By Lawrence Kazooba
It is a either a tale or an experience not to forget; what with wonderful wildlife and gushing crystal waters at different ends of Murchison Falls National Park.
Explorer Sir Samuel Baker renamed the park – after Roderick Murchison, president of the Royal Geographical Society during the 19th Century. It was originally known as Kabalega, after the Omukama Bunyoro Kingdom Chwa II Kabalega – who ruled during the 19th century.
The issues of the name aside, Murchison is something for the eye. It is famous for its variety of wildlife, particularly the big Nile crocodiles and a checklist that includes 80 species of mammals – beautiful elephants, giraffes, bird species among other attractions.
One of such attractions are the falls on the Southern Banks of Murchison Falls which take their beauty from the all-powerful mighty River Nile. And around this is a lot of beautiful green, of shrubbery, trees and other plant life.
It is little wonder that famous explorer Winston Churchill described the land around the falls and its inhabitants as the “Kew Gardens and the Zoo on an unlimited scale”.
He might have said these words over a century ago but their truth rings to this day.
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest National Park in Uganda located at the northern end of the Albertine Rift valley, in Masindi District in western Uganda and in Amuru District in the North.
It is the second highest revenue-generating park and also the second highest visited park in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth National Park.
In this park you will find two reserves, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserves which both offer more scenic attractions.
And then the water falls of the southern side of Murchison are so beautiful and relaxing, as they rapidly rush through the rocks. So strong is the force with which the water moves that it splashes within metres of the surrounding and letting out as much noise as the water drops.
There is a metallic barrier from which tourists can view the water falls and the stretch that goes all the way to the calm bed of waters that offers more serene beauty.
Simon Okurut, a guide says Lake Victoria outlet sends around 300 cubic metres (300,000 litres) per second of water over the falls, squeezing into a ravine that is 10 metres wide and seven metres high, down to the serene waterbed as the Nile drains its energy.
Around this powerful water falls are beautiful flora and fauna with several birds from perched on trees and other flying from one end to another.
Such is a quench for the adrenaline-rush junkies and an experience you will not draw satisfaction from in one day or night. A weekend is ideal.
If you are to spend a night, there are different lodging facilities to choose from. One thing is for sure though; Murchison Falls National Park is one place that stamps the fact that motherland Uganda is truly gifted by nature.