Murchison Falls National Park is the Uganda’s largest National Park located in North west of Uganda, spreading inland from the shores of Lake Albert, around the Victoria Nile up to the Karuma Falls. Murchison Falls National Park sites on an area of a bout 5072 square kilometres that combined with the contiguous Karuma and Bugungu wildlife reserves that straddles the Ugandan districts of Bulisa, Nwoya, Kiryandongo, and Masindi. Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for a distance of about 115 kilometres (71 miles)where the waters of the Nile flow through a narrow gorge only 7 metres (23 feet) wide before plunging 43 metres (141 feet). this 45m plunge drains the largest the last of the river’s energy transforming the torrent into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor towards Lake Albert, and it also on the location of largest power station known as Karuma power station of about 600 megawatt
Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls Conservation Area and the adjacent Budongo Forest Reserve have 76 species of mammals as well as Uganda’s largest population of Nile crocodiles with the big five animals include lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo with other so many wild animals where some are mostly spots on riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos and Nile crocodiles which offers you the most amazing experience to see while on boat cruise.
Bird life in Murchison falls
Murchison Falls National Park is in third position of the Uganda’s National Park for bird life with about 450 bird species are present, including a variety of water foowl such as the rare shoe-billed stork, Budongo’s 59 “restricted range” species, dwarf kingfisher, Goliath heron, white – thighed horn bill, and great blue turaco, Saddle-billed Stork, Sacred Ibis, Spur-winger Geese, Black Crake, Grey-crowned Crane, Blue-naped Moosebird, Spotted Morning Thrush, Nothern Crombec and so many anthers.
What to do
Murchison Falls National Park has diverse of activities, the scenery beautiful, and the wildlife which are amazing to see the big five animals include lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo with other so many wild animals.
Budongo Forest is an excellent spot to track chimpanzees while visiting Murchison Falls Park. The success rate in seeing Chimpanzees is quite high here and only outdone by Kibale Forest.There are morning and afternoon chimpanzee tracking times and for those visiting Murchison Falls National Park this can be done on the way to or from Murchison Falls National Park adding another activity to your safari there.The ideal plan would be to stay overnight and also does a forest walk while at Budongo Forest. Do not forget that you can add on Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you track Rhinos on foot on your return trip to Kampala.
Guided Nature Walks
Guided nature walks in Kaniyo Pabidi can be taken here through woodland and savannah terrain. Unknown to most visitors wildlife can be seen here on Nature walks and Hikes since Budongo Forest is part of the Murchison Falls Wildlife Reserve and animals enter the park, some to live here, others visit and return to their regular habitat.You can spot wildlife licking salt in in the forest clearings. Large mammals also wander into this part of park such as Elephants, Lions, Buffaloes and Leopards. A guided nature walk does not endanger you in any way, no one has ever been hurt here and you are with armed rangers.
Hiking top of the Falls
Hiking top of the Murchison Falls starts from the bottom and it takes you through the long hike of about 45 to 1 hour which is life changing experience, the falls is characterized by an eternal struggle between rock and water. The waters violently compress through a narrow gorge, spraying misty droplets along their wake over a 50m radius, creating a permanent rainbow over the battlefield, while maintaining a continuous roar. From Baker Point on the southern side, you can also view the Nile splitting into the smaller Uhuru Falls, created in 1962 when the river burst its banks.
Buligi Game Tracks
Buligi Game Tracks stretching between the Victoria and Albert Nile making Murchison Falls the most popular safari destination in Uganda. At around 120-170km in length, they pass through open savanna grassland, woodland, acacia, and riverine vegetation and such animals including warthogs bush bucks, elephants, lions, giraffes, rothchilds, bush bucks, Buffalos, leopards, hyenas and many more and the most fantastic way of viewing this bird life is by taking a hot air ballooning safari, this will expose you many wildlife at the Nile Plains alongside being monitored by theirs predators. Most of the park’s game can be viewed here, especially during early morning and early evening tours.
The park is also composed of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as the tropical forest that is well known to be a habitant for different bird species and mammals. Among the mammals, many can be spotted including the lions, hippopotamuses, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda Kobs, Jackson’s – hartebeest and elephants. Game drives take place early in the morning and a tourist is able to see plenty of game. At Nyamsika Cliffs is where one can enjoy a picnic, the view and gaze at elephants and other wildlife on the green grassy hillsides and river below. Game drives are exquisite when accompanied by a tour guide. The best time for game drive is during the dry season.
