3 Days Murchison Falls Safari Trip with Rhino Trekking Tour, Big Five Safari Uganda

lion murchison falls ugandaThis safari trip to Murchison Falls National Park is the best of short tours in Uganda for those interested in seeing a variety of animals and doing many activities. Located in the north western, Murchison Falls is the biggest national park in Uganda, covering 3,840 square kilometers. It is divided into two almost equal sections by the mighty River Nile – the north and south. The expansive savannah grasslands on the northern section have the biggest volume and variety of animals of which include four members of the famed “big five”, that is, Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes, and Elephants. Other common animals include Giraffes, Hyenas, several species of antelopes, Patas Monkeys, Baboons, and Hippos among others. Birdlife across the park is very impressive, with more than 451 species recorded!

A great add-on to the safari trip to Murchison Falls is the Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary which is conveniently located in Nakansongola District, almost halfway the journey to the Murchison. It is the breeding ground of Uganda’s only wild Rhinos (White), thus completing all the possible “big five” on this trip. Several other animals are also found on the sanctuary such as Leopards, Oribis, Bushbuck, Uganda Kob and lots of woodland and savannah birds.

Safari specifications:

– Group size: minimum 1 (one) traveler

– Lodges selected for charm, surrounding wildlife and views, level of comfort, high standard of hospitality and nearness to the northern section of the park for game drives

– Professional driver/safari guide and a 4by4 safari van fitted with a pop-up roof for game viewing

– Safari on full-board accommodation basis

Trip highlights:

  • Rhino trekking at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Game drives in Murchison
  • Boat safari on River Nile
  • Hike the Murchison Falls

Itinerary

Day 1: Kampala – Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary – Murchison Falls National Park

After early breakfast the driver guide shall pick you from the hotel at 7.00am, drive out to the Kampala – Gulu highway and head northwards. After close to two hours, you will get off the highway in Nakasongola and branch-off to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Transfer to the reception center of Ziwa, meet the ranger guide and set off on a trek through acacia woodlands and bush thickets to track the Rhinos and observe several other wildlife. It is a light trek, find the Rhinos and observe them from a safe distance. The Rhino tracking activity takes about 2 hours, return to the highway and continue till Masindi town where you stop for lunch. After the lunch break you will continue to Murchison, entering the park via the southern gate of Kichubanyobo which gives you the opportunity to go through the Budongo Forest. The dirt road through Budongo is lined with lots of baboons scampering back and forth into the forest as they grapple in anticipation of some goodies. Make sure the car windows are closed, the baboons can easily grab at anything that looks eatable. Feeding them is also prohibited! Also, this stretch has tsetse flies which have a painful bite, keep the windows closed please! Observe plenty of life as you drive along, including birds, monkeys, trees and shrubs. Budongo hosts a big population of Chimpanzees but it is very rare to encounter them along the road, however there is a habituated population available for Chimpanzee tracking and habituation tours. Continue and transfer to your accommodation. If time permits you will go out into the park for a short game drive and spot some big animals and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Dine and overnight.

Journey time: 6 hours

Meal plan: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Paraa Safari Lodge

Mid-range: Fort Murchison Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (Tents)

Day 2: Morning Game Drive, Boat Safari on River Nile, Murchison Falls Hike

wildlife murchison falls ugandaAt first light, about 6.00am, you are up for a quick snack with hot tea/coffee and set out for the early morning game drive in the park. Explore the beautiful savanna grasslands in the northern section where you are exposed to a plethora of wildlife, beautiful scenery and the magical African sunrise! Plenty of animals are active and foraging so expect to see plenty of Giraffes, Elephants, Buffaloes, Jackson’s Hartebeests, Uganda Kob, Patas Monkeys, Oribi, Waterbuck, and Bushbuck. You also have a good chance to find the cats still on the hunt, plus the nocturnal have not gone into hiding yet. Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, and Jackals are the common cats of park but are sometimes missed during the game drive. After 4 hours in the bush, return to the lodge for full breakfast and relax at the lodge till lunch time. In the afternoon after your lunch, you head out for the Boat Safari on River Nile. boat safari ugandaThe trip starts from Paraa and goes upstream to the base of the Murchison Falls. On the boat ride you observe plenty of wildlife along the Nile especially Hippos, Crocodiles and plenty of water birds. Other animals such as Elephants, Buffaloes, the antelopes, come to drink and cool off the heat. The ride takes about two hours to reach the base of the spectacular Murchison Falls and here disembark from the boat to hike from the bottom, around to the top of the falls. murchison-fallsIt is a 45 minute, relatively easy hike on rocks that force the entire Nile to squeeze through a small space of only 7 meters wide and emerge with a thunderous plunge, 40 meters into a whirlpool. It is no wander the Nile is the world’s strongest waterfall! Enjoy the spectacular sight as you make it to the top, get cool splashes falling on your skin, soothing u while you enjoy the adventure. When you get to the top the driver shall be waiting for you, transfer to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Murchison Falls – Kampala

After breakfast, check out and leave for Kampala. You shall make a stopover in Nakansogola for lunch at the Kabarega Diner. Drop-off at your hotel in Kampala.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Tour includes:

  • Private safari vehicle
  • English speaking guide
  • Full board accommodation for 2 nights
  • All meals
  • Bottled water
  • Park fees
  • All activities included on the itinerary

Tour excludes

  • Visa fees
  • Air fairs
  • Luxury drinks
  • Tips
  • Personal insurance
  • Personal expenditures such as laundry, telephone, shopping, etc

What to bring

  • Mostly light clothes as temperatures are high and some heavy for the chilly nights
  • Closed shoes for the hike & trek
  • Insect repellent to ward off the tsetse flies
  • A hat/cap plus shades to shield from the sunshine
  • Enough drinking water is provided in the car
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