Murchison Conservation Area

birding site in Uganda

Size: 3840 sq kms, Elevation: 619 to 1292m above sea level, Birds recorded: 460 species.
Habitat: Iron wood forest, riverine forest, dry and moist woodlands with grassy under-storey, Borassus palm savanna grassland with termitaria, papyrus lakes and rivers.

Murchison Falls National Park derives its name from the Murchison Falls where the mighty River Nile explodes through a narrow gorge and flows down to become a placid river whose banks are thronged with hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks and buffaloes. The vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hartebeest, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees and many bird species including the rare shoebill.

Launch Trips on the Nile
One of the highlights of a visit to Murchison Falls National Park is the launch trip from Paraa to the bottom of Murchison Falls. Hippos and crocodiles are abundant and you will see elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks and a variety of birds like herons, cornmorants, ducks, bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers and sometimes the rare shoebill. The launch trip from Paraa to the falls (17km) and back takes about three hours.

Bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park
A variety of unique habitats and lots of superb birds make a visit to Murchison Falls National Park a must for every birder. The birding experience here is greatly enhanced by the abundant wildlife and scenic landscape.

The Shoebill is an important tourist attraction of park, the only park where one is almost certain of seeing the bird, which is regularly recorded along the Nile inside the park, especially at the delta and on two islands in the river. Lesser Flamingo and Great Snipe have occasionally been recorded. The park is particularly important for Sudan-Guinea BiomeS species with 14 of 22 species recorded in the park; several of these are very common. Four of 12 Lake Victoria species, 11 of 44 Guinea-Congo forest species, six out of 86 Afrotropical Highland species and three of 32 Somali-Masai Biome species. When the flow of the Nile is low, African Skimmers congregate on sand banks a few kilometers below the Falls, but none are present at times of high water when the banks are flooded.

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