Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park and one of its very best; animals here are in plentiful supply and the raging Murchison Falls is a sight to behold. Sir Samuel Baker named Murchison Falls in honour of a president of the Royal Geographical Society, and the park was subsequently named after the falls.
Kaniyo Pabidi Tourist Site in Budongo Forest Reserve is on the main park road, 29km north of Masindi and inside the southern boundary of Murchison Falls National Park. It’s regarded as one of the more reliable places to track chimpanzees in Uganda with an estimated 70% chance of finding them. You have to pay the park entry fee on top of the activity fees.
Busingiro Tourist Site, also within Budongo and 40km west of Masindi on the Bulisa Rd, is for the birdwatchers. It’s a great place to add yellow-footed flycatcher and African pitta to your spotting list. There used to be chimp tracking here too, but when the chimps lost their fear of humans they started raiding local farms, forcing an end to the program.
Budongo Forest Reserve
The Budongo Forest Reserve is a large (825 sq km) tract of virgin tropical forest on the southern fringes of Murchison Falls National Park. Its main attractions are chimpanzees and birds (366 species), but the huge mahogany trees are also worth a look. It’s a great add-on to your Murchison Falls National Park visit.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The Big Five are back. Twenty years after poachers shot the nation’s last wild rhino in Uganda, Rhino Fund Uganda opened this private 70-sq-km reserve, 170km northwest of Kampala. There are now 15 southern white rhinos roaming the savannah and wetland, nine of which were born in the wild in Uganda.
Lake Albert, part of the Rift Valley system extending from the Middle East to Mozambique, runs for 160km (by 35km wide) along the border between Uganda and the DRC. The first European to spot the lake was the British explorer Sir Samuel Baker in 1864, who named it after Albert, prince consort of Queen Victoria.