Murchison Falls National Park
|This article is outdated. (February 2015)|
|Murchison Falls National Park|
|Kabalega National Park|
|Area||3,480 square kilometres (1,340 sq mi)|
|Governing body||Ugandan Wildlife Authority|
Murchison Falls National Park is a national park in Uganda managed by Ugandan Wildlife Authority. The park lies in north western Uganda, spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile. Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometres (289 sq mi) Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometres (280 sq mi) Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area MFCA.
Murchison Falls National Park is located in Buliisa District in western Uganda and in Nwoya District in northern Uganda. The park is situated approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi), by road, northwest of Kampala, Uganda's capital city. The coordinates of the park are:02 15N, 31 48E (Latitude:2.2500; Longitude:31.8000).
The explorers John Speke and James Grant were the first Europeans to visit the Area of present day MFCA in 1862.It was more thoroughly explored by Samuel and Florence Baker in 1863-4. Baker Named this Fall Murchison Falls after the geologist Roderick Murchison, then the President of the Royal Geographical Society.
Winston Churchill (1907) and Theodore Roosevelt (1909) visited this Fall respectively.
The park is sometimes referred to as Kabalega National Park. Kabalega was the Omukama of the Kingdom of Bunyoro, around the end of the 19th century. He resisted colonization by the British, was arrested and was exiled by the British to the island nation of the Seychelles. Kabalega died in Jinja, in 1923 en route to Bunyoro from exile.
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq mi). Together with the adjacent Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park is part of the 5,308 square kilometres (2,049 sq mi) Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA). The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for a distance of about 115 kilometres (71 mi). The park is the location of the famous Murchison Falls, where the waters of the majestic Nile River squeeze through a narrow gorge, only 7 metres (23 ft) wide, before plunging 43 metres (141 ft) below. Also in the park, adjacent to the Masindi-Gulu Highway, are the Karuma Falls, the location of the 600 MW Karuma Power Station, Uganda's largest hydropower station, currently under construction and expected to come online sometime around 2018.
In Murchison there are four of the "big five". Cape buffalo, elephants, lions, leopard are best to be seen in the northern part (above the Nile). Due to excessive hunting and poaching, rhinos became extinct by 1983, but were re-introduced into Uganda in 2005 by Rhino Fund Uganda. White rhinoceros are now being bred again in the 7,000 hectares (27 sq mi) Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is located 70 kilometres (43 mi), south of the park. Their mission is to reintroduce small herds of rhinos (around five at a time), whilst retaining a nucleus breeding herd in the sanctuary.
MFCA and adjacent Bugondo Forest reserve contain 76 Species of mammals as well as Uganda's largest population of Nile crocodile. 450 bird species are present ranging from easy variety of waterbirds, including the rare shoe-billed stork. to Bugondo's 59 'restricted range' species, dwarf kingfisher, Goliath heron, white-thighed hornbill and great blue turaco are some of the species among them.
- List of national parks of Uganda
- Murchison Falls
- Victoria Nile
- Uganda Wildlife Authority
- Overview at Uganda Wildlife Authority
- Profile at Traveluganda.co.ug
- Website Devoted to the National Park