lemon-billed crombec, little green sunbird and yellow manted weaver. While on this trail please be on the lookout for the various primate species such as black and white colobus monkeys, grey-checked magabeys, pottos monkeys and the red tailed monkeys and of course the chimpanzees because while you are here, you are in their backyard so they might as well just come to you to say hello.
If your launch trip started from Paara and ended at the foot of the water falls, there is another nature hike trail to the top of the falls that lasts about 45 minutes’ walk to the top of Murchison falls and this nature walk experience will always leave you wanting for more as you become mesmerized by the dramatic and spectacular scenery created by the falls. From the thunder roar of the tumbling and wrestling water through a narrow gorge of less than 30m and a sheer vertical drop of about 43m to the chilled mist thrusted up into the air to create a spectacular display of the rainbow colors and mild fog, you will indeed appreciate nature’s work when you finally get to the top of the falls.
The other nature walk trails in Murchison falls park are in the southern bank starting from either from Sambiya river lodge or Mubako junction. These will not disappoint birders as they are located in the hot bed of various bird species, so when you get to these trails get your binoculars ready and start scanning the tree canopies for all your favorite bird species because you might just spot it or them even before you thought you would. Nature walks in Murchison falls go for 30$ for foreign nonresidents, 15$ for foreign residents and 10000ugx for East African residents during day time and night time walks cost 40$foreign nonresidents, 20$foreign residents and 15000ugx East African residents.
Launch Trips in Murchison Falls
One of the highlights of a visit to Murchison falls national park is the launch trip from Paraa to the foot of Murchison Falls. The launch trip upstream from Paraa presents an astonishing display of wildlife and culminates with the memorable frontal view of the falls. The launch which departs at 9am and 2pm daily, takes visitors close to different wildlife species like Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and birds like: Herons, Cormorants, Ducks, Bee-eaters, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, and the rare Shoebill. The trip from Paraa to the Falls and back takes about three hours. A boat trip to the Delta where the Victoria Nile engorges into the Lake Albert leads through papyrus swamps takes about 4-5 hours and you will see a similar variety of animals and birds.
Recommended for birders is a morning cruise downstream to the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, providing the best chance in Africa of sighting the elusive Shoebill. This four- to five-hour return voyage also offers an account of elusive wildlife species like hippos, elephants and many birds.
Sport Fishing in Murchison Falls
The banks of the Nile below Murchison Falls provides exciting challenges to anglers. Living within strong currents and highly oxygenated water is the Nile perch. There is chance to land a massive catch – the record is 108kg. Fishing is permitted in designated sites and places and prior booking is recommended. Interested sport anglers are urged to bring their own equipment and secure a permit from UWA.
This can be done in specified places and it requires prior booking with the park management. The most sought after fish species by anglers is the elusive Nile perch and the record catch has been a massive 108 kg. This activity costs 50$ for a single day and 150$ for four days or an annual fishing permit at 300$
Chimpanzee tracking occurs in Budongo forest reserve on the southern bank of Murchison falls national park which has over 600 individuals with a community of 80 individuals habituated for tourism purposes and a tracking trail network system spanning over 115km. This becomes one of the best chimpanzee tracking site in the country. Only a group of not more than 6 people is allowed to do chimpanzee tracking and usually tracking is done in 2 shifts, the morning shift begins at 08:00hrs with a briefing about the dos and don’ts while tracking and the afternoon shift starts 14:00hrs. chimpanzee tracking will involve tracking a community of habituated chimpanzees and when this community is found, the guide will allow you to have one hour to observe these primates and take photographs. Chimpanzee tracking costs 80$
How to get to Murchison Falls national park
A number of routes can be used to reach the Nile at Paraa at the heart of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. The river is crossed here using a vehicle ferry which runs at roughly hourly intervals throughout the day.
Southern Entrance Gates.
Two southerly approaches to Paraa lead out of Masindi town, which is a 4 hour drive (305km) from Kampala. Along the way to Masindi is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – home to the only wild rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce rhinos to protected areas. The main route from Masindi enters the Conservation Area through Kichumbanyobo Gate to pass through Kaniyo Pabidi Forest to Paraa (85km).
A longer but more scenic alternative runs for 135km from Masindi to the park’s Bugungu gate, the route includes a passage through Budongo Forest and a memorable descent of the rift valley escarpment with views across Lake Albert towards the mountains of the Congo.
Northern Entrance Gates
Murchison Falls National Park can also be entered via the Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako and Tangi gates north of the Nile. These are reached from the Kampala-Pakwach Road which crosses the Nile at Karuma Falls Bridge in the northeastern corner of the park, 260km from Kampala. These gates are convenient for visitor travelling to/from Gulu town and Kidepo Valley National Park.
By Air. Pakuba Airfield, 19km from North Paraa, can be reached using chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield near Kampala. Other airfields in the park include: Chobe to the East, and Bugungu – near Murchison Falls-to the south.
Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park
Chobe Safari Lodge-Luxury
Chobe Safari Lodge is situated in Murchison Falls National Park in the north western Uganda and its Five Star lodge providing world class accommodation services to tourists on their safaris to Murchison Falls National Park.
