• Murchison Falls National Park
  • Murchison Falls National Park
  • Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park, locally known as Kabalega National Park is situated at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley and it is Uganda’s oldest and largest safari park. Murchison is located 305 kilometers north of Kampala in Masindi District and can be accessed by road or flights.

Murchison Falls National park was first gazetted as a wildlife reserve in 1926 and is home to 76 different mammal species and 451 birds. Murchison Falls Conservation Area is made up of Bugungu, Karuma wildlife reserves and Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant valley wall, creating the dramatic falls, the park’s unique attraction and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids.

The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert.

This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles that can only be expereinced through Uganda safari trips. This is something you will clearly see when you visit Murchison Falls National Park on a murchison falls safari.

Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.

Murchison Falls National Park

Notable visitors to Murchison Falls National Park include Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and several British royals.

Common activities include: wildlife viewing safaris at murchison falls / game viewing, launch trips to the bottom of the falls and hikes to the top (Devil’s Cauldron), birding and nature walks.

Launch trips stand out as the most common exciting activities because it gets you close to the centerpiece of the park. For those that want an aerial wildlife viewing experience, hot air ballooning activities are available within the park.

The vegetation of Murchison Falls National Park is made up of Savannah, Riverine forest and woodland. Some of the wildlife includes kobs, elephants, Rothschild giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, leopards, lions Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species.

This safari park is an all year wildlife destination but can best be visited on safari in Uganda during the months of June to late September or January to mid-March.

Location and How to Get to Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is located in the northern region of Uganda. It is located north west of Kampala the capital city of Uganda.

The park is spreads its boundaries to districts like, masindi, buyisa, kiryandongo and nwoya and it spans in land to form the shores of Lake Albert and over the bunyoro escarpment and around karuma falls wildlife reserve.

Getting to Murchison Falls national park is easy and affordable as one can decide to travel by bus and spend about 3hours from Kampala.

Other travelers decide to fly from Entebbe kajjansi airport to the chobe airstrip which is the quickest means of transport to the park.

What to See in Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison Falls

the highlight of any itinerary in Murchison Falls National Park is visiting the falls to see how large volumes of water from the Victoria Nile forces its way through an approximately 7 meter wide gorge to plunge 45 meters below into a pool.

Murchison Falls National Park

This powerful water fall creates a thunderous noise with a splashing cloud of fog offering a very breathtaking view worth enjoying

For the travelers this is an amazing experience as most of then is seen taking a launch cruise at the forefront of the falls to catch the amazing scenery. Others prefer to take a hike to the top of the falls and feel the splashing fog give them a touch of freshness.

The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

This private non-profit project was established in 2005 to revive the population of the white rhino in Uganda following the intense poaching that happened during the 1990s that totally depleted this species from the Murchison Falls and Kidepo National parks where these animals previously lived. Today there are twenty two 22 southern white rhinos found at this sanctuary.

Ziwa rhino sanctuary proudly harbours a unique animal species called the white rhinos. This is the only place you can find the rhinos in Uganda after getting depleted from Murchison falls national park and kidepo national park during the massive war in the 1970s together with the rampant poaching in the 90s.

Many tourists that travel to murchison falls national park opt not to miss the sanctuary visit as it hold a unique feature “White Rhinos”.visit uganda to expereince what ziwa rhino santuary holds.

The Rich Wildlife

The diverse vegetation cover of the park which includes woodlands, savannah and riverine forests supports a great diversity of animals which can easily be seen in different safari itineraries like the 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari.

These include the Uganda Kobs, Hartebeests, lions, elephants, leopards, Rothschild giraffes, buffaloes, cheetahs, and hyenas among many others.

Birders as well the park has a diversity of species to see like the rare shoebill stork, the Goliath heron, the yellow footed fly catcher, African jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, pitta as well as the pied giant and malachite kingfisher among the over 451 species.

Things to Do in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park has got alot to offer in terms of activities that will spice up your tour to the conservattion area. Some of the activities that will not miss out on your safari to the park include Game Drives, Boat Cruise, Bird watching and nature walks.

Each activity is paid for separately and once your tour operator is booked, be sure to comfirm the activities that you want to include on your safari to Murchison falls national park. Some other special activities engaged in include hiking the top of the falls and chimpanzee tracking in budongo forest.

Many travellers are interested in the hiking process where they take a stroll from the bottom of the falls and ascend upwards to the top of the murchison falls.

