Birding in Murchison Falls National Park : Murchison Falls national park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda, the park is also the largest park in Uganda covering an of 3,840 square kilometers / 1,483 square miles. Murchison Falls national park is famously known for hosting the most powerful water fall in the world that is Murchison Falls national park , the falls emits large volumes of water about 300 cubic meters per second at a very powerful pressure.
Murchison Falls national park also known as Kabalenga National park was gazetted as a national park in 1927 and is found in the Northwestern part of Uganda, approximately 305 kilometers from Kampala which is a drive of approximately 4 hours’ drive by road.
The park is visited by many visitors for various reasons and one of them is birding experience.
Murchison Falls national park is listed among the best birding spots in Uganda with over 451 bird species including Albertine rift endemic species, water birds and savannah species. Birding watching in the scenic landscape of Murchison falls national park dominated by several habitants ranging from Savannah grasslands, swamps and forest patches is the most interesting and exciting experiences while on a Uganda safari.
The park hosts many bird species and some of them include the rare, common and occasional birds such as the Gray crowned crane(Uganda’s National bird), Giant Kingfisher, Giant Heron, Shoebill stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Nightjars, Marabou stork, Black headed lapwing, Back-bellied Bustard among others.
Birds in Murchison Falls national park can be spotted while on game drives (morning and afternoon game drives) through the savannah grasslands in areas of Paraa and Bulingi, on the boat cruise along the Nile and on the Lake Albert Delta. Birds such as the blue napped mouse birds, spotted verreau’s eagle owls , silver birds, the nocturnal night jars among others can be spotted along the Paraa road and while on the boat cruise on the Nile look out for birds such as the shoebill, Gray crowned cranes, Goliath herons, black headed lapwings among others can be spotted.
BEST TIME FOR BIRDING IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Birding in Murchison Falls national park can be done all year-round, however the best time is during the wet season experienced from Early March to Mid-May and September to November, this period is a breeding season for the birds in Murchison Falls national park and also migratory bird species from Northern region of Africa and other parts of the world arrive in the park from November to April.
In the wet season, tourists visiting the park are fees which allows you ample time and space to explore the park and spot various birds without being disturbed.
The rare shoebills the most sought for bird is the most outstanding attraction in Murchison Falls national park, though this bird is listed among the rare bird species, it can be spotted in the park from November to April together with migratory bird species.
LIST OF SOME OF THE BIRDS FOUND IN MURCHISON FALLS
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
Gray crowned crested crane
Birding Swamp Flycatcher
Read-throated Bee eater
Red winged Grey Warbler
WHAT TO CARRY
Birders on a birding safari to Murchison Falls national park should carry the following
- birder’s guide book
- a pointer, a pair of binocular
- Sun glasses
- Wide brimmed Hats
- sturdy shoes(during hikes)
- enough water
- Light rain jacket
- Camera with batteries and memory cards for storange
- Right clothing
- Water proof day pack/ field bag