The lodge offers opportunities for visitors to have breathtaking panoramic views, accompanied with the nice sounds of the River Nile’s prominent rapids, set the scene for an adventure that will impress even the most discerning visitors. Chobe Safari Lodge provides a rare opportunity to visitors mainly to sample the wildlife as well as the endangered bird species, the diverse beautiful flora and fauna.
The Lodge offers different amenities to different travellers on their Uganda safari destination of Murchison falls National park and among the important amenities include Restaurant/bar with TVs, Swimming pool, Travel desk Children´s play area, Gift shop, On-site wildlife, Solar water heater, Generator for electricity in mornings and evening, Telescope for stargazing and 4×4 vehicle to rent for game drives.
The lodge offers accommodation in the different lodge rooms which range from 16 standard Rooms all positioned in the main building block. The interior avails an atmosphere of being on safari, yet more importantly having that modern touch that gets one back to modernization or civilization which is currently vital. Each standard room have additional features like En-suite private bathroom, Ceiling fan, Hair driers as well as Private balcony which has a best view of the river Nile.
The lodge also has a total of three suites which are all located in the main building block. The built in way that favour traveller s that travels with their families and also travellers who wish to stay in rooms with enough space.
Besides the other types of rooms visitors can also use the 7 deluxe tents situated a short walking distance from the main lodge building. The lodge has deluxe tents which are for the discerning guest who wants a little more exclusivity to make your trip an unforgettable one. The interiors are more spacious and the furnishings are more suited to the ‘luxury safari’ experience. The views from the balconies are unparalleled; watch the mesmerizing sunset over the river’s waters in the evening or marvel at the twilight skies.
Interested visitors have chance to select from 8 standard tents situated a short walk able distance from the main lodge building. These tents offer perfect accommodation to those specific travellers interested in a more authentic ‘safari’ experience.
The lodge also organizes various activities for the tourists and this range from the Safari adventurers like participating in the launch cruise in the waters of the Victoria Nile. For Birders the lodge offers guided nature walks around the two banks of the river where the visitors can enjoy the views of various bird life.
The present of lush green gardens in the lodge and experienced staff to prepare weddings, the lodge also provides options for visitors have their wedding ceremonies at the lodge. Besides the ones mention the lodge also offers Conferences and group retreats among others.
As well as Sustainability tourism is concerned, Chobe Lodge be works with the surrounding communities to develop complimentary tourism activities that express local Ugandan culture and enrich the tourists’ experience. The Lodge also supports Local Craft Shop as well as local Community Dancers and also employs a high number of people from the surrounding areas.
|Double per room||$275||$316|
|Suite per room||$333||$374|
Paraa Safari Lodge- Luxury.
Established in the year 1954, Paraa Safari Lodge located in Murchison Falls National Park, on the banks of the mighty world’s longest River Nile.
There is a choice of fine dining, and the Explorer’s bar is the ideal watering hole after a day of wildlife discovery in Murchison Falls National Park. The luxurious pool overlooks the winding Set in an area of landscaped gardens, the safari décor of the lodge still reflects the bygone era of early explorers, enshrined with a modern touch.
Enjoy a variety of excursions and activities; from exhilarating Safari drives to boat trips along the River Nile, ending at the foot of Murchison Falls. For the more adventurous, one can trek up to the top of the falls and marvel at the views through the mist. A variety of ecosystems and an impressive 451 species of birds awaits you here…
Paraa safari Lodge offers different world class Amenities and these ranges from Restaurant and bar, the lodge has best menu of local and international specialties produced by lodge experienced chefs. The Captain’s Table restaurant is located on the upper floor in what was one of the lodge’s main halls before it was renovated. One can choose to eat inside or outside on the balcony (which boasts a sweeping view of the River Nile). Special barbecues and traditional dancers make a Saturday evening at Paraa Safari Lodge an occasion to remember.
Conference facility. For corporate occasions or for those who like to mix pleasure with business, Paraa Safari Lodge can provide a conference room and facilities to cater for your conferencing/meeting needs.
Business Service Centre with Internet access the Business Service Centre is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. It meets all the needs of the traveling business executive and includes 24-hour Internet access as well as printing facilities.
Gift Shop- it indulge in getting your loved ones a present from the pearl of Africa, the lodge gift shop sells local East African crafts and souvenirs such as guidebooks, clothing, an
Swimming Pool – the lodge has one of the best pools which can used by visitors to cool themselves off after a long day out in the bush, the swimming pool at Paraa Safari Lodge even has a pool bar – come sip a cocktail in the water while overlooking the River Nile below at sunset. The other facilities include the Fireplace, Laundry service and On-site wildlife viewing.
The lodge provides accommodation to guest in its different rooms and the description of the rooms is given below;
Each of the 54 rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom. All rooms have fans and hot water.
Suites also have air conditioning, mini bars and panoramic windows.
In addition, the Queen’s Cottage has a sunken bath, king-size master bedroom, twin room (both with en suite bathrooms), living/dining room, mini bar and air conditioning.
The luxurious lodge in the Murchison Falls Park also organizes different activities and these include Chimpanzee Tracking, Game Drive Birding and Nature Walks as well as Boat ride to Murchison Falls Fishing Boat trip to the Nile Delta
The Paraa Safari Lodge supports and operates with the help of the local and surrounding communities. Most of the staff at the lodge are local residents helping to create authentic Ugandan surroundings with the comforts of home.
