Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most popular and most visited parks in Uganda. It is based in northwestern Uganda amidst four districts; Nyowa, Kiryandongo, Buliisa and Masindi; making it Uganda’s largest national park covering an area of 3,893 square kilometers off the shores of Lake Albert to the Karuma falls.
Although Murchison Falls National park has an impressive animal life of about 76 mammal and 450 bird species, it is more famous for its gallant display of a 44m high waterfall bursting from a 7m crack within the Albertine rift Valley bedrock. The waterfall occurs on River Nile as it makes its way to Lake Albert from Lake Victoria.
How to get there:
Murchison Falls National Park is easily accessible from Kampala by road with a 5-6 hour’s drive covering a distance of about 305 kilometers. Alternatively, for travelers who prefer to travel by air, you can charter a local plane from Entebbe International Airport to Pakuba landing site; from where you can transfer to the park under a few minutes.
Attractions (What to see):
This 44 meter high waterfall is one of the main attractions in Murchison Falls National Park. Many tourists travel far and wide to witness how the world’s largest tropical fresh water lake; Victoria, can push incredible amounts of about 300 cubic meters of water through a narrow 7 meter gorge between rock. We suggest that by all means you be apart of this experience as well.
On its way to Lake Albert, the River Nile crosses through this park where it forms the powerful Murchison Falls. Understand what it feels like to sail along the world’s longest river (allegedly) in the presence of Hippos, Nile Crocodiles and plenty of birdlife. This is the experience that you will never forget even years after it is long gone.
As it is the habit of River Nile to wow us with natural aqua splendor; a few miles from the Murchison Falls it goes ahead to ripple along, splash against and collide with a series of rocks in its path further north. The smashing of powerful water amounts against rock creates this white foam around the whole area that will make you think you are standing in the middle of a Jacuzzi; except this one will be ice cold.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:
Up ahead after a day’s adventure in Murchison Falls National Park; visit the only game reserve in Uganda where you will find Rhinos. In 2018, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary recorded a miraculous increase in the number of Rhinos (both black and white) from four to 22 individuals. You can enjoy the 300 bird count, view some wildlife species or simply track Rhinos in the wild on this property.
What to do in Murchison Falls National Park:
There are about 76 mammal species in the park with some unusual sightings of animals like the Defassa waterbuck, Patas monkeys and Rothschild’s giraffes. In fact ¾ of the country’s population of Rothschild’s giraffes is found here. Game drives are often conducted in two phases; early morning and evening game drives; with each session posing a different perspective on the wildlife scenery.
Following designated game tracks like the Albert, buligi and Victoria trails, there is no limit to what wildlife you will run into. Animals like Hippos, Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, Crocodiles, Chimpanzees and Warthogs are very common. Other animals include; varied species of antelope, monkeys, olive baboons, Uganda Kobs, Leopards and hyenas among others.
Boat safaris or cruises or launches are perfect for viewing the Murchison falls along with some wildlife. The adventure occurs in the morning and afternoon from Paraa; the hippo’s hiding place, to either the Albert delta or the base of Murchison Falls. If you decide to visit the base of Murchison Falls on this boat cruise, you can combine it with a hike to the top of the falls.
Does it always feel like you are in search of new yet relaxing adventures in Uganda; then you definitely must try a birding adventure in Murchison Falls National Park. With over 400 bird species including endemic birds that you will only find here and nowhere else; like the Puvel’s Illadopsis, then this kind of adventure is perhaps what you have been looking for in an African safari.
Chimpanzee tracking and nature walks:
After Kibaale Forest National Park, the next big thing for Chimpanzee trackers in Uganda is the Budongo forest in Murchison Falls National Park. Alongside large Mahogany and Ironwood trees, the forest has a very impressive number of these intriguing primates awaiting your inspection. Spend a bright morning flexing your muscles as you trek through the forest to find them.
With a record of a 133 kilogram Nile Perch, sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park couldn’t be more promising. Join a group of friends along the course of River Nile near the Devil’s Cauldron as they try to get their hands on some Nile Perch, Tiger fish or Cat fish. You would however need to carry your own fishing equipment and hire expert help from the park’s rangers.
Yes, with this wildlife safari, you get to visit the natives that once might have called the park their home. Spend a day with the Boomu Women’s Group as you explore different African dishes and vast banana plantations. You might even pick a few tips on how to cure certain ailments using natural remedies before closing the day off with some folk tales, music and traditional dance.
Where to sleep or accommodation options:
Murchison Falls National Park has plenty of accommodation options ranging from luxury to midrange and budget options. For high-end options you could look into Paraa, Chobe and Nile safari lodge. For mid range accommodations you can try Sambiya river lodge while travelers on a budget safari will have options like Fort Mrchison lodge and Boomu women’s Group bandas.