Night game drive
The night game drive in Murchison falls gives you an opportunity to see traditionally nocturnal animals like the leopard, hyena, hippo, porcupine, genets, civets, bush babies, various reptiles, owls and night jars. At Nyamsika Cliffs is where one can enjoy scenery the view and gaze at elephants and other wildlife on the green grassy hillsides and river below.
The Launch trip begins at Paraa landing area at the point where River Nile enters into Lake Albert and takes you to the bottom of the falls. While on the cruise you will sight hippos, water bucks, crocodiles, buffaloes and elephants. You will also see water birds such as cormorants, Fish eagles, ducks, Kingfishers, bee-eaters and the shoe bill. The cruise is between 9am and 2pm daily however exceptional schedules can be arranged with the park management.Cruise takes you for 17Km from the bottom of the falls at Paraa for 3hours. Cruise from Paraa to River Delta is 28km and takes about 4-5hours. Fishing is available in the river above and below the fall. Do bring your own fishing equipment if you’re interested in finishing. Examples of fish available in the river to catch are Nile perch, tiger fish and more
Fishing is available in the river above and below the fall. A visitor comes with your own fishing equipment if you’re interested in finishing. Examples of fish available in the river to catch are Nile perch, tiger fish and more.
Budongo Forest is one of the top areas in Uganda for those interested in birding safaris. Birders will find Budongo literally a paradise with its 360 plus species of birds. Bird Species commonly seen between Paraa Rest Camp and Ferry crossing are; Spotted Mourning Thrush, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Silver Bird, Bluff-bellied Warbler, Blue-napped Mouse bird, Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Black-headed Gonolek, Green-winged Ptyilia, and Black-headed Batis, this is the best site for the localized White-rumped Seed-eater.Common Nocturnal Species in the area include: Verreaux’s owls, Night jars such as long tailed and Pennat-winged night jar which usually is watched between the months of March – September. Also available is the amazing standard-winged night jar watched from November to February. Other bird species include: African Skimmer, White African fish eagle, long-toed plover, Gray Crowned crane, Goliath Heron and more
Where to stay
Murchison Falls National Park, being Uganda’s premier wildlife paradise, is visited frequently each year by international and local travellers. Accommodation include as Paraa Safari Lodge-luxury, Bakers Lodge- luxury ,Chobe Safari Lodge-luxury and Nile Safari Lodge-luxury, Amuka Safari Lodge-midrange,Bwana Tembo Safari-midrange, Camp Fort Murchison Lodge-midrange, Heritage Safari Lodge-midrange, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge-midrange, Murchison River Lodge-midrange, New Court View Hotel-midrange Parkside Safari Lodge-midrange and Red Chili- budget, Rest Camp-budget, Shoebill Campsite-budget, New Court View Hotel-budget, Budongo Eco Lodge-budget, Global Village Guest-budget, House Masindi Hotel-budget, Ziwa Rhino Camp-budget and Yebo Safari Camp-budget.
How to get there
Murchison falls National Park is the country’s largest national Park and is situated in the north Western part of Uganda, number of roads can be used to reach the Murchison falls National Park, the Park main tourism hub where vehicle ferry crossing the river at roughly intervals throughout the day. The journey to Murchison falls takes you around 5hours to 6 from Kampala capital of Uganda with about 305 km. Paara covers a distance of about 85 km from Masindi town by the shortest route.
Murchison Falls National Park is accessible through using air crafts and their is daily flights to Murchison falls National Park, the Park host three air fields such has Pakuba Airfield located in Nwoya District of north -west of Uganda serving Pakuba and Murchison Falls National Park which is about 275 kilometres by air from Entebbe International Airport of about 1 hour flight. Chobe airstrip situated in North western Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park around Chobe safari lodge and is private and owned by Chobe safari Lodge with about 2735 kilometres by air from Entebbe International Airport of about 1 hour flight. And Bugungu airstrip is a domestic airstrip located in Murchison falls National Park in the north western part of Uganda just at the southern sector of Murchison falls National Park with approximately 260 kilometres.