On side of the responsible travel again, Nightly dancers from Mubako community arrive to show off their moves and display the local culture and heritage.
The lodge also sources fruit from the surrounding communities and this is done in order to give market to the communities’ products.
|Double (Standard Room)||$298||$339|
|Deluxe (Single )||$187||$208|
Murchison River Lodge-Mid-Range
Murchison River Lodge sits on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park. In beautiful surroundings and they offer comfortable and relaxing mid-range accommodation to suit all budgets in attractive thatched cottages, thatched safari tents and simple camping tents in our shaded and well positioned campsite.
The lodge offers accommodation services in the 4 thatched cottages that are spacious and comfortable with attractive furnishing making each one unique. They are open plan with a double bed upstairs on a mezzanine floor and two single beds, including en-suite, downstairs. Their wide verandas overlook the bush and have a sofa and hammock allowing you to sit back, lie back and enjoy the view – especially the birdlife. Our thatched cottages are perfect for families (if necessary we can add two extra children’s beds) or a maximum of 4 adults who know each other well.
The cottages are equipped with solar lights, bed linen, towels, mosquito nets, en-suite toilet and shower, solar hot water, plus a child’s stair gate. They do not have fans or air conditioning. In the evening the pathways are lit with lanterns and our security staff will be happy to guide you from the restaurant to your accommodation, should you require an escort. All visitors staying in the lodge are allowed to enjoy the services of the beautiful swimming pool located in the lodge.
The thatched safari tents in the lodge have been placed on level ground amongst the bush and towards the River Nile. These furnished tents have an outside area with safari chairs and table – the perfect spot to enjoy the cooler part of the day. Four of the safari tents are twin shared whilst two more can include a third bed if necessary. As some of these tents are located near the water, we are unable to provide permanent flushing toilets, however each tent is self-contained with its own private chemical toilet and bush shower.
Beneath our large thatched roof is an open-sided restaurant, bar and terrace from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the River Nile and Murchison Falls National Park. From this wonderful vantage point we often see elephants, hippo and bush buck.
|Room Type||Rates in USD|
|Thatched safari tents(Single)||$130|
|Thatched Safari tents(Double)||$100pp|
Sambiya River Lodge-Mid-Range
The lodge is situated just 15 minutes from the top of the magnificent Murchison Falls; Sambiya River Lodge is the perfect location for those who want to experience the tranquility of Uganda. The Lodge’s unique charm is in the atmosphere of intimacy provided to the guests. Our 36 cottages and bandas are tucked away beneath the trees of our beautiful tropical garden, which also contains a small children’s play area and a pool.
The lodge offers personalized wildlife safaris, fishing excursions, birding walks and trips to Murchison Falls to suit each of our guests’ unique tastes. Sambiya River Lodge is the perfect place to relax between adventures and also watch a spectacular African sunrise with fresh coffee or tea on visitor’s cottage verandah as well as a cool off in the pool after a day full of activities, enjoy excellent meals and sundowners around the Lodge bar or sip after dinner drinks by the camp fire.
Sambiya allows you to relax in luxury whilst experiencing the sights and sounds of Africa.
Lodge Amenities, Lodge amenities, Restaurant and bar with TVs, Swimming pool, Travel desk, Gift shop, On-site wildlife viewing in the surrounding gardens, Solar water heater, Electricity in the mornings and evening
Room scattered around the peaceful gardens, Sambiya has 26 individual and family thatched cottages with en suite bathrooms, fans, screened doors and windows, mosquito nets, and a veranda to relax and enjoy the commanding views of quintessential Africa.
Ten basic bandas are also available for guest accommodation, including one en suite banda and nine with shared bathroom facilities. Bandas have fans, screened doors and windows and mosquito nets.
The activities at the Lodge include exclusive Game drives – we have our own vehicle, Trips to the top of the fall, Nile boat rides to the bottom of the fall – with the option of hiking to the top
Bird watching and the Hiking and trekking, including walking safaris, Chimp tracking and forest walks in Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, Fishing – check out our “Hall of Fame” board to see what has been caught!
Responsible Travel Sambiya was designed as a small eco-lodge. Most of the trees in the concession area were undisturbed and consequently the site is very ‘green ‘It was built with materials from the area, Sambiya Lodge has solar heated hot water, Local crafts from Anaka Women’s Group are sold in the Lodge Gift Shop
Red Chilli Rest Camp-Budget
Red Chilli Rest Camp is the only budget accommodation located inside Murchison Falls National Park and it’s the best place to meet like-minded travellers; begin your thrilling safari; or take a launch trip to the Falls , the Nile River boat dock is right on our doorstep. The camp’s open-sided restaurant offers great views across the river and is a great place to relax with a chilled beer or a good book after a dusty day on safari. The camp also has a bonfire most evenings, and campers with their own cooking equipment are encouraged to use the barbecue area.
All bandas the lodge have mosquito nets, electric lights, fans, linen and towels. Furnished safari tents have linen but no towels, and the tents are treated with mosquito repellent. As there is no electricity, paraffin lamps are supplied. at night
The Lodge Amenities include Restaurant and bar (open until midnight), Outdoor seating areas,Bonfire, Barbecue area (equipment not provided) ,Power points for charging laptops and phones, On-site wildlife viewing, Camping area for up to 100 guests (tents not provided),Electricity is available from 9am until midnight.
