Walking/Hiking, Wildlife Viewing, Birdwatching
Mobile Safari Camp, Safari camp (arrival/departure day)
Road or air transfer to/from Murchison Falls
$1,500+/- depending on accommodation, activities, and group size
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Mobile walking safaris usually last 2-4 days. Our active—but by no means strenuous—walks range from about eight to ten kilometers each day, and take place only during the cooler parts of the day, with a siesta in between. Guests walk only at the most advantageous hours, when conditions are more comfortable and animals are more active. Guests spend each night at a different location in a fully catered mobile camp. We move the camp while you walk, so that when you finish your walk, you arrive to your camp already set up and waiting.
The primary activity of our mobile walking safari is a morning walk, which lasts about 3- 4 hours, during the ideal morning hours. A maximum of eights guests are led by a professional walking guide and an armed UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) ranger.
During the walk, you can expect to see a variety of wildlife (kobs, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, hartebeest, hyenas). We also pay close attention to other parts of wildlife habitat, which cannot be observed from vehicles. You will learn about (and touch, smell, observe and hear) a variety of plants, trees, birdlife, reptiles, and insects. In some areas, we will track animals by their footprints and droppings. In addition to all the appeal of a typical safari, walking safaris offer the more nuanced pleasures of an unmediated encounter with the savannah ecosystem: experiencing a variety of fascinating flora and birdlife up close, hearing all the nature sounds in near silence, following animal tracks along hoof-beaten paths.
As an example, a walk through the dry Nyamsika riverbed showcases a diverse ecosystem in all it’s glory: wildlife coming to drink, warthog or kobs sprinting across the rolling landscape, colonies of red-throated bee eaters flitting about high cliffs, elephants grazing the gentle slopes around the river, hyenas crossing the stream in the early hours, hundreds of animal tracks in sandy soil, hippo bones scattered on the ground, baboons shrieking high up on trees, and more birds than you can count swooping across the sky. Being on foot, like the animals around us, allows us to participate in this spectacle, rather than just being a spectator to it.
We follow pre-determined routes, but there are no trails—it is truly a wilderness experience. If we do happen upon a trail, be sure that it was carved by animals, not man. When walking, we become part of the landscape ourselves. This means animals perceive us humans differently than they do when we are in a vehicle—exposed, we have to treat them with more care. When you are on foot and realize the massive size of an elephant in comparison to yourself, you will understand why it’s best to avoid getting too close. The objective is to exist in the same habitat as the animals, but that means treating them with a healthy respect: Murchison is the true wild; it is no zoo.
The morning walk ends in a fully-prepared camp, where lunch and refreshing drinks await. Midday is spent in siesta: relaxing in camp, perhaps napping or reading a good book. After a healthy rest, we typically venture out for a shorter walk around 4 or 5 pm to explore nearby destinations. We might, for example, scale a hill to take in a view, explore the dry riverbed, or wade down to seasonal waterholes with large concentrations of birdlife. If you enjoy a drink, picture enjoying a sundowner at the destination, and then relaxing by riding back to the camp afterwards on a vehicle. The evenings are spent enjoying simple but delicious food and sharing the stories around the fire.
Don’t worry that you will have to choose between a walking safari and the other attractions that Murchison offers! We are happy to customize your trip to make sure you have the full safari experience. Typically, each safari includes complementary activities after the walk: afternoon game drives, morning boat trips to the famous Murchison Falls, and The Top Of The Falls visit.
|1||Bwana Tembo Camp (midrange)||Most trips commence with a drive (5-6 hours) from Kampala unless other arrangement made to meet in Murchison Falls. Arrival to Bwana Tembo Camp is midday to afternoon. If time allows, optional activities may include a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way, or an afternoon game drive in the park. This midrange camp offers excellent views of the Nile and the sunset from its perched location.|
|2||Mobile Safari Camp #1||After an early breakfast, we drive to Pakuba area (15 km, 20-30 min) in the park, where we begin our first walk. This is an area of open grasslands with excellent vistas populated by kobs and giraffes. The walk lasts about 3 hours to arrive to the camp; already set up and waiting. After an early lunch, it is time for siesta to relax and soak in the wilderness. Around 4-5 pm, we venture out for a shorter walk in the area and enjoy the sundowners. The dinner awaits after the return to the camp.|
|3||Mobile Safari Camp #2||We start walking at sunrise after early breakfast. Our destination is Te Okot area, and terrain is slightly more hilly with more Borassus Palms among the grass. Buffaloes, hartebeest and elephants are plentiful in the area. After enjoying tea break, we arrive to Te Okot mid to late morning, and are transferred (15 min) by a vehicle to our 2 nd camp.|
|4||Mobile Safari Camp #2||The highlight of this day is the spectacular morning walk upstream the Nyamsika Riverbed: sandals are recommended for some wading through shallow warm water. This area is frequented by elephants and buffaloes along the shores, and the riverbed mud captures animal tracks to reveal who else is around! The walk concludes in the scenic valley toward the Wangkwar road, where a salt lick attracts elephants. A vehicle transfers guests back to the camp (10 min). After lunch and the mid-day siesta, we again explore the area in the vicinity. Note: Mobile Camp can be set up in the new area depending on the season.|
|5||Bwana Tembo Camp (midrange)||Most trips commence with a drive (5-6 hours) from Kampala unless other arrangement made to meet in Murchison Falls. Arrival to Bwana Tembo Camp is midday to afternoon. If time allows, optional activities may include a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way, or an afternoon game drive in the park. This midrange camp offers excellent views of the Nile and the sunset from its perched location.|
|1||Bwana Tembo Camp (midrange)||You will experience the beauty of this diverse park through other lenses. Again, after early breakfast we drive (30 min) to Paraa to enjoy the boat ride (1-1.5 hrs) on the Nile, which ends with a hike (45 min) to the Top of the Falls. While on the river, you will see again lots of wildlife on the shores as well as plenty of hippos and crocs in the river. The hike traverses the denser lush forest on the Nile bank ending in the refreshing and spectacular falls area. We eat lunch and rest midday at Sambiya River Lodge, where you will see its ‘resident’ buffalo herd and can take a dip in the pool. Around 3 pm, we head for our final activity, a game drive in the “Nile Delta” area to see this attractive landscape and its large concentrations of kobs. A good chance to find a lion or leopard too. You will enjoy dinner and superb views at Bwana Tembo Camp.|
|6||After breakfast, it is time to for the trip to wrap up. We either transfer you back to Kampala (5-6 hour) drive or you can continue with your itinerary (if self-driving).|
Walking safaris in Murchison Falls have been developed over the past year in close cooperation with the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff. Our routes have been selected to ensure accessibility and natural beauty year-round. Every walk is led by an experienced guide and is accompanied by an armed UWA ranger in charge of security. Guests can put their minds at ease, assured that the highest levels of safety are maintained. We prefer our guests to focus on the beauty of the walk, assured of their safety. Therefore, we are clear in our explanations of all our procedures and precautions.
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I am Juraj, your Adventure Travel expert for East and Southern Africa. I have worked and lived in Uganda and Zambia for the past 15 years and traveled by road to many corners of this vast and beautiful region. My work in conservation has enabled me to explore unique places, walking across vast savannas teeming with wildlife and trekking mountains. My specialty is always to seek new and less-visited attractive destinations for active adventure travelers to enjoy diverse activities in nature and experience rich local cultures. My passion is to show you this corner of Africa the way most people do not see.