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Sunday,October 20,2019 06:32 AM

Murchison Falls: A tourism gem

By Titus Kakembo

Added 27th August 2019 03:35 PM

“Besides the falls what is there to write home about?” One destined there may rightly ask, but the list of attractions will exhaust the fingers on both palms.

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Tourists enjoy the breeze at the falls (PHoto by Titus Kakembo)

“Besides the falls what is there to write home about?” One destined there may rightly ask, but the list of attractions will exhaust the fingers on both palms.

TOURISM

The news of Murchison Falls being salvaged from a developer is being received with wide smiles from the tourism industry. Social media is viral with photos and sharing of messages about it.  This follows 2500 people petitioning policymakers to block the construction of a power dam there.

This was in response to the publication of an advert of a dam to be constructed in neighbouring Kiryandongo and Nwoya districts. This triggered tourism enthusiasts taking to social media asking government to halt it.

“Murchison Falls is located in the Murchison Falls national park in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley,” says James Mwere the president Uganda Tour Guides Association. “This is one of Uganda’s ancient conservation areas. The park covers an area of about 3,893km2 and it is known to be one of Uganda’s well-protected areas.”

The starter of this eight-hour drive by road is the Ziwa Rhino Santuaryin Luwero.  Their restoration is happening as if the beasts have a deadline. Already more than 20 of them wolf heaps of grass as they waddle about lazily. Tourists view the falls from the top and at the bottom in a boat.

“Murchison is the climax of your trip to the largest park in Uganda,” says James Mwere the president Uganda Tour Guides Association. “Here you see, the longest river in the world, hitting the rocks with such a force to ferociously plunge 43 meters down.”

True to his word the place is any photographer’s dream come true. Many have been seen gasping for breath as they take selfies, focus their lenses to get every panoramic view, sound and scent.

“Besides the falls what is there to write home about?” One destined there may rightly ask, but the list of attractions will exhaust the fingers on both palms.

“This is a bird lover’s paradise,” says AUTO chairman Everest Kayondo. “You will see more than 300 different species of birds nesting, courting or feasting. It depends on your luck but, folks have seen the endangered and most sought after Shoebill.”

As if that is not enough there are 4, 000 hippos engaged in a staring contest with spine chilling crocodiles flexing their jawbones. As they sunbathe, brightly coloured kingfishers and bee-eaters dart about the river banks as the boat sails to the banks.

“This is one place you can shoot a photo of a crocodile, hippo, buffalo, and birds in one frame,” says Jonathan Banaih. “You just cannot take your finger off the camera trigger. Bloggers get exclusive shots while here.”

 Travelers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to stay as the Budget and High-class clients are a variety to take their pick from. There is Pakuba Safari Lodge where Idd Amin Dada and his DR of Congo counterpart Mobutu Tseseko used to make merry in their heydays. On its heels is Bwana Tembo, Heritage Safari Lodge, Fort Murchison, and Ngiero Home Stays.  

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