The Karuma falls are located in Kiryandongo district in the Bunyoro sub-region in the western part of Uganda. The waterfall occurs at an elevation of 1,000 meters (3,000ft) above sea level along the course of the Nile as it flows north and can be literally seen from the Kampala – Gulu highway just south of where the road crosses the Nile.
This series of waterfalls is situated about 97 kilometers (60 miles) by road northeast of Masindi, the nearest town to Murchison Falls National Park. Also, Karuma falls is just approximately 77 kilometers (48 miles) by road, south of Gulu; the largest town and tourism hub in the entire Northern region of Uganda.
The Karuma waterfalls are famous for the biggest hydro power project in Uganda; the large Karuma Power station. This power station is still currently under construction and is expected to generate about 600 megawatts which will in turn be the highest hydro power generating power station in Uganda yet.
The name “Karuma” was adapted from a local luo word that can be translated to mean “great spirit”. The waters of the Nile smash into a series of rocks creating a foam like appearance that gives the water a white colour; hence “the white waters of Karuma” The locals believed that these gigantic stones were positioned along the river course by “a great spirit”.
Initially, the Karuma Bridge was constructed in the early 1960’s to help cotton farmers cross the river but today, you get to head further north from a Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park to the Karuma waterfalls where beautiful picturesque views along with some sights of baboons and white monkeys await.