The lodge organizes different activities to tourist who spend the night in the camp and among these activities include wildlife viewing in the Murchison falls national park, nature walks, community walks among others.
|Room Type||Rates in USD|
|Twin S/C Banda||$50|
The 4 days Uganda Wildlife Safari to Kidepo Valley National Park is good short package that gives you an opportunity to encounter Africa’s wilderness park-Kidepo National Park located in the rugged Read More
Uganda travel health Advice
Uganda travel health Advice – Uganda Travel Information
Vaccinations and Immunizations
Vaccine recommendations are based on the best available risk information. Please note that the level of risk for vaccine-preventable diseases can change at any time. The following information was obtained from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Uganda.
Recommended Vaccinations and Preventive Medications
The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa. Discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.
Routine- Recommended if you are not up-to-date with routine shots such as, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)- Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in countries with an intermediate or high level of hepatitis A virus infection (see map) where exposure might occur through food or water. Cases of travel-related hepatitis A can also occur in travelers to developing countries with “standard” tourist itineraries, accommodations, and food consumption behaviors.
Hepatitis B-Recommended for all unvaccinated persons traveling to or working in countries with intermediate to high levels of endemic HBV transmission (see map), especially those who might be exposed to blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment (e.g., for an accident).
Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa, including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug.
Meningococcal (meningitis)- Recommended if you plan to visit countries that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June.
Typhoid- Recommended for all unvaccinated people traveling to or working in East Africa, especially if staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where exposure might occur through food or water.
Polio- Recommended for adult travelers who have received a primary series with either inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) or oral polio vaccine (OPV). They should receive another dose of IPV before departure. For adults, available data do not indicate the need for more than a single lifetime booster dose with IPV.
Rabies – Recommended for travelers spending a lot of time outdoors, especially in rural areas, involved in activities such as bicycling, camping, or hiking. Also recommended for travelers with significant occupational risks (such as veterinarians), for long-term travelers and expatriates living in areas with a significant risk of exposure, and for travelers involved in any activities that might bring them into direct contact with bats, carnivores, and other mammals. Children are considered at higher risk because they tend to play with animals, may receive more severe bites, or may not report bites
Yellow Fever- Recommended for all travelers from 9 months of age. Uganda requires travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is ongoing risk. Find an authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccination clinic.
How to stay healthy while on Uganda Safari, Uganda Travel Information
Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.
In developing countries like Uganda, drink only bottled or boiled water or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.
Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites: Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors. Use insect repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmethyltoluamide). If no screening or air conditioning is available: use a pyrethroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.
What you are supposed to do while on your Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda.
Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).
Do not drink beverages with ice
Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis.
Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas.
Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.
Avoid poultry farms, bird markets, and other places where live poultry is raised or kept.
Getting There and Around Uganda
Getting There and Around Uganda, Uganda Travel Information
There are both international and regional flights to Uganda being offered by various airbuses including British Airways, Kenya Airways, Brussels and so much more. You can as well charter a flight but this can be damn expensive. Uganda has all means of transport although the most accessible is by bus; it’s cost effective and safe when it comes to traveling. Bus companies for instance Regional Coach, Link and Scandinavian Express and Akamba have strict departure time if travelers can’t adhere to this, they are often left behind.
The Min buses usually go for shorter journeys. Transport in Uganda has been improved with well-maintained roads, speed governors as well as seat belts to ensure the safety of all passengers. The buses assemble in the new taxis park and some may be got along the public roads. The bus fares are fixed but cheaper to all the passengers. In the villages, there are motorcycles, bicycles, taxis for hire that can take you to your destination and remember to get small denominations of money to ease on transport. Ugandans are friendly people and are so willing to give directions when required. A visa to Uganda guide has also been put here.
Flights in Uganda, Uganda Travel Information
There are 12 airports in Uganda and the 4 biggest are
Entebbe Airport (Entebbe, Uganda)
Right now, 31 airlines operate out of Entebbe Airport.
Entebbe Airport offers nonstop flights to 22 cities.
Every week, at least 49 domestic flights and 490 international flights depart from Entebbe Airport.
Arua Airport (Arua, Uganda)
Arua Airport offers nonstop flights to 2 cities.
Every week, at least 28 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Arua Airport.
Gulu Airport (Gulu, Uganda)
Gulu Airport offers nonstop flights to 2 cities.
Every week, at least 14 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Gulu Airport.
Kasese Airport (Kasese, Uganda)
Every week, at least 14 domestic flights and 0 international flights depart from Kasese Airport.
English is the national language. There are other local languages like luganda, runyankore, lusoga, luo, runyakitara, lugisu, lugbara and many more spoken by different tribes in Uganda. For those who can only communicate using languages like Chinese, Germany, French, Arabic and others, we can organize special interpreters for them while taking their tours in Uganda.
Uganda’s climate is humid; it combines hotness and coldness in some parts. Uganda has dry spells from June-September and rains from November to mid-January and many rains from March-June but at times such seasons change unexpectedly.
