Zuula: Karuma Falls in Murchison Falls National Park

The Karuma Falls comprise of a sequence of natural good locking rock formations all the way at the base of the Victoria Nile, within this place. These result into the waters of the great River Nile to ripple, offering the Nile an appearance of stunning white foam. The falls are  where the main Gulu-Masindi road crosses the great river Nile. This is  about 110 km northeast of the town of Masindi and only 70 km south of the town of Gulu.

These 2 districts are connected by the Karuma Bridge, constructed in 1963 to assist cotton farmers within the west Nile. This bridge crosses the huge waterfall whereas the sprays of water of the white water move towards Southern Sudan in the northern part of Uganda. It is believed that the explorer John Speke moved past it during his search for the source of the great river Nile.

Murchison Falls National Park sits on the shore of Lake Albert in northwest Uganda. It’s known for Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River surges through a narrow gap over a massive drop. Park wildlife includes elephants and hippos, and there are chimpanzees in the KaniyoPabidi mahogany forest.

The park was established in 1952, the Game Department enthused, ‘The main tourist attractions of this park was definitely the unique Murchison Falls as well as the R. Nile, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s,streaming hippo and serried ranges of crocodile along the sandbanks,creating a trademark rainbow as well as large numbers of different species getting down to drink & bathe.Murchison Falls became one of Uganda’s first national parks in 1952

A gallery showing Karuma falls on the victoria nile

The northern section of the park contains savanna and borassus palms, acacia trees and riverine woodland. The south is dominated by  the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.

Presently the spotlight of a visit to Murchison is the launch trip up the stream to observe the Falls and riverbank wildlife. The launch starts at 09.00 and 14.00 every day. The round trip takes 3 hrs. Another boat trip goes downstream from Para down to the papyrus delta at the point were the river enters into Lake Albert. This 4-5 hr return adventure provides a good chance of discovering the shoebill stork and different varieties of Uganda safari wildlife.

The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.

The 1951 film “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart was filmed on Lake Albert and the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park

Notable visitors to the park include Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and several British royals.

 

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