Murchison Falls National Park ferry is to be grounded from 8th to 20th May 2017 for biannual routine maintenance.
Notice to stakeholders from Uganda Wildlife Authority (U.W.A) the agency in charge of managing the parks reads in part’ .During this period, our technical teach will service the ramps , pontoons, passenger decks as well as attending to the hooks in the joints of pontoons/ramps.General service will be given to the engines and transmission systems .’
The car and passenger ferry provides vital crossing along the 87 km Masindi Pakwach road across the White Nile that transects the park at Paraa.
With the grounding of the ferry tourists will have to abandon their vehicles on the southern bank and hire vehicles across or use the longer route via Karuma falls bridge to access the northern bank where there are several game tracks including Buligi, Chobe and the delta.
On occasion tour operators unaware of prior notice have had to reconfigure their itineraries last minute or refund their clients altogether when timings for activities like the launch cruise, birding, and visits to the top of the falls have been scrambled. Fortunately, U.W.A has scheduled maintenance ahead of peak season from June to August to mitigate such incidents.
Murchison Falls National Park is the county’s largest protected area covering 3840 sqr km. The Park is studded with Borasus palm and grassland supporting birdlife lion, buffalo, elephant and Uganda kob, Rothschild’s giraffe and Patas monkey. The launch cruise offers close-up views to Hippos galore, and crocodiles on the poise. Bakers trail at the top of the falls offers great vantage view spots.
by Tony Ufungi, eTN Uganda