Lions in trees at Murchison Falls National Park

Lelwel Hartebeest keeping a lookout for predators

Murchison Falls National Park was created in 1952 making it one of Uganda's first national parks, and it covers 3,840 km2 with a real mixture of habitats including woodland, wetland, savannah and tropical forest. This variety is why the park is home to an impressive 76 mammal species and 450 species of bird, so you can appreciate our excitement to be going on a morning game drive in the park.

One of the park's specialities is its tree-climbing lions, so we scanned every likely-looking tree to see if we could spot any arboreal big cats.

Bushbuck relaxing by the side of the River Nile

Lion-prey seemed to be abundant with plenty of delicate and skittish oribi, masses of Ugandan kob, relaxed bushbuck and lots of long-faced Lelwel Hartebeest.

We saw plenty of warthogs, the particular favourites of Penny in our group, and good numbers of African buffalo too. Some of these buffalo were being ridden by Yellow-bellied Oxpeckers and Piapiacs who were feeding on the ticks and other insects on the buffaloes' hides, or Cattle Egrets who seemed to be taking advantage of the additional height to spot any insects being flushed up from the grass by the animals as they walked.

Piapiacs enjoying a meal on the go

Rothschild giraffe were plentiful too. Our local guide, Crammy, explained that their markings became darker with age, and it was fascinating to compare their different blotchy markings. Watching one take a drink, we were amazed to see how much they co torted themselves to reach down to the water.

Giraffe does the splits to have a drink

Still we scanned the lower branches of all the trees we passed them, and then noticed a car parked under an acacia ahead of us, cameras all pointing upwards. We joined them, and there, right in front of us, was a handsome young male lion, up in the shade of the branches, gripping the trunk with his huge claws. WOW! What a fantastic sight!

This young male lion watched us from his vantage point up a tree

Of course, Murchison Falls National Park is also famous for the River Nile, where the mighty river squeezes through an 8m gorge down into what is known as the 'Devil's Couldron'. We took a boat ride on the river in the afternoon to see the falls for ourselves, and enjoy lots of birds and mammals along the way.

A young hippo watches from the river edge

Elephant family protect a youngster in their midst

The falls themselves were very impressive as the river plunges 45m over the rift valley wall, some 300 cubic metres a second flowing over the edge. Hard to imagine such quantities but it looks like this:

Murchison Falls downstream

Murchison Falls upstream

Murchison Falls National Park was a fantastically exciting place to visit and a real grande finale to our first tour of Uganda. Our next Birdwatching Trip in this wonderful country starts tomorrow so lots more birding adventures to come, so please do check back for more Bird Blogs.

Contact us

* * *



Our Tweets

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.