Travel 

Friday, June 30, 2017 

No need for Gym at Baker's trail

Tourists gaze at Murchison Falls Midway the Baker's trail hike.


MURCHISON FALLS, UGANDA- Those who have ever hiked the Baker’s Trail in Murchison Falls National Park, located in Northern Uganda will agree that its indeed a tiresome but worthwhile trail to climb.

This 1.5km trail with three stopover points and a Sport Fishing spot was invented in 2014 to access the Top of Murchison Falls for tourists who had enjoyed a boat ride to the Bottom of the Falls.

“Oh my God. I can’t continue. Can they take me back,” said an elderly Dutch Tourists who was on her first visit to Uganda and Murchison Falls National Park. 

My surgeon to this Park and the hiking of the Baker’s Trail was courtesy of a familiarization trip for Editors and Senior Writers  Sponsored by the Uganda Tourism Board. 

To many tourists, a visit to Murchison Falls National park is incomplete without an adventurous hike to the top of the falls. This is because of the famed Samuel Baker’s historical trail that offer a breathtaking moment.

Most visitors ask to include this hike in their itinerary because of the adventurous experience that is guaranteed. The hike is expected to be boosted once the proposed trail from South Sudan is completed. 

Our guide for the day Andrew, a Uganda Wildlife Authority official,  said a person who is drunk or intoxicated, the elderly and those on medication are not allowed to hike this trail.

“You have to be vigilant while on this trail. Ounce in a while snakes can crisscross and black ants are a common sight. People on medication and those intoxicated or drunk are also not allowed,” he said.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) developed the Baker’s trail in Murchison Falls National Park and it impressed the Baker descendants. 

It is walk from the bottom to the top of the falls which is user friendly because of the improved surface with concrete stairs and rail guards. 

On top of the game drives, boat rides, birding and nature walks, the Baker descendants promised to promote the trail, which is an additional to the tourism package. 

“It is historic in such a way that it commemorates the Europeans that came to Africa with an aim of finding the source of the River Nile and also helped to stop slave trade in Africa,” narrates the UWA guide.

Murchison Falls is the world’s most powerful waterfall. One takes a boat safari up to the falls and disembark at the bottom of the falls.

It takes about 45 minutes to hike up along the falls and be refreshed by the mist, feel the ground shake and vibrate under your feet – a most amazing experience.

The waterfall hike is a guided hike and the very path you are taken up, Winston Churchill came down and boarded a boat for the Sudan. The trail is also part of the famed Baker Trail, named after Samuel and Florence Baker.

There is another fall in the distance and that is Uhuru Falls which means in English – Freedom Falls.

The trail, all the way from Gonkoro in South Sudan,  is estimated to cover a distance of 357 miles and it’s expected to improve the accessibility of the falls. 

“Many visitors were excluding the hiking activity in their itineraries due to the poor trails but this stopped in 2014,” added the UWA guide. 

Hiking to the top of the falls is a supplement to a morning game drive and boat ride. While on this boat ride, a visitor can enjoy a magnificent view of the ever-green highlands and a diverse collection of mammals. After the game drive, many visitors instead of returning to the lodge, they opt to continue and hike. After hiking, visitors are picked by the vehicles which use the southern bank route.


By PAUL TENTENA, Friday, June 30th, 2017