Uganda travel clothing/dress
Carry along lightweight, washable clothes plus a coat, jacket or sweater for morning wildlife game drives or any cold as a result of any weather changes. Items like sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen etc. are also important. Trousers or long sleeved shirts save you from dangers of insect bites. Any other form of dressing by one’s preference is good as long as it isn’t offensive for public displeasure. Women travelers need to carry a wrap to cover legs in the village and towns. At Lodges and hotels with swimming pools, better to carry a swimsuit along with you.
Baggage on safaris
Baggage on safari is limited to one bag, plus one small piece of hand baggage per person (excluding a camera bag). In total this should not weight more than 20kg. Suitcases and other heavier items can be stored in town hotels whilst clients are on safari.
Uganda tour and travel photo shots
To make your tour unforgettable, its better you carry along with you a video and a digital camera with enough charged batteries for shooting anything that interests you throughout your trip. Keep cameras from dust, sunshine or rain. It is advisable to seek permission first before photographing anyone or anything.
Uganda travel security
Uganda is a very safe and sound country in African continent .The country presently has no rebel activity going on inside of Uganda. Even the north of Uganda is enjoying a state of peace and rebuilding since the LRA has signed a cease-fire in the summer of 2006.
Hence Uganda is a very safe country to visit, work and stay, but still precautionary measures have to be ensured while traveling. Below are some guides on how to be cautious so as to keep safe.
Money should be hidden:
The best way to carry your money is when you keep it at your front pocket where you can put your hand over it rather than a back pocket where it can easily be stolen. Do not flash money or count it in public, pull out what you need and pay, never carry large amounts with you. Keep money and any other valuables in your hotel safe.
Carrying Passports and Return Tickets:
It’s very risky carrying your passport on you, it’s best to make a copy of your travel documents and leave the originals at your hotel safe. If you are traveling on a safari, keep it all such things in a small backpack that you can easily carry with you. It is best to carry that small Backpack even if you go on a game drive while on safari. It is always best to be on the safe side of life instead of having later sorrow.
Keep your Jewelry at home or hotel safe:
Take inexpensive jewelry with you (you can buy some lovely items here in Uganda at a low price). Gold chains and jewelry can be torn off you. Avoid expensive watches and if you are wearing one, have one preferably with leather strap that can be tightened and safely worn.
Buy some local Ugandan crafted jewelry and support a local artisan and their families and you will safe-keep your expensive items at home and at the same time make a difference in Uganda through your purchase of local hand-crafted items.
Keep your Mobile Cell-Phone in your pocket and do not carry it in your hands. If you carry it in your hands, someone may take a cigarette burn your hand and you drop the phone when pain strikes and it is gone.
Do not put in on a table in a restaurant or bar since again someone might just come and grab it – Stay on the safe side. Mobile phones are stolen daily in Uganda – hold on to it tightly.
Walking at night:
Do not walk alone on your own in most neighborhoods to be on the safe side – what you would do at home, do here while visiting Uganda. You do not hear of many cases where Visitors to Uganda are robbed or harmed but it is best to be wise and smart.
Visits to Slums:
Slums in Kampala happen to be a place of misery and where you can find quite a few people who would not have the best intentions in mind when it comes to dealing with you. Most slum-dwellers are there not because of choice but because of circumstances in life.
Visiting a slum unless you are visiting a school, an NGO, a charitable work such as an orphanage is ill-advised. We do not offer slum tours as is the fashion in Kenya in order to make money and once company does here in Kampala. We believe in the dignity of all human beings and do not want to benefit off another person’s misery.
Gay Travelers Safety:
In February of 2014 President Museveni signed the stronger anti-gay bill into law. 97% of Ugandans concurred with his decision. Uganda had been in the news for five years regarding the anti-gay bill and it had an effect on Uganda’s image in the world even though it is one of 38 African Countries and over 80 worldwide with strong anti-gay laws.
What does it mean to a gay traveler wanting to come to Uganda? In Uganda there is no public affection between any gender. No promotion of homosexuality and simply discreet behavior that does not draw attention to a visitor to Uganda. The traditions of held values of Uganda and most African Nations are simply different.
The law is there – the choice is up to the gay visitor to Uganda whether to come or whether to stay away – the previous anti-gay law was hardly enforced since in Uganda personal relationships are kept private.
Statement from Stephen Asiimwe -Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board “no gay visitor to our country will be harassed or not welcome for the only reason that he or she may be gay. Cultural policies are important in Uganda. We ask visitors to respect them. They include touching in public for example or engaging in sex with children.”
Is it safe for single travelers?
It’s very safe for tourists to travel solo on safari in Uganda. It’s always best to travel with a reliable tour company like Africa Adventure Safaris Ltd to run your safari in Uganda.
Uganda Currency, Uganda Travel Information
Uganda Currency, Uganda Travel Information
Major foreign currencies – like the US$, Pound Sterling and Euros, South African Rand and currencies for the Uganda’s neighboring countries can be exchanged in the local forex bureaus and banks. Travelers’ cheques are accepted in Uganda and are exchangeable at banks and forex bureau in Kampala City and other major towns and hotels. Credit cards are getting common and are acknowledged in some shopping and banks. Majority of banks have ATM facilities. In some national parks or tourist centre, visitors can pay using foreign currencies if they didn’t get time to convert into local money. It is not suitable to exchange money on the streets from individuals as you may be given fake notes of Uganda shillings.
