Murchison Falls National Park Uganda
Murchison Falls National Park lies in the northwestern side of Uganda and features as the most famous safari destination due to its abundant savanna grassland wildlife species. This park covers an area of about 3840 square kilometers comprising of the Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves and this makes it is of no doubt that this park features as the largest protected area in Uganda.
Murchison Falls National Park derived its name from Murchison Falls that features among the world’s powerful waterfalls. Besides, there are several crocodiles, hippos, waterbucks, buffaloes and many others along the river banks for visitors to catch a glimpse at while on boat cruise to the top of the Nile. The park mainly comprises of savanna grasslands, woodland and the riverine forest that make up the distinct vegetation zone of the area.
This park also stretches up to the districts of Amuru and Masindi. Not only is this protected area recognized for its powerful waterfall but also as Uganda’s safari jewel. For wildlife safari enthusiasts, Murchison Falls National Park features four of the big five game that Uganda offers to the world and mainly consists of the lions, leopards, elephants and buffaloes. However, to make a complete list of the big 5 game, the park is also situated at proximity to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you can spot out the few re-introduced rhinos while in their natural habitat. The other spectacular wildlife species that are worth exploring while on Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park include the Oribis, Hartebeests, hippos, giraffes, Uganda Kobs, antelopes and for visitors who love primate adventures, Budongo Forest Reserve offers refuge to about 800 individuals of chimpanzees and other primates and several forest birdlife.
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park?
Murchison Falls National Park is accessible by road from Kampala via Masindi through Kichumbanyobo gate. To get there you will need to hire a 4wheel drive car, also a car with pop-up roof is highly recommeded for excellent game viewing and photographing. The ferry at Paraa operates on scheduled time table between the southern and northern bank of River Nile.If you are coming from Northern part of Uganda, like Kidepo National Park, you can enter Murchison Falls N.P through Tangi gate.
By air, there are charter flights to Pakuba which is located approximately 19 kilometers northwest of Paraa and Bugungu about 13 kilometers from Paraa. Aerolink Uganda operates daily flights from Entebbe International airport.
Things to Do in Murchison Falls National Park
The prime safari activities to excite you while on your vacation to Murchison Falls National Park include the following;
- Wildlife viewing
Murchison Falls National Park is popular for its diverse wildlife species that have boosted wildlife safaris for many years, and it is of no doubt that the park features as one of the leading Uganda safari destinations. Most of its wildlife species thrive around Buligi prior the sunrise in the morning and Albert and Queen’s tracks north of the River Nile. You can also picnic; catch a glimpse at elephants and many wildlife species along the grassland hillsides at Nyamusika cliffs.
Near to the park we have Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, famous for Rhino tracking and bird watching.
- Launch Cruise along the mighty Nile
Boat rides feature as the major highlight of most safaris in Murchison Falls National Park. This exciting and enjoyable activity lasts for about three (3) hours. While on boat cruise, never miss to catch a glimpse at the hippos, Nile crocodiles, buffaloes, waterbuck and many more species that wander around the river bank. You can cruise to the bottom of the falls, or to Nile delta.
- Hiking to the top of the falls
This is another rewarding adventure activity that anyone who is planning a trip to Murchison Falls National Park shouldn’t miss out. It takes you to the peak of the cliff till you come to a point where the waterfall squeezes itself in a narrow gorge and you will certainly be amazed by the powerful and vibrant sound of the falls and the permanent rainbow that forms afterwards.
- Sport fishing
Besides wildlife viewing, Murchison Falls National Park also offers visitors a chance to challenge themselves with sport fishing adventure. This tremendous adventure offers you a chance to catch the heaviest Nile perch and tiger fish and you will enjoy this water sport of lifetime. In case you are interested in this life changing adventure, you will need to book for it before the actual day of your adventure given that there are limited spots where the adventure is conducted. You are advised to come with your fishing gear.
- Nature walks
If you love nature then Murchison Falls National Park is the perfect place for you. Rabongo forest offers the best experiences for visitors on nature walk as it comes with numerous attractions that are worth exploring while on Uganda safari. You will have a chance to walk through the Kaniyo-Pabidi in Budongo Forest Reserve and the top of the Murchison Falls. Alternatively, you can engage in chimpanzee trekking adventures within Budongo forest.
Where to Stay in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park features several accommodation facilities which range from luxury to budget / basic camping. The notable lodges for your stays at the park include;
- Nile Safari Camp
- Sambiya River Lodge
- Paraa Safari Lodge
- Red Chilli Rest Camp
- Bakers Lodge
- Bwana Tembo
- Heritage safari Lodge
- Sambiya River Lodge
- Pakuba safari lodge
- Fort Murchison Lodge
In conclusion, for visitors on Uganda safari, Murchison Falls National Park is undeniably one of the most outstanding safari destinations that are worth exploring while on safari in Africa. The park features variety of attractions and activities offering wide range of options for visitors to achieve their dreams.