Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the largest protected area in Uganda and home to the awesome Murchison Falls. Here the longest river in the world is forced through a narrow cleft and into a 43m drop.
A low lying and hot park with rugged savannah and dense forest that hosts 76 species of mammal, an incredible 460 bird species and the largest chimpanzee population in East Africa.
Murchison Falls Conservation Area lies in the far north west of Uganda and includes the Bugungo and Karuma Wildlife Reserves, Rabongo Forest and Budongo Forest.
Murchison Falls National Park (formerly Kabalega Falls) is bisected by the River Nile, with dry savannah and borassus grasslands to the north and woodland and forests to the south, providing an impressive variety of both flora and fauna.
Despite the massive reduction in wildlife following decades of poaching, animal populations are making a healthy return in the region (before the 1970s, Murchison was one of Africa's richest wildlife reserves). Since the early 1990s however, many species facing local extinction have once again started to thrive.
The game drives are fantastic, but the highlight must be the boat trip to the base of the falls: incredible wildlife and bird watching. A trip to the top of the falls is recommended, as is a delta trip down the river for great birding and scenery.
The dry season (June - September) is hot and stormy and best for viewing wildlife and the shoebill stork.
In the wet season (October - December) many roads become impassable.
Budongo Forest is 790 km2 of the most ecologically diverse forest in East Africa. It hosts 465 plant species, 800 chimpanzees (the largest population in Uganda), 250 species of butterfly and 366 bird species.
It is a canopy of tropical rainforest with an impressive concentration of buttressed giant mahoganies up to 60m tall. Not surprisingly it is home to many primates including red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus and potto.
Budongo is most renowned however, for its, bird watching potential. Over 60 west or central African species have been recorded including chestnut-capped flycatcher, Ituri batis and lemon-bellied crombec. The area known as the Royal Mile is regarded by many as being the best bird watching site in Uganda.
In 1992 the Budongo Forest Ecotourism Project was initiated. However as funding fell short, chimpanzee habituation (and consequently tracking) programmes in Budongo had to be abandoned.