Sport Fishing in Murchison Falls Park is such a rewarding safari activity for avid anglers. When it comes to Uganda safaris to Murchison Falls National Park many tourists think of the big 4 animals (Lions, Leopards, Buffaloes and Elephants) but then anglers too can have the best sportfishing experience. Fishing in Murchison Falls National Park is done mainly as a sport and is among the main activities in Murchison Falls National Park along the Nile. Fishing is mainly done along the Victoria Nile which involves catching fish along rocky surfaces, the bottom of the falls mainly the Devil’s Cauldron, and at the banks of the Nile by anglers alongside experienced guides.
There are great opportunities to land a large Nile Perch or Cat-fish. Other fish species there include Tigerfish, Electric cat-fish and Tilapia. The record largest Nile Perch was 113 Kgs landed at the water gauge opposite the crocodile pool, and the largest cat-fish was 45 Kgs landed near the Nyamusika Cliffs.
Requirements for a Sportfishing in Murchison Falls National Park
A fishing permit is required purchased at USD 50 per day or USD 150 for four days. These fees are not part of the park entry fees.
There are no shops in the National Park, therefore, all necessary supplies such as suntan lotion, medications, spare batteries for electronic equipment and cameras, and mosquito spray must be brought with you.
There are two major fishing sites in Murchison Falls National Park; one near Paraa (located below the mighty Murchison Falls) and another below Karuma falls (at Chobe safari lodge). But sport fishing in the park is currently carried out mainly at the base of the falls either from the boat down the stream or from the rocks on the Riverbank.
Accessing the fishing spots can either be by boat or by walking down from the top of the falls to the gorge which can take 45 minutes for a physically fit person.
Safety during sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls is known as the most powerful falls in the world and therefore safety is key. Fishing at Murchison Falls National Park requires expert assistance, to ensure both client safety and the best opportunity for successful fishing. It is recommendable to have an experienced Uganda safari fishing guide along to ensure the smooth running of the trip (especially if it is a first excursion at the falls). A choice of guides is available (subject to availability) and every three anglers are recommended to have one guide.
Best time to go sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park
Any time of the year is good for Fishing in Murchison Falls National Park. The best time of the day to have the best catches are early in the morning and late in the evening. The best catch of the fish is when the water level is low since that’s when the water is clearer that is from mid-January to early April. Generally, it is accepted that the drier months of the year produce better fishing results – December to March and June to October.
What to wear for a fishing safari in Murchison Falls National Park
Temperatures can rise to over 400 C and therefore it is advisable to carry enough sun protection equipment.
Remember to wear long socks, long-sleeved trousers and insect repellents that can be used just in case of tsetse fly bites.
Wear lightweight clothes and hiking shoes for fishing on the rocky surfaces.
Anglers need to carry their own fishing equipment and keep in mind all fish caught is not killed it’s laid back in the water alive. All anglers are advised to have rods that are between 8feet and 11feet with a multiplier reel. While catching smaller species; a 7’ spinning rod is recommended. Anglers can hire fishing equipment in Uganda but ensure not to damage or lose any because one will have to pay for the equipment in case of damages. The popular fishing methods include by casting lures, spinning and catching fish on live bait. Fishing along the Nile is an exciting experience however, you are advised to take caution of the Hippos and Nile crocodiles especially while fishing at the Riverbanks.
Murchison Falls National Park is among the leading parks where sport fishing is conducted and therefore if you are a passionate angler on a Uganda wildlife safari in the park, adding sport fishing to your itinerary is a good idea. The other destination for a sportfishing experience is on Lake Victoria -Africa’s largest freshwater lake that can be taken as a luxury safari in Uganda without even having to go upcountry but just a few meters from the airport.
Other Activities in Murchsion Falls National Park
Bird species in Murchison Falls National Park
Being home to more than 450 bird species, Murchison Falls National Park bird species include the Albertine rift endemics, savannah birds and water birds. This diversity in the bird species is a result of the large land mass which ranges from forest, swamps, riverine woodland, savannah and plains of acacia trees.
These bird species are part of those any birder should be ready to tick on their bird list during a birding safari in Uganda. The elusive Shoebill, Goliath heron, Northern red bishop, red-throated bee-eater, African quail Finch, Pied malachite, Giant kingfisher, Denham’s Bustard, Long-toed Plover, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Veracious Dove, Black-headed Lapwing, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Rock Pratincole, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird.
Other bird species include the Black-billed Barbet, Long-tailed Nightjar, Weaver Birds, Yellow-billed Stork, Martial Eagle, Silver bird, Gray crowned crane, Giant Heron, African Jacana, Secretary Bird, Saddle-billed stork, Senegal Thick-Knee, Red winged Grey Warbler, Sandpipers, Pied Kingfishers, Standard-winged Nightjar, Malachite Kingfishers, Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher.
Nile river water bird species to be seen on a Uganda birding tour at Murchison Falls National Park, include the pelicans, Darters and various heron species.
Close to Murchison falls national park, Budongo forest has about 59 “restricted range” species which include the dwarf kingfisher, white thighed hornbill, Goliath heron and the great blue turaco
Migratory birds in Murchison Falls National Park include Abdims stork, northern sholver, Common teal, Eurasian Harrier.
Uganda wildlife safaris in Murchison Falls National Park
On a Uganda wildlife safari tour, one of the obvious activities in Murchison Falls National Park is the game drive literally described as a drive through the wild for close wildlife viewing. The animals that thrive in the beautiful savannah plains of Murchison include the big four which are the Buffaloes, Elephants, lions and leopards. The Rhinos can be sighted in the adjacent Ziwa Rhino sanctuary to have a complete sighting of the big five African game. The other wildlife attractions in Murchison Falls National Park include warthogs, giraffes, jackals, waterbucks, Ugandan kob, oribi, hartebeest, sitatunga, bushbucks, duikers and any other wild specie that you could run in to.
When is the game drive done?
A game drive can be done in the morning from 6:30 am and in the evening from 4:00pm. Choosing the game drive depends on your schedule and where you stay a night before the game drive. There’s a variety to choose from on where to stay in Murchison Falls National Park so choose the best place or get advice from your tour operator. A game drive lasts for about 3-4 hours.
Best spots for a game drive in Murchison Falls national park
In the vast plains there those points just perfect for seeing a variety of animals and these include;
The Nyamsika cliffs is a good spot for viewing the buffaloes and lions since they tend to love this place.
Nyamsika gorge contains pools of water where animals congregate to drink making it the best point to see big animal numbers.
Open patches of Sambiya-Karuma road are good for sightings of Kobs, baboons, Jackson’s Hartebeest and oribi. Your guide or the park ranger will always drive to the best spots since they are more knowledgeable of the area.
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