Bank and money transactions in Kampala Uganda;Where to get and how to make money transactions in Kampala.
Uganda Banks, Money exchange, Forex rates, in Uganda
The simplest way to acquire money on your initial arrival is using a Visa ATM card (MasterCard is more challenging; do not bother using anything else). The ATMs are scattered across Uganda, beginning at the airport, and nearly all of them offer the favorable Visa logo. It is a good idea to talk to your bankers back at home and inquire about any kind of deals they offer within Ugandan banks – for example, as I write this, in case you use your Bank of America ATM card in any of Uganda’s Barclays ATMs, you will not be charged that annoying ATM fee. Western Union is as well an alternative for quick cash from foreign countries, although the fees are somewhat large. On the other hand, if it is a better option for you, there are several Western Union places throughout Kampala.
Do I need my International Banking card While in Kampala Uganda?
The majority of properly-ATMed banks are Barclays plus Stanbic that appear to have ATMs almost anyplace you would require one. A properly-informed friend informed me that Barclays, regardless of its international name, is pretty short on service, and that its competitor Stanbic could be a better choice. Additional alternatives include Centenary bank whose ATMs and branches can be accessed in most of the rural parts of the country plus Standard Chartered, that has fewer branches as well as ATMs although fairly good service.
How do I make mobile money transactions with my cell phone in Kampala Uganda?
One new and expanding approach to handle money within Uganda is using cell phones commonly known as Mobile money. You can Sign up with any of the local carrier and then send and also receive money directly on your phone, obtainable almost any place across the country. But of course, you need to have some money deposited on it.
Shopping in Uganda
From jammed but fascinating markets filled with collectable handicrafts, to glitzy malls in our big city with the latest must have name brands, more so because our favorable exchange rate makes your retail therapy last longer too. Uganda’s shopping centers provide world-class shopping, plenty of entertainment, the latest movies and delicious food in conveniently situated and safe surroundings. Whether you are looking for something specific, have time on your hands to browse around or just love to shop, the boutiques, chain stores and specialist shops in the country’s malls have it all. The quality, cost and variety of goods on offer along with the safe, sophisticated environment provided by Uganda’s shopping centers should not take visiting international holidaymakers and business people by surprise.
Uganda’s malls are famous for their excellent shopping and entertainment facilities. When you leave the country after your holiday or business trip, you will lament the baggage restrictions of the international airlines and wish that you could take more of Uganda home with you! Vacationers can choose from dining and enjoying a drink at local or hotel bars and restaurants, seeing a movie at the cinema, attending a theatrical production at the cultural centre or gambling at one of the two casinos in town. Some bars host live music sessions at weekends. Uganda is known for their woodcarvings, handcrafted jewellery, textiles and attractive basketry – all make a memorable souvenir of your trip.
Nightlife in Kampala
From a night of fine dining to raucous all-night party in Kampala city Ugandans love to have a good time. Let your hair down and live it up in our clubs, pubs, late-night bars, theatres and live music venues. You won’t just find the best wildlife in our game parks…come on, the party’s starting! Experience a sundowner. Sip a cool drink and enjoy a glorious sunset at the end of a satisfying afternoon game drive. In the tourist towns of Kampala, there are a handful of restaurants, cinema and a clutch of places to grab a cold beer with fellow travelers and the friendly locals.
Casinos in Uganda
Bet on having a good time around Uganda. From our most famous Kampala casino for high-rollers to family entertainment venues– we’ve myriad casinos where you can take chance with Lady Luck. Ugandan casinos, including several large entertainment complexes, can be found countrywide. These entertainment destinations are typically designed around a specific theme and include a large range of activities for the whole family. Many are also geared towards business tourism, providing hotels and conferencing facilities as well.
Uganda’s casinos can be found on the fringes of most major centers. The emphasis is on being a one-stop leisure destination, with access to both indoor and outdoor entertainment. In Uganda, casinos are designed around a specific theme, offering a vision of life somewhat different from the run of the mill expectation of Africa. Nor are they typical casinos, most offering entertainment that goes beyond the usual slots and gaming tables. Among the most popular casinos in Uganda is the famed Kampala casino, in the city centre. Garden city is as famous for its golf course, game drives and outdoor activities as it is for gambling.
Uganda offers a wide variety of hotels lodge’s guesthouses, safari lodges available for travellers ranging from budget, midrange and high-end accommodation that are distributed in all parts of the country. For any destination you want to travel to, there accommodations that you can book at. Feel free to contact us for any of your travel accommodation plans and you will find all answers for Uganda accommodation.
Uganda Public Holidays
Below is the list of Uganda’s public holidays that are officially noticed by all citizens: Liberation day(26 Jan),Women’s Day (8 March),New Years’ Day (1 Jan),Independence Day (9 Oct),Labor Day(1 May),Heroes Day(9 June),Martyrs Day(3June),World Aids Day (1 Dec),Boxing Day (26 Dec),Christmas Day (25 Dec),Human Rights’ Day (10 Dec),Africa Day (25 May)
What are the interesting activities I can Do while in Uganda?