It’s a thrilling experience as one feels so refreshed by the flashing waters that send off a cooling wave of water droplets. For the primate lovers, budongo forest offers chimpanzee tracking activities where travelers will engage with the primates.

Launch Trip

This 2 hour launch trip begins at Paraa and offers holidaymakers an opportunity to see wildlife. These animals include large numbers of giant crocodiles, hippos and various birds like the rare shoebill stork. This offers great photographic opportunities

Game Drives

These are conducted early morning as well as in the early evening offering you a chance to enjoy up-close views of the different animals. The Delta area, Buligi Penisular and the southern sector are the main game viewing areas.

Wildlife species are abundant in the park and are one of the main attractions that bring along a number of travelers from all over the world.

On your tour to murchison falls national park, you will be delighted to spot a number of species like lions, giraffes, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, buffaloes hyenas and many more.

Cultural Tours

Enjoy thrilling energetic cultural dances by the Mubako as you sit by a campfire, village tours to see the traditional lifestyle of the locals and the crafts shop by the Boomu Women’s Group

Chimpanzee Tracking

Within the verdant forest of budongo are some of the best Chimpanzee Tracking Tours conducted in Uganda. You will enjoy up-close encounters with these great apes.

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Enjoy an aerial view of the park’s beautiful landscape and large numbers of wildlife at day break. This ride costs between $380 and $400.

Bird Watching

With various species including Albertine Rift endemics, water birds and savanna forest birds. Birders will surely be well rewarded. Bird watching can be done during the launch cruise and game drives.

As you tour the national park you will also be able to have a glance at different bird species like the Abyssinian birds, illadopsis pulveli, the yellow footed fly catcher, pitta reichenowi, parmoptilla woodhouse, shoebill among others. It is noted that the national park has over 450 bird species.

Nature Walks & Hikes

The park offers several trails that can be explored on foot through the Rabongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests to see birds and primates

Other Places of Interest in Murchison Falls National Park

Budongo Forest

 Budongo forest is part of Murchison falls national park conservation area (MFCA). Budongo forest is a one and only natural forest that has been in existence for centuries in Uganda.

The forest is a famous destination for chimpanzee safaris and nature walks safaris in Uganda. This fame is, especially, attributed to the fact that it continues to be the only naturally grown forest in Uganda over the years and it is a home for the endangered primate species, the chimpanzees.

Budongo forest is under the watch care of the national forests association (NFA). The works and programs of conservation in budongo area are also partly shared by budongo conservation field station (BCFS).

This is a non-government organisation which works hand in hand with Makerere University to carry on the conservation projects of budongo forest also known as a conservation reserve.

Kaniyo Pabidi Forest

 Kaniyo pabidi forest is a significant area in Murchison falls national park as well as in the tourism industry of Uganda known for its bird life which supports birding safaris in Murchison falls national park.

This forest is located north east of the major natural forest in Uganda; Budongo forest. The forest is managed by Jane goodall institute of research.

It is located just in 8km distance from kichumbanyobo gate of murchison falls national park, which is a 30 minutes’ drive. From masindi town, kaniyo pabidi forest is situated in an area of about 112km from masindi town.

Rabongo Forest

 Rabongo forest of Murchison falls national park gives you the best camping Safari experience in the safest forest sites, guarded well. You can enjoy the thrilling nightfall with the sound of the forest dwellers which creates the most epic night in the wild.

The sweet melodies from the night birds plus the soothing fresh air in the forest, added to the deeming light rays dropping through the spaces in the broad tall tree canopies and much more, make the most memorable safari camping in rabongo forest.

When to Visit Murchison Falls Natonal Park

Although considered to be an all year-round destination, the best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park is in the dry season from December to mid-February, and June to July while bird watching can best be done in the wet season hen migrant birds have arrived

Where to Stay in Murchison Falls Natonal Park

Here accommodation ranges from budget lodges, mid-range lodges and luxury lodges like the Chobe Safari lodge. This great diversity offers accommodation options for all travelers irrespective of your safari budget.

The Paraa Safari Lodge and Nile Safari Lodge are among the other luxury facilities, Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge and Fort Muchison Safari Lodge are mid-range facilities.

Boomu Women’s Group Bandaas, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Yebo Safari Camp and Parkside Safari Lodge are the budget facilities. So don’t be misinformed as budget safaris in Murchison falls national park are also possible