Uganda boasts of 10 National Parks with great wildlife (flora and fauna), beautiful scenery filled with great landscape, and great welcoming people.Murchison falls National Park found in the North western part of Uganda and Queen Elizabeth National Park found in the south western part of Uganda are some the best and most visited Parks in Uganda. There have been, and there are lots of questions and challenges for all travellers deciding which park to visit especially those on short trips.
Quick facts about Murchison falls National Park.
- The Park was Gazetted in 1952
- Murchison falls is 306 km from Kampala city.
- Murchison falls National Park is Uganda’s biggest park.
- It takes you 5-6 hours of drive to reach the park.
- It lies on 5,072 sqkm of land, 3,840 sqkm meant for Safari activities.
- Great water falls.
- Amazing rain forest – Kaniyo Pabidi forest.
- Great game drives with plenty of wildlife.
- Beautiful Nature walk in the Budongo forest.
- Famous for the filming of the African Queen by Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart.
- Uganda’s oldest Hotel Masindi Hotel built in 1923 is just 20 minutes to the main entrance of the National park, the hotel is also famous for accommodating Ernest Hemingway who recovered there in 1 week after crashing his plane 2 times in the Park.
- Approaching the park entrance only confirms to you that you are in a wild place with Baboons ushering you in the adventurous zone.
- Boasts of Great Savannah Woodlands and Open savannah grasslands.
Quick facts about Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- The Park was gazetted in 1952.
- Queen Elizabeth National Park lies on 1,978 sqkm of land.
- The Park is 380km from Kampala through the Masaka – Mbarara high way and 417km through the Kampala – Mubende – Fort portal – Kasese Highway to the Park.
- The Park boasts of the amazing tree climbing lions of Ishasha.
- The great 36km long Kazinga Channel which is great for a boat ride with 100s of birds.
- The Kyambura Gorge is amazing as visitors go down in a cave like place to track the chimpanzees.
- Chance to see the Equator line.
Today we run through the different comparisons of the 2 great Parks with interviews of some experts and travellers.
I phone – called Mr. Onzima who works with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and has worked for 18 years in Queen Elizabeth National Park in various departments and also worked in the Murchison Falls National Park as a law enforcement officer. He has some excerpts from his long experience.
Mr. Onzima went on to tell us that Murchison falls has its own uniqueness and most visitors will travel to search and experience that adventurous uniqueness of a park, Biggest attractions of the water falls also called the Kabalega falls, named after the famous king of the Bunyoro kingdom , the unique giraffes, heart beasts, the park has a wide Biodiversity, and finally told us the park has more to see than Queen Elizabeth national park.
Iga Sula, a Ugandan experienced tour guide who was also born in the Park in the early 80’s says he recommends Queen Elizabeth mainly because of the great Rwenzori Mountain views, the crater lakes along the Bunyaruguru village and in the park, chances of seeing the migratory flamingos in lake munyanyange, and finally tells us that the whole scenic view while driving to the park is wonderful.
Mr.Sula also told us that there are more options of eating places along the Masaka – Mbarara Highway when travelling to Queen Elizabeth National Park than when travelling to Murchison falls as its only recommended eating place being Masindi town.
Ans Borsje a Dutch traveller who traveled with African Adventure Travellers with her family to Murchison falls in March 2012 and travelled earlier in 2009 to Queen Elizabeth National Park says Queen Elizabeth is the best for the reasons,
- The tree climbing lions were amazing and up to now she still thinks about them.
- The great view from the Bush Lodge was spectacular overlooking the Kazinga Channel, with the shower outside in a tree like a garden is still an amazing creation and finally its location.
- The distance from Kampala to the park was smoother than Murchison falls.
- “Ans”, however admits that Murchison falls has more animals than Queen Elizabeth. she saw 1 elephant in Queen Elizabeth in 2009 and saw turns of elephants and giraffes in Murchison falls in 2012 and admits that the most amazing thing she saw in Murchison falls was the lion cabs eating an Oribi with their mum lioness looking on.
- She concluded by saying that, Murchison would be the best but the accessibility was difficult as far as the gravel which slips cars off the road when you break suddenly through the park makes the park more tough. She saw 2 accidents in 2 days and recommended that one would need an expert driver like Robert to take you to the park.