What are the interesting activities I can Do while in Uganda?
Tours and Adventures in Uganda
There are so many activities and adventures on a Uganda safari that it is difficult to stick to the details on your plan. Here are some of the top interesting tourist activities in Uganda that most tourists have come to love through the years.
Gorilla Trekking Safari, Uganda Travel Information
This ranks as the most important part of any Uganda safari itinerary. The once-in-a-lifetime experience takes you through the dense forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National park on the slopes of the Rwenzori ranges in search of the gentle giants. Groups of 8 people launch every day into the forest canopy behind the lead of a trained and armed ranger! It is surely exciting and a challenge that may take you up to eight intense hours of trekking. Without mountain gorilla trekking expeditions, Uganda safaris are not same!
Chimpanzee tracking and the Primates of Uganda
Uganda’s forests are home to an estimated 13 or more species of primates include the black & white colobus, red tailed monkeys, bush babies, olive baboons, gorillas and the habituated chimpanzees. Chimpanzee tracking is a fascination in Kibale Forest National park but there are also a few of these primates in Semliki National Park and Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria.
Wildlife safaris and National Parks in Uganda
There are 10 National parks and 12 game reserves in Uganda gifted with a wide range of flora and fauna. The most visited include Murchison Falls Park (which is the largest) and the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Take a game drive or a guided safari walk in the wilderness and encounter Uganda’s best kept mammals like the tree climbing Lions, zebras, Uganda kob, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, Harte beest and many more. Unique safari experiences take you to Lake Mburo National park for a canoe ride for sights of Uganda’s birds and animals visiting the vast lake.
Lake Bunyonyi tours
Lake Bunyonyi is found in South Western Uganda in the district of Kabale. It is Africa’s second deepest lake dotted with a few islands that are historically important to the people in this area. The lake is named after the birds that nest on the lake’s shore and surrounding swamps such as kingfishers, malachite eagles, sun birds, bee eaters, the rare shoebill stork and a few of the Albertine endemic species. Take a canoe ride to the island, nature walks around the lake or go swimming – Yes…the lake is Bilharzia free and good for swimming!
Bird watching safaris
If you are a nature enthusiast, then Uganda must have a special place in your heart. Over 3,000 species of birds are recorded to have nests in papyrus swamps, forests, lakeshores and national parks all over the country. Some of the best birding destinations like Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi forest park, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth Park and also in the different cities. Kampala city also has a few swamps with notable species like the stork and sun birds among others.
Hiking is not a popular sport In Uganda but you can be among the few tourists to reach some of the peaks of Uganda’s skyline. The ‘mountains of the moon’ popularly known as the Rwenzori mountain offer great hiking experiences often challenging but worth when you reach the glaciated peak. Mount Elgon, an extinct volcano in Eastern Uganda is also good for hiking and at the same time discovers some unique plant species that grow on the slopes of this fertile rock.
River Nile Adventures
It is the world’s longest river with its source on Lake Victoria in south central Uganda. The river has a number of rapids and water falls on its course to the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. Bujagali falls is particularly good for kayaking and water rafting with class I, II and IV rapids while Bungee jumping is also done near the falls. You can continue pursuing the river to the spectacular Murchison Falls on the Victoria Nile in the west and so on
Kampala City Tours, Uganda Travel Information
Kampala is the capital city of Uganda and the busiest town in the country. It is Uganda’s largest town and an important centre for business, industry, transport and administration. There are also many interesting things to note and tour about this friendly town such as the independence monument, Uganda Museum & art galleries, Makerere University, Kabaka’s palace, the National theatre, Uganda Martyr’s Shrine at Namugongo and the different religious centres around the capital.
Shopping in Kampala
Kampala being the capital city of Uganda, it has plenty of modern and western style shops with a feel of western typical malls with luxury goods and fast food outlets. You can visit numerous local and upscale shopping places like local markets for fresh foods, supermarkets, boutiques and departmental stores. In some parts of the city there are shopping complexes offering designer labels, computer equipment and other wide range of goods available let it be specialist or luxury. From colorful and bustling markets to newly developed shopping malls, Kampala now has it all. There are many upscale hotels that cater to the influx of tourists.
Kampala is famous for its intoxicating overcrowded markets, streets and arcades with upscale goods and services. Very chaotic but with pretty experience, Owino market normally acknowledged as Balikuddembe market is the most admired local market in Kampala. Sprawling around Nakivubo stadium, Owino is well stocked with everything from manufactured goods to traditional medicine. Eminent for its second hand clothes “Ebikadde” in Luganda, new clothes can be made as well by local tailors after making a selection for a piece of cloth material. Visitors are bound to spend much time here not because they are having much fun but once you are inside it’s really difficult to find your way out.
Apart from these local markets, Uganda is endowed with shopping centers with a feel of typical western styles and among the best places for shopping are 5 big shopping centers; if you want luxury goods especially the American and European brands. This is your best bet because you are likely to do your shopping in one place from one of the following malls; Lugogo shopping mall, Acacia mall, Garden city, and Freedom city. Shopping places indoors include; big supermarkets like Nakumatt, Capital shoppers, Uchumi, Game and Payless, departmental stores, fast food outlets, jewelry and book shops.
