Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison Falls National Park
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison Falls National Park is one of the many activities offered to tourists visiting the national park. Murchison falls National Park is situated in the north-western region of Uganda. It is the largest national park in Uganda covering 3,840 square kilometers. The national park is divided into two sections (northern and southern sector) by Victoria Nile.
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison Falls National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park is conducted in Kaniyo Pabidi forest which is located within Budongo forest, in the southern sector of the park. Trekking chimpanzees in Murchison falls national park is the one of the major and thrilling activities carried out in the park. The activity involves visitors moving into the forest in search of the chimpanzees and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitats.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is also conducted in other national parks like Kibale National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve near Semuliki National Park and Kalinzu forest adjacent to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking in the park can be done either in the morning at 7:30am or in the afternoon at 2:00pm. Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison Falls national park starts with a briefing at the park headquarters about the expectations, rules and regulation. After the briefing you will be grouped into 8 people and given a park guide who will be sharing information about the chimpanzees while trekking.
Trekking chimpanzees in Murchison Falls national park takes about 1 to 4 hours or even more depending on the location of the chimpanzees because they like to move deep into the forest in search of food especially during the dry season. Once the chimpanzee family is found, visitors spend one hour in the presence of the chimpanzees learning about their habits, behaviors, lifestyle, taking plenty of pictures with flash less camera and recording the moments. Apart from the chimpanzees during trekking you can come across other primates like olive baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and bird species among others hence making your chimpanzee trekking safari unforgettable.
Cost of chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park
Visitors who want to trek chimpanzees in Kaniyo Pabidi forest should first acquire a permit which is issued to visitors above the age of fifteen years of age. A single chimpanzee trekking permit in Kaniyo Pabidi Budongo forest costs USD 90 for foreign non-residents and the permit is valid for 24 hours only. Visitors who wish to do chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park can book chimpanzee trekking permits directly at Uganda Wildlife Authority offices in Budongo forest or at the reservations offices of Great Lakes Safaris in Kampala.
Alternatively, you can also contact Explore Rwanda Tours to book your chimpanzee trekking permits. This is however the best option to use in that we shall not only acquire for you a permit but also plan your entire safari which involves transportation, accommodation, other activities like nature walk, birding, game drive among others.
Best Time to go for chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park.
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park can be done at any time of the year; however the activity is best done during the dry season which is between June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the park therefore chimpanzee trekking trails in the forest and access roads to the park will be passable.
Chimpanzee trekking in Murchison falls national park in Uganda can also be done in the wet/rainy season which between March to April and October to November. During the wet season there will be a lot of food for the chimpanzees due to heavy rainfall which means that the chimpanzees will easily be found hence you will not be able to trek for long hours.
Other activities that you can do in Murchison Falls National Park.
Game drives in Murchison falls national park is a must for any tourist visiting the national park. Game drives in the park can be done either in the morning, afternoon, evening hours or at night. Night game drives in Murchison falls national park will offer you an opportunity to view nocturnal wildlife mammals such as; lions, leopards, and bats to mention but a few. Night game drives in the park are mostly done in the northern sector because that’s the sector that harbors the highest concentration of animals compared to the southern sector.
During the day game drive in the park you will be able to view animals like elephants, large herds of buffaloes, warthogs, Jackson’s hartebeest, waterbucks, giraffes, lions, leopards, bushbucks, bird species like saddle billed stork, majestic grey crowned crane, black headed lapwing, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Senegal thick knee among others.
Boat cruise in the park is conducted on Victoria Nile Delta. There are two boat cruise trips for example the boat cruise upstream to the bottom of the falls and the boat cruise downstream to the Nile Delta. The launch cruise in Murchison falls national park starts from the Paraa dock and the boat cruise to the bottom of the falls has two schedule sessions which commences at 9am in the morning and at 2pm in the afternoon. Each launch cruise in the park takes about 2 hours while the boat cruise to the Nile Delta takes about 4 to 5 hours.
During the boat cruise visitors are able to view a wide range of animals in water like hippos and others on the water banks such as, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, elephants, buffaloes, bird species like the pre-historic shoebill stork, malachite kingfisher, red throated bee-eater, African fish eagle, papyrus Gonolek, open billed stork, yellow footed king fisher, African jacana, saddle bellied stork, goliath heron, views of mountain ranges, fishermen catching fish among others. There are also boats at Paraa jetty foe hire where you can cruise at your own time.
Guided nature walks/ Hiking
Nature walk in the park is a thrilling activity where visitors move out of the car and walk on foot while enjoying nature, feeling the cool breeze with spectacular views of wildlife. Guided nature walks in the park are commonly done in Rabongo forest, Kaniyo Pabidi forest and top of the falls. While on a nature walk you will view different animals at a close range, birds like little green sunbird, slender-billed greenbul, dusky long tailed cuckoo, primates like chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey, blue monkeys among others. Nature walk in the park takes about 1 to 2 hours while hiking on the top of the falls takes about 45 minutes. Top of the falls hiking can be done after a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and during hiking you will enjoys splashes and roars of the water.
Murchison falls National Park is a great destination for birding safaris in Uganda. The park shelters about 450 bird species commonly sighted bird species like shoebill stork, blue headed coucal, squacco heron, goliath heron, grey crowned crane, black billed barbet, black headed Gonolek, and silver bird among others. Birds in the park can be seen during the boat cruise, nature walk, game drive, in destinations like Budongo forest, savannah vegetation, swamps among others which act as habitats for bird species.
Other activities that are offered in Murchison falls national park include; Sport fishing and guided cultural encounters.
Conclusion: Murchison falls national park can be accessed by road or air transport means. The national park is located in the north-western part of Uganda and can be accessed by visitors travelling from Kampala via Karuma in Pakwach district and takes about 4 to 5 hours of driving. This route offers travellers spectacular sceneries and wildlife viewing such as the baboon troupes that welcome you to Karuma. You can also have a stopover at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and trek rhinos in the wild.
Contact Explore Rwanda Tours and book your safari to Murchison Falls National Park.