Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is a scenic safari destination in Uganda and is home to Murchison Falls, the most powerful waterfall in the world, after which the park is named. The park is located in the northwest region of Uganda, about 90 kilometers from the nearest town of Masindi. Murchison Falls Park is the largest national park in Uganda, covering an area of 3,040 square kilometers.
It consists of Bungugu Wildlife Sanctuary, Karuma Wildlife Sanctuary, and the park itself. Murchison Falls is the main tourist attraction in the Murchison Falls National Park. The spectacular Murchison Falls is formed when the Nile, the longest river in the world, from a narrow 7-meter-long canyon squeezes into the devil’s cauldron and forms a very beautiful rainbow. The river explodes violently from a narrow crack in the rock of the valley
Located at the northern end of the Albertine Nile Rift Valley, the park offers stunning views of the plains and forests and the Victoria Nile as it flows into Lake Albert. The Alberta Nile Corridor is the lowest zone in the delta at 612 MSL above sea level. Enjoy stunning views of the Nile squeezed through the gorge on an Uganda safari in Murchison Falls and a boat trip on the Victoria Nile.
Safari Attractions in Murchison Falls National Park.
The park is an excellent habitat for wildlife and is home to 76 species of mammals including 4 of the 5 mammal species including lions, elephants, buffaloes, and leopards. Other animals that inhabit the savannah plains of the park include giraffes, Ugandan copper, bushbucks, Jackson’s antelopes, Oribi, waterbucks, warthogs, and several species of ducks that live in the Kanyopabidi and Boudongo forests. The long species are baboons, patas, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, and black and white colobus monkeys.
Murchison Falls National Park is one of Uganda’s Important Birding Areas (IBA) and is ideal for bird watching in Uganda. The park is home to more than 450 species of birds, including waterfowl found in the Nile corridor, such as the rare stork. Other birds found in Murchison Falls National Park include Goliath Heron, African Whale, Graceful Gray Crown Crane, Blue-headed Coucal, White-rayed Sparrow Weaver, Swamp Flycatcher, Red-throated Bee-eater, Squacco Heron, Silverbirds, African Water Pheasant, Piapiac, Sand Duck, Eastern Gray Plantain, Denham Bustard, Weaver Bird, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Peacock Stingray and Black bill, etc.
Uganda Safari Activities in Murchison Falls National Park
Game drives in the park usually last for 4 hours and you will see many animals like waterbuck, lion, buffalo, elephant, bushbuck, warthog, giraffe, Ugandan copper, oribis, antelope, etc.
Nile Launch Cruise
Nile Launch Cruise/Nile Cruise is a breathtaking Ugandan safari experience in Murchison Falls National Park, starting at Pala and ending at the foot of Murchison Falls. Nile launch cruises depart daily at 09:00 and 14:00 and can be arranged by special arrangement. The launch cruise is a 17km trip from Paracas to the base of the falls and takes about 3 hours round trip and there is another 28km cruise from Para to Delta which takes about 4-5 hours round trip.
Starting Nile Cruises at Murchison Falls National Park offers a wonderful view of Murchison Falls, which is home to crocodiles, buffaloes, antelopes, elephants, and many birds such as eagles, kingfishers, ducks, bee-eaters, herons, cormorants, rare cormorants. and more.
Chimpanzee tracking in the park takes place at Kaniyo Pabidi on the park boundary, which is part of the Budongo Forest and is home to a variety of primates including baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and other birds.
Chimpanzee tracking starts with an early briefing at park headquarters and then goes into the forest to find chimpanzees. After finding the chimpanzee, stay in front of the chimpanzee for 1 hour, taking pictures and observing the chimpanzee’s behavior.
Sport fishing in the park takes place on the Nile, and this family-friendly experience offers the chance to catch a variety of fish in the river’s waters, such as Nile perch, mudfish, and more. Sport fishing in Murchison Falls National Park requires a fishing license and visitors to the Uganda Sport Fishing Safari are encouraged to bring their fishing equipment.
A paradise for bird watchers, the park is listed as one of Uganda’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) and a great place to go on a bird safari in Uganda. The park is home to more than 450 species of birds that you can admire during your birding experience, including the graceful gray crane, blue-headed sloth, white-breasted sparrow weaver, marsh flycatcher, red-necked bee, Squacco-heron, silver bird, African water pheasant, Piapiac, sandpaper, eastern gray Plantain, Denham Bustard, Weaver Bird, Abyssinian Hornbill, Malachite Stingfish, etc.
Nature, Hiking, and Forest Trips
Nature and Forest Walks in Murchison Falls National Park are highly adventurous activities that take place on the Canillo Pabidi Plains, Labongo Forest, and within the park itself. Nature walks in the park take place on various trails through the forest, during the walk you can see many forest creatures such as chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and many birds such as weavers, Abyssinian hornbills, red-throated monkeys.
Bee-eater etc. Hike through the park to the top of Murchison Falls, an exciting and adventurous activity that includes a boat ride from Pala to the Devil’s Cauldron, followed by a hike through lush green vegetation to the top of the falls. At the top of the waterfall, with the sound of thunder, you can see how the Nile flows through the 7-meter-long gorge. The hike to the top of the falls takes about 4.5 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on one’s strength.
The Park Walk is a cultural tour that takes you to local communities outside the park. This activity is ideal for people who need to experience local traditions, customs, and daily life. During your community walk, you’ll take a scenic village tour where you’ll meet local people, take part in agricultural experiences such as digging a farm, visit a Boom women’s group for basket weaving, and cooking, and a local school and market center.
Where to stay in Murchison Falls National Park?
Murchison Falls National Park has several safari lodges, tented camps, and hotels that offer accommodation and other necessary services and facilities for visitors to the Uganda Safari Park. Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park is categorized as a luxury, mid-range, and budget accommodation. Accommodation options in the park include Sambiya River Lodge, Parra safari Lodge, Nile safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Baker’s Lodge, Fort Murchison, Pakuba safari lodge, and others.
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park?
Murchison Falls National Park is an accessible Ugandan safari destination and visitors have two modes of transport to reach the park by air or land. Both options will take you to the park to enjoy the Uganda safari.
By road, you can go by public or private car to Murchison Falls National Park, the journey is 5-6 hours, 260 km from Kampala city to Mahinda city, 85 km drive from Mahinda city to the park Main entrance Kachumbanyabo Gate, the route goes through Kaniyo Pabidi – forest on the southern part of Paraa Park.
There are charter flights to the park from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airport to the 3 airfields that serve the park, namely Pakuba, Bugungu, and Chobe airfields.