Today we continued on our birding safari in Uganda by transferring to Murchison falls national park which is partly in the western region and partly in the northern region of Uganda . Ideally we would have used Kichumbayo gate into Murchison falls national park which is a few kilometers from Masindi but we chose to drive via the rift valley escarpment for more prolonged birding and great scenic views of the escarpment, Lake Albert and game reserve.
The journey started early at 8.00 am from Masindi hotel to Murchison falls national park. The first part of the journey was mostly through villages, sugarcane plantation and different patches of forest that have agricultural land in between. Again our aim today was to continue birding en-route but also arrive in time for the afternoon boat trip on the Victoria Nile after having lunch at Bakers Lodge.
The views via the Rift valley escarpment were amazing as we drove in Buliisa. There was a short birding walk where we were surprisingly rewarded with sightings of the rare beautiful sun bird, Cliffchat, and foxy Cisticola. After about an hours’ stopover we continued on the journey with occasional stopovers birding while in the car.
We arrived at the beautiful Bakers Lodge for our lunch before leaving for the afternoon boat safari to the Top of the Murchison falls. The boat ride was a beautiful 1,5 hours ride and we were dropped off to start hike up to the top of the falls. We got unto the boat right at the pier of Bakers Lodge and went to pick extra clients from the Paraa pier near the ferry crossing point. The boat ride yielded sightings of the Elephants, Buffaloes, Jacksons heartbeast, Crocodiles, monitor lizards, Schools of Hippos, Giraffe, Warthogs etc. and several bird species including Malachite and Pied Kingfishers, bee eaters, Black Crake, The Egyptian, Spur-winged Gooses, Saddle-billed, Open-billed, Black Heron, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Great and Long-tailed Cormorants, African etc.
After almost 2 hours of boat ride on River Nile, we then reached the starting point of the hike up to the ‘top of the falls’. The hike is said to take 45 minutes but with different interests of the people on the hike plus the energy levels it took us more than an hour to get to the top of the falls but the views are always better than you bargain for. This afforded us spectacular views of the falls from different angles. Today was a beautiful day that ended really well.