Facts About Murchison Falls National Park

Facts About Murchison Falls National park

Facts About Murchison Falls National park

Facts About Murchison Falls National park : Murchison Falls National Park is a beautiful wildlife safari destination in Uganda located in the Northwestern region of Uganda in Masindi district, the park is popular to many tourists visiting Uganda for an African safari experience because of it abundant wildlife and Murchison Falls – the most powerful falls in the world.

Murchison Falls national park as a great Uganda safari destination has many interesting facts worth knowing as you plan to visit for a safari and they are detailed below

Murchison Falls National Park is the oldest national park in Uganda

Murchison Falls national park is the oldest protected area in Uganda, its conservation history dates back to 1926 when the area was known as the Gulu and Bunyoro Game reserve. It later became to be known as Murchison Falls National Park in 1952.

Murchison Falls national park together with Queen Elizabeth national park are the two oldest national parks in Uganda.

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s Largest national Park

Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the largest protected area in Uganda with an area of 5,072 square kilometers, the conservation Area contains the Murchison Falls National Park covering an area 3,893 square kilometers and the adjoining Bugungu (5,01 square kilometers) and Karuma (678 square kilometers) wildlife reserves.

Abundance of wildlife

Murchison Falls national park is a home to abundant wildlife, during the 1960’s it was recorded that the park contained 14,000 elephants, 26,000 buffaloes and 14,000 hippos. However, the park’s wildlife population is far smaller and their population density is more in balance with the limited amount of park’s land available to them to thrive in.

Murchison Falls was visited by Queen Elizabeth – the Queen Mother

Murchison Falls National Park was visited by Queen Elizabeth – the Queen Mother in 1959 and during her visited she stayed in the Queen’s Cottage at Paraa and also cruised upriver to view the falls.

Her first visit in Uganda was actually before 1925 when she was a young Duchess of York, she visited the Semliki Valley with her husband – the Duke of Your (the late George VI) for a hunting safari.

United States President Theordore Roosevelt visited in 1909

Murchison Falls National Park was visited by the then president of United Sates, President Theodore Roosevelt in 1909 on the most lavish hunting safari of all time which by today’s rates costed US$ 1.8 million. During his year-long tour of East Africa, President Roosevelt collected wildlife specimens for the Smithsonian Institute.

As a result he left African continent rather emptier than he found it traveling home with 4,900 mammals, 4,000 birds, 2,000 reptiles and 500 specimens including 5 Northern White Rhino, 8 Elephants, 10 Uganda kob and a shoebill stork.

Winston Churchill visited Murchison Falls in 1907

Winston Churchill – the former prime minister of Britain who served twice from 1940 to 1945 during the second World War and again from 1951 to 1955, a solider and writer visited Murchison Falls in 1907 after traveling on the new railway from Mombasa to Kisumu (Kenya) where he took a boat across Lake Victoria to visit Entebbe and Jinja. From the source of the Nile he hiked, boated and cycled to Murchison Falls where he considered that “Ten pounds would throw a bridge across the Nile at this point”. In 1960, a footbridge was built across the gorge, it has been since lost but it was certainly the cheapest structure ever built across the Nile. The foot bridge lasted only 2 years before it was washed into the gorge during the floods in 1962.

Murchison Falls was used as a backdrop in John Huston’s famous Movie – The Africa Queen

The magnificent Murchison Falls was used as a backdrop of a famous classic movie – The African Queen by John Huston and it easily be recognized by classic film fans. The Africa Queen Movie starred Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, this film was filmed in 1951 in and around the Lake Albert Port in Butiaba.

Murchison Falls were named by Explorer Sir Samuel Baker

In 1846, explorer Sir Samuel Baker gave the falls “Murchison” after Sir Roderick Murchison – the then President of Britain’s Royal Geographical Society. Sir Roderick Murchison was a famous geologist – the best of his time, he believed sub-Saharan Africa to be a geologically dull continent in which nothing of interest had occurred for hundreds of millions of years. He was later proved wrong by the Murchison Falls and the rift Valley into which it plunges.

Murchison Falls Pours over the fading escarpment at the northern – most tip of Africa’s Western Rift Valley

Murchison Falls the most powerful falls in the world pours over the fading escarpment at the northern- most tip of Africa’s western Rift Valley, a 3000 kilometers tectonic trench that has opened up between Lake Malawi and northern Uganda during the last twelve million years.

The visit of Ernest Hemingway’s visit was not a success

The unsuccessful visit of Ernest Hemingway is one of the most famous incidents which have happened in Murchison Falls National Park. Ernest’s intention was simply to over fly the fall whilst on a charter flight from Kenya to Congo, unfortunately his plane clipped an old telegraph wire strung across the gorge and cart – wheeled into the forest.

From the accident he sustained debilitating injuries that were blamed for his subsequent depression and suicide.

When to go to Murchison Falls National Park for a safari visit?

The best time to visit Murchison National park is during the dry season from December to February and June to September, in these months it is easier to see the animals in the park as they are drawn out of the dense bushes and closer to the water sources.

Please note: Murchison Falls national park is a year-round destination, it can be visited any time of the year.

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