Murchison Falls and Budongo Forest
Murchison Falls, covering nearly 2500 sq. miles, is the largest National Park in Uganda, and has the greatest concentration of wildlife.
A highlight of the park is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, where the Nile cascades through a narrow seven metre gorge before spreading out into a tranquil waterway which flows westwards into Lake Albert and provides wonderful boat safaris.
The park is well-known for its concentrations of oribi, Uganda kob, hartebeest, giraffe, crocodile and hippo. Other animals are also found including lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant but as with the other parks of Uganda, the populations do not compare with those of other parks in East Africa. This aside, the majesty of the Nile and the prolific number of birds make this park well worth visiting. Amongst the bird species, the rare shoe bill, Abyssinian ground hornbill and red-throated bee-eater are perhaps the most sort-after species.
The beautiful Budongo Forest lies a couple of hours drive to the south (technically still within Murchison Falls National Park) and is home to around 600 chimpanzee. Trekking is available from Kanyiyo Pabibi in the east of the forest, where several groups of chimpanzee are habituated. The Royal Mile lies in the south-west of the forest near the Nyabyeya Forestry College and is regarded as one of Uganda’s best forest birding sites – some 365 species are recorded in the reserve as a whole. African dwarf, chocolate-backed kingfishers and Nahan’s francolin are amongst the long list of specials in the region.