Murchison Falls National Park is found in the northwestern part of Uganda, and its the largest wildlife habitat covering 3893sq km. it offers several amazing activities such as the river Nile Boat Ride, game drives, chimpanzee tracking, birding tours plus nature walks, and can be combined with your Uganda Gorilla Tour or simply explored alone.
This is the oldest wildlife conservation-reserve, as it was first gazette back in 1926. Since its opening, it has received several visitors among whom are prominent personalities such as Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, the Queen Mother, the Prince of Wales and several other royals from Britain.
What to do in Murchison Falls National Park
Game Drives, Wildlife Viewing in Murchison falls National Park
These are conducted both in the morning and evenings. Thanks to the different wildlife habitats in this park, there over 70 different species of mammals plus over 450 types of birds living in the tropical forest,woodland, River Nile, savanna as well as the wetlands
Some of the animals commonly seen in the park are: elephants, warthogs, oribi, Cape buffaloes, hippos, Lions, hartebeests, leopards, giant Nile crocodiles, Uganda kobs and Rothschild’s giraffes.
Explore the Powerful Murchison-Falls
River Nile which is the longest river in the world flows through this park and along its course in the par are the powerful waterfalls after which this park was named. At that point the waters of the nile force their way through a tiny seven (7) meter crack found in the wall of the rift valley before thunderously dropping over 40 meters below with a loud roar. The falls form a beautiful water-splash; a very breathtaking view!
The falls which are the hight of a Safari in Murchison Falls Park were discovered by an early explorer Samuel Baker in 1864.
Boat Rides / Launch Cruise to the Murchison Falls
This is the highlight activity. There are 2 hour boat rides on the Nile to the bottom of the waterfalls conducted in the morning and evening. These offer great opportunities of photography as you will see several animals including hundreds and hundreds of giant crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, elephants and so many water birds.
The boat ride begins at 9.00 am and 2:00pm daily.
Hike to the Top of the waterfalls
There is an adventurous hike from the bottom to the Top of the waterfalls which will reward you with very beautiful views of the falls, the river and its surroundings.
Chimpanzee Tracking – Budono Forest
This forest is one of the largest as well as oldest mahogany woodlands in Uganda. it has several trails along which nature trails are conducted as well as chimpanzee tracking. Within this forest you will be able to see several other primates besides chimpanzees plus different bird species.
Best time to Visit |Weather
The park can be visited all year round. It experiences both dry and wet seasons. The hottest month are January, February and December as well as June and July reaching maximum-average temperatures of 29°C. In November and April, the park receives heavy rains.
How to Get to Murchison Falls NP
The park can be accessed by Road and Air transport
By Air Transport
There are different airstrips found close to the park so anyone using a charter flight can land there. There include: Pakuba airstrip and Bugungu airstrip.
By road Transport
It’s 305km from the Kampala city about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala city. For those connecting from Masindi town, it is 85 kilometers to Paraa. Within the park, there is river crossing at Paraa
For those connecting from the north, paraa can be accessed through Chobe Gate found near Karuma Falls. The other available gates include: Wankwar Gate and Tangi Gate
Where to Stay / Accommodation
Murchison Falls Park has several different accommodation types in and around the park ranging from the luxury, mid-range to the budget facilities. Below are some of the available accommodations.
Luxury Accommodation: Nile Safari Camp, Chobe Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge.
Mid-range Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison River lodge, Sambiya River lodge, Fort Murchison Safari Lodge
Budget accommodation: Red Chillies, or Sambiya River lodge bandas
Traveler’s tips while in Murchison Falls National Park:
Pay the Park entrance fee at the park gate
Spend the night only in designated areas
Always give the animals a right-of-way
Don’t move out of your car unless in designated areas
Don’t drive at a speed beyond 45km per hour while in the park
Never sound your horn
Don’t throw cigarette-ends in the park –they may start a fire
Don’t carry your pet animals inside the park
Don’t pick or cut any type of plants in the park
Don’t carry ammunitions or firearms inside the park