Looking out for the best rates for changing large amounts of foreign currency, Kampala is the best way to go. Try out bureaus in Kampala for the best rates this time especially the dollar house and half east all located conveniently next to each other at king Fahad plaza along Kampala road. There are many more bureaus and rates change from time to time but are usually printed in local papers and white boards at the entrance.
There are several sophisticated craft shops around the national theatre and Uganda crafts 2000 limited that sell locally made Arts and crafts. Original and smart local items like bark-cloth clothing, drums, wood carvings, sandals, basketry, beaded jewelry and Muzungu t- shirts plus other items from all over Africa are sold. Look out for many cheaper crafts at park headquarters and the nearby communities, Entebbe airport, Garden city and Lugogo mall. Pieces of valuable handcrafts are available at relatively low prices compared to imported crafts; therefore don’t hesitate to snap a chance. Your purchase of arts, crafts, souvenirs and gifts impact the lives of ordinary Ugandans.
Look out for the best places for English language publications, with the great selection of books like novels and as well as Uganda at very reasonable and affordable prices. The best place is Aristoc, where books are stocked up to satisfy the customers’ needs. Get a reading material before heading on to long road trip. You can also have second hand books with a good selection of novels at a bit cheaper price down town. Bargaining is acceptable and the way to the business. You can bargain for better prices especially on souvenirs and your bargaining power determines what you pay in the end.
Cultural tours and safaris
Uganda is home to many tribes and peoples who live in harmony. Almost every part of Uganda has a tribe that relates to it with a unique heritage and institution called a Kingdom. The most popular kingdom is Buganda in central Uganda with proper institutional structures headed by the Kabaka who is the king. Some of its significant tourist sites include Kasubi Royal tombs, the Kabaka’s palace and lake in Mengo, Sezibwa falls and a host of cultural/spiritual sites dotted around the country. Other kingdoms worth visiting include Toro Kingdom Palace in Fort Portal and Busoga in Jinja among others.
Lake Victoria tours
Lake Victoria is Uganda’s largest lake seen on landing at the Entebbe International Airport. Catch a ferry or hire a charter boat to the spectacular Ssese Islands for a treat of the best beaches in Uganda. Ngamba Island is also another island to visit on the lake, synonymous with the Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary. The best ways to relax on one of these islands is by taking nature walks, forest walks, go fishing or treat yourself to some of the best fish in Uganda’s waters. It is the perfect place to relax after hectic safaris in Uganda before you take your departure flights.
Spot fishing in Uganda
Go fishing in Nile River and in Lake Victoria to explore a world of untouched, mystical beauty. Take advantage of some of the other activities on offer such as gliding along the scenic waterways of the Nile and Victoria on a dug-out canoe. For game fisherman, the Nile River teems with Nile perch one of the biggest fish species in Uganda. Catch your biggest one yet and be amazed at the size that the fish grow to in these areas. Houseboats offer 360 degrees of lush greenery filled with the music of chirping birds and beautiful waterways and absolutely luxurious living conditions. Glide through the Nile and Lake Victoria fringes to find fish-rich water
Lake Mburo national park is one of fewest parks that offer horseback riding in safari Uganda, but for the adventurous this is an experience not to be missed. Uganda is a land of immense natural beauty with diverse terrain and landscapes of which Lake Mburo national park with a lush emerald paradise of swamps and Precambrian metamorphic rocks, rich savannah grasslands is undoubtedly living proof of. On horseback you can truly absorb the magnificence of park like unique spectrum of ecosystems that supports an unbelievable variety of bird, plant and wildlife waiting to be discovered. Venture further into the park and get much closer to the abounding wildlife. Encounter exciting moments along the game trails as your horseback safari ride brings you upon great herds of buffalo, zebra, elands and other antelopes. Be assured that this activity is a magical and humbling experience that will touch your soul and remain in your heart for an eternity.
Flights to Uganda, Uganda Travel Information
Flights to Uganda, Uganda Travel Information
Flying to Uganda is simple and affordable. With many direct flights to Entebbe from Europe, Asia and Africa, Uganda can now be easily accessed from any part of the world. Below are the major international airlines that fly to Entebbe International Airport, Uganda:
KLM / Amsterdam – flights to and from Entebbe 5 times a week.
Brussels Airlines / Brussels – flights to and from Entebbe 3 times a week.
Emirates / Dubai – flights to and from Entebbe daily.
South African Airways / Johannesburg – flights to and from Entebbe daily.
Kenya Airways / Nairobi – flights to and from Entebbe 5 times a week.
Ethiopian Airways / Addis Ababa – flights to and from Entebbe daily.
Qatar Airways / Doha – flights to and from Entebbe daily.
Feel free to contact Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd for advice on flights to Uganda and which airline would be most suitable for you.
Domestic Flights, Uganda Travel Information
Prime Safaris and Tours Ltd would be delighted to book your scheduled domestic flights or private charters, providing excellent access to most of the national parks within Uganda. Daily domestic flights are available at affordable rates from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip, flying to Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, Bwindi and Kidepo National Park among others.
Contact prime safaris and Tours Ltd for more information and prices on charter and scheduled flights to Uganda’s national parks or regional flights within East Africa.