Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best Uganda safari destination found the in the Great Murchison Conservation Area together with Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves. Murchison Falls National park is the oldest national park in Uganda gazetted in 1952, the park is the largest national park in Uganda measuring 3,840 square kilometers.

Murchison Falls National Park is a top Africa Safari destination (Savanna Park) excellent for game viewing while The Kaniyo Pabidi is great for chimpanzee trekking.

 Murchison Falls National Park is located in the northern region of the Albertine Rift Valley, this is the area where the vast Bunyoro escarpment joins together into the extensive Acholi plains. The park straddles in the Uganda districts of Buliisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo and Masindi, spreading inland from Lake Albert’s shores around the Victoria Nile, up to the Masindi – Gulu Highway, the Karuma Falls and the 600 mgawatts Karuma Power staion which I the largest power station in Uganda.

Murchison FALLS National Park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from East to West for about 115 kilometers, the river squeezes through an 8 –meter wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the devil’s cauldron to form Murchison Falls – the most powerful falls in the world. The falls form a residual water stray that includes a beautiful rainbow, from here the river continues westward into the stunning Lake Albert.

Murchison Falls National park contains riverine woodland, wetland, savannah, tropical forest, Borassus palms, and acacia trees. The park is hosts 76 mammals and 451 bird species, there are four of the African Big Five animals and the extensive bird collection include a collection of water birds such as the rare shoebill stork.

Murchison Falls National Park has received many notable visitors including Sir Samuel Baker and his wife, Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Kanye West, and his wife Kim Kardashian among others.

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls is a remarkable attraction of Murchison Falls national park and it is from which the park gets its name, the falls are formed on the Nile which bisects the park into two for about 100 kilometers and it flows in the northwest then the southwest direction of Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert.

Murchison Falls is the most powerful waterfall in the world formed as the water squeezes into a narrow gorge of 6 meters wide, dropping down 45 meters to the rift valley escarpment in the devil’s cauldron and then the river continues its journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

Murchison Falls flows with a thunderous roar with a force which makes the surrounding to tremble, there is also a permanent rainbow around the waterfalls.

Murchison Falls National Park’s Scenery

Murchison Falls National park encompasses of varied scenery and vast landscapes ranging from savannah plains, the swamps, the forests, unique wildlife, rich culture and the eye – catching magnificent falls on the Victoria Nile.

The very scenic Victoria Nile bisects the park, a boat trip on the Victoria Nile water takes you to the base of Murchison Falls where you can see the Nile squeezing through a narrow gorge before plunging into the “evil’s Cauldron”.

North of the river is a savannah habitat dominated by grassland dotted with Borassus palms. South of the river, the habitat changes to woodland with forest patches. Plant species in Murchison Falls National Park include whistling acacia and sausage trees.

Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park hosts 75 species of mammals as well as Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles, the park hosts four of the big five – only rhino is absent. Animal species in the park include crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Jackson’s heartbeats, waterbucks, warthogs, oribis, Uganda kob, grey duiker in Murchison’s Falls, and chimpanzees in Budongo forest.

The Victoria Nile teems with crocodiles and hippos

There are also primates dwelling in the Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo Forests and these include olive baboons, blue and red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus.

Birdlife in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is a habitant to over 451 bird species and these include Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, African Darter, African Fish Eagle, African Jacana, African Quail-Finch, African Skimmer, Bar-breasted Firefinch, Beautiful Sunbird, Black Crake, Black Scimitarbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-billed Wood-Dove, Black-faced Waxbill, Black-headed Batis, Black-headed Gondola, Black-headed Gonolek, Black-headed Plover, Black-lored Babbler, Blue-headed Coucal, Blue-naped Moosebird, Bluff-bellied Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow Weaver, Dark Chanting-Goshawk, Denham’s Bustard, Double-toothed Barbet, Eastern Grey Plantain-Eater, Fawn-breasted Waxbill, Giant Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, Gray Crowned crane, Green-winged Ptyilia, Grey Crowned Cranes, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Hugli’s Francolin, Long Tailed Nightjar, Long-toed Plover, Malachite Kingfisher, Martial Eagle, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Nothern Crombec, Osprey, Pel’s Fishing Owl among others.

Things to do in Murchison Falls National Park

Wildlife Game Drives

Game drives are the highlight Uganda safari activity to do in Murchison Falls National Park, this amazing and memorable activity is done on several trails running through the savannah plains of the park with a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger on board who will give you more information about the park and the animals.

Game drives are done as morning, afternoon and night game drives and last about 3 hours, some of the animals you will be able to see include leopards, Rothschild giraffes, lions, Uganda kobs, warthogs, hippos, buffaloes among others.

Nile River Boat Cruise and Nile Delta Boat Ride

Boat cruise/launch in Murchison Falls National Park is a great way to explore Murchison Falls, there are two boat cruises offered in Murchison Falls National Park and these are Nile River Boat Cruise and Nile Delta Boat Ride.

Nile River Boat Cruise – takes you up to the falls (bottom of the falls), at this point you will see the Nile River squeezing through the narrow gorge to form the thunderous Murchison Falls from below. At this point you can take magnificent pictures and videos of the falls, you also get to spot many animals such as elephants, buffaloes, antelopes along the river banks and Nile crocodiles and hippos in the waters and water birds such as herons, cormorants among others.

Nile Delta Boat Ride – takes you down the Nile to the Nile delta where the Nile River merges into Lake Albert, during the boat ride you will spot many water birds and animals such as hippos and crocodiles.

Hiking to the Top of the Falls

Hiking to the top of Murchison Falls the world’s most powerful waterfall is an extra-ordinary experience, the hike takes about 45 minutes from the boat at the bottom of the falls. This guided hike is part of the famed Baker Trail named after Samuel and Florence Baker, on this hike you will spot Murchison Falls as the river squeezes through the gorge from the top.

Expect to get wet from the mist left behind by the splashes.

Hot Air Balloon

In the whole of Uganda, Hot air balloon can only be done in Murchison Falls National park. Hot air balloon offers you an opportunity to explore the savanna plains of the park and enjoy views of Murchison Falls from above the sky in eye’s view.

This one of a kind experience is done twice a day that is early in the morning like at 5:00 am purposely to catch the sunrise and in the evening to catch the sunset.  After the ride which last about one hour, you are treated to a champagne Bush Breakfast.

Sport fishing

Murchison Fall National Park is one of the few Uganda destinations where spot fishing is allowed, the most common fish caught during this experience is Nile Perch. Travelers are advised to bring their fishing equipments and need to have a fishing permit.

Bird watching

Murchison Falls National Park is among the best birding spots in Uganda with over 451 bird species including Albertine rift endemic birds, water birds and savannah birds.

Bird watching in Murchison Falls National Park provides you with an opportunity to see many birds including  Gray crowned crane(Uganda’s National bird), Giant Kingfisher, Giant Heron, Shoebill stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, Nightjars, Marabou stork, Black headed lapwing, Back-bellied Bustard among others.


Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park

There are a variety of accommodation facilities including lodges, campsites and hotels, these accommodations include

  • Nile safari lodge
  • Paraa safari lodge
  • Red Chill Rest camp
  • Sambiya River Lodge
  • Pakuba Safari Lodge
  • Murchison River Lodge
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