Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest and biggest national park. It lies in the northern end of the Albertine Rift and was first gazette in 1926. It covers an area of 3,840 square kilometers and is home to about 76 species of mammals and 451 bird species. The park previously known as Kabalega Park has a variety of tourism activities like hiking top of the Murchison Falls, boat cruise on the Nile, Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest, Fishing, Game Drives and nature walks. It’s endowed with a lot of flora and fauna. The park is bisected by the striking river Nile, the largest river in Africa with splendid waterfalls flowing to the great Lake Albert.
The park is named for its famous magical falls where the river Nile explodes through a cleft in the rift valley escarpment falling into a frothing pool of 43m below. During idi Amin dada reign in the 1970s the name of the park was changed to Kabalega Falls named after the king Omukama of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Kabalega. This did not last for long and the name was reverted back to Murchison Falls National Park after the down fall of Idi Amin Dada.
The park has abundance of flora and fauna, mammal species for example elephants, leopards, buffalos, hippopotamus, waterbucks, Jackson heartbeats, oribis, warthogs, loins, kobs. It is composed of a variety of birds like cormorants, bee-eaters, fish eagles, kingfishers among others. In order to tour the park’s most wildlife, one has to cross with the ferry.
The ferry carries a maximum of eight cars per trip.
Crossing this ferry takes place all day from 7am to 7pm, scheduled as 7:00am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm, 6:00pm, and 7:00pm EAT. It costs 5,000 Uganda shillings for passengers, motorcycles and light vehicles Shs20,000 or above depending on the weight and size of the vehicle, special ferry crosses are at an additional cost compared to the normal fares.
The ferry crosses from north to south and from south to north of the river. It bisects the park flowing from east to west. Payments are made at a booth near the landing. A typical Uganda Safari to Murchison Falls National Park takes tourists to cross the River Nile by ferry.
Besides ferry crossing, there are several activities and sites to enjoy wile in this park, there is chimpanzee tracking, nature walks in Budongo, fishing, on the banks of river Nile, game drives to get to see some of the big five. Birding along the river Nile, boat cruises, among other activities.
The Murchison Falls National Park can be accessed by a number of routes by road. It takes a five-hour drive from Kampala to the falls. There are a couple of chatter flights that can be organized from Entebbe Airport to the airstrips in the park. A variety of accommodation facilities are available in the park, including lodges, and camps near the park and inside the park for example; Paraa Safari Lodge, Budongo Forest Lodge e.t.c. There is more accommodation in Masindi, a town before you can get to the park.
In conclusion, Ferry crossing in Murchison Falls National Park is a must do once you want to get to the other side of the park easily. It acts as a short cut rather than driving and winding through the park. Booking a Uganda safari to Murchison Falls National Park with a legitimate Uganda tour company is ideal as most companies will provide you with accurate information regarding the crossing times and fares of the ferry.