Murchison Falls National Park
Go beyond your imagination with unique experiences in Murchison Falls National Park and encounter the African Big Five, the majestic Murchison Falls, various wildlife and birdlife as you experience the wonder of an exceptional wonders in this great game reserve.
Murchison falls was established in 1952 as a national park and the main activity by that time was exploring the famous waterfalls, the park is Uganda’s largest and oldest national park covering an area of 3,893 square kilometers.
Murchison Falls National Park is famously known for its mighty Nile dump spectacularly into Lake Albert t, the mahoganies and ironwoods of Rabongo Forest – the stomping ground swinging chimpanzees. The dramatic landscapes and diverse array of wildlife sightings in the Uganda jungle, this expedition could only be described as a next-level adventure full of real life experiences.
Flora and Fauna in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park has diverse habitats which harbor a wide range of flora and fauna is characterized by Savannah grasslands, tropical forests, woodlands, waterfalls and the Buligu area between the Victoria Albert Nile and the delta escarpment of the great east African valley which inhabit the large numbers of animals and birds that offer thrilling and rewarding experiences.
The park boasts the “big five” of Africa with the rhinos in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary close to the park where you can encounter with the endangered rhinos. With a diversity inclusive of 87 mammals, 650 bird species and 14 reptiles inhabited by mostly the grassland and acacia savannah looking like the typical safari area. The northern area has