Nile River Excursions at Murchison falls – Murchison Falls National Park is 3893 kilometres squared and it forms the core of Uganda’s largest protected area, containing a wide variety of wildlife including big game, forest primates and 450 bird species. The mighty River Nile, the longest in the world, flows through the heart of the National Park for a distance of 120kilometres, on its 6500kilometres journey from Lake Victoria to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
The National Park’s centrepiece is the explosive, 40metres high Murchison Falls where the Nile is forced through a 6 metre gap in the rift valley escarpment. The Falls separate two very different Rivers. Upstream, the River races down a turbulent 80kilometres channel punctuated with rapids. Downstream, the Nile flows quietly towards Lake Albert which it enters through a large papyrus delta. It is this peaceful 40kilometres stretch of River which provides the National Park’s prime wildlife spectacle and which the boat excursions explore.
The boats are the perfect craft for small groups. Their light aluminum hulls each provide comfortable seating for up to five people plus a skipper/guide. They are also suitable for sports fishing for two to three persons on board.
The game viewing boats with their 8.5metres long, shallow V-hulls have been designed for use on African Rivers and provide comfortable seating for groups of up to 16 for excursions or casual fishing for up to 4 persons. A carpeted upper deck allows views of wildlife beyond the reeds that fringe the shoreline and also provides additional height for those that like to cast their rods.
The River vessel has got a capacity for 40 guests. It has two decks with flexible usage and seating arrangements and our on board River guides move around on board providing interesting information and pointing out animal and bird sightings as you travel. The covered lower deck offers seating and a bar and serving area, while the covered, upper deck – standing 3metres above the River, allows excellent views close to the shore as well as further afield and the large solid deck areas provide a stable photography platform. Toilets are also on board.
All the boats are new technology powered by Yamaha outboard engines and are equipped with lifejackets for all passengers and a comprehensive first aid kit. Communication with the base office at Paraa is enabled by mobile phone and Radio when required.
The scheduled afternoon trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls is the popular activity to follow a morning safari game drive. We can also arrange for private excursions to the bottom of the falls leaving at any time of the day, or combining with another activity such as hiking in Fajao Gorge.
The daily waterfall cruise upriver from the jetty at Paraa landing site on the South bank to view Murchison Falls at the head of the Fajao Gorge has been the national Park’s most popular attraction since the 1950s. This scheduled trip run every afternoon departing by 2.30pm as well as in the mornings at 08.30am and 11.00am when demands requires. Pickups and drop offs by boat from the North bank at Paraa as well as lodges along the Southern banks of the Nile River can be pre-arranged. Great Adventure Safaris also offer a special Waterfall Sun downer Trip with drinks and snacks included which departs at 3.30pm every afternoon (subject to minimum numbers) and private trips on an exclusive basis.
This is an excellent opportunity for viewing the large resident populations of hippos and crocodiles, as well as other wildlife and extensive birdlife, including a wide range of water birds, and a huge colony of cliff-nesting red throated bee eaters, along the way.
A morning trip to the Lake Albert Delta Point is a must for any bird and wildlife enthusiast. While this trip is more popular in the morning, Great Adventure Safaris can also arrange for a private excursion at any time of the day. The Victoria Nile delta, a 20kilometre voyage downstream from Paraa, is home to rare wetland bird species including the rare shoebill and papyrus endemic species. Scheduled delta area cruises with a “breakfast on board” option are offered in the mornings (subject to minimum numbers) departing from our jetty at Paraa on the South Bank at 07.00am. We can also tailor make your trip with a private boat and timings to suit your interests.
The meandering current and picturesque surroundings of the Nile River in Murchison Falls creates one of the most spectacular and enjoyable places in Uganda to witness the sun rise, the sun set, or to enjoy a glass of wine and a selection of cheeses. Great Adventure Safaris organises a selection of leisure cruises for you, the perfect way to start, or end your day on your safari holiday.
Nile river excursions at Murchison falls – As the heat disappears from the day, the craft take you to visit the hippos and crocodiles near the Nyamsika sandbar or downstream amongst the small reed islands. Enjoy the sunset whilst enjoying snacks and an evening drink of your choice. Cheese and wine, beer and nachos or even champagne can be arranged by Great Adventure Safaris with prior notice.
An early start to see the Riverside world, come to life with the option of tea or freshly brewed coffee and home-style cooked breakfast on board for your Nile River excursions at Murchison falls National Park.
Make a meal of your cruise on the Nile combine your game viewing from the water with lunch or dinner on board, or even a “Bush Breakfast” besides the Nile with prior arrangements Great Adventure Safaris can tailor make a menu and timings to suit you and help make your Nile River cruise very special indeed.
The mighty Nile River at Murchison Falls National Park is famous for its exciting sport fishing. Large, strong Nile Perch living in the turbulent waters below the Falls as well as several species of cat fish are fished and a variety of smaller species which are generally used as live bait for the larger fish. Fishing can be done from the shore or from the boats which are ideally sized and equipped to cope with the conditions and accessing the remote Riverside pools. Our experienced guides travel with you on the River at all times to ensure you have the best opportunities for success, whether it is for a day or over several days.
Fishing at Murchison Falls National Park requires expert assistance, to ensure both client safety in this adventurous destination, and the best opportunity for a successful fishing exercise. Some of you may be experienced enough to challenge the Nile with just hiring a boat and skipper but for most it is recommended to have an experienced fishing guide along to ensure the smooth running of the trip (especially if it is a first excursion to the falls). A choice of guides is available (subject to availability) and we recommend one guide per three anglers.
Murchison Falls National Park is approximately 6 hours’ drive North West from Entebbe, via Kampala with the majority of the roads before reaching the National Park being tarred. Within the National Park there are murrum roads. Our fully inclusive trips include private transport with a driver in 4 x 4 vehicles which are comfortable and spacious, including room for fishing equipment. Alternatively internal flights can be used between Entebbe and Murchison Falls National Park if you are short on time.
The fishing at Murchison Falls varies from year to year as to which are the most successful fishing months, but generally it is accepted that the drier months of the year produce better fishing results December to March and June to October. We catch all year round it’s just that in these months there is less chance of rain. Thunderstorms occur randomly throughout the year. The beginning of the April/May rainy season is to be avoided, please enquire about current situation before booking.
Sport Fishing at Murchison Falls National Park is generally conducted in the area at the base of the falls. The fishing is either from the rocks on the bank of the river or slightly lower downstream in the pools from a boat. Great Adventure Safaris Fishing Safaris access all fishing spots by boat from our launching point at Paraa landing site. The temperatures at Murchison Falls National Park are high, sometimes over 40 degrees C especially at mid-day and anglers should be equipped with sun protection including sun tan lotion, hats and long sleeved shirts. Tsetse flies also abound at certain times and we recommend long trousers as well as insect repellent.
Methods of Fishing / Equipment
Fish caught on live bait / casting lures include Nile perch and various species of cat fish. There are also a large variety of smaller species, (used as live bait), obtained by spinning including tiger fish. We recommend a rod between 11feet (3 metres) and 8 feet (2.4 metres) together with a fixed spool or multiplier reel. For the smaller species a 7’ spinning rod with 5 kg (10 lb) line is adequate.
Reels for Nile perch and catfish any reel fixed spool or multiplier with 30-35 lb line (17kilograms) will do. It depends on personal preference and skill with a multiplier. For tiger fish and smaller species any reel you can comfortably cast small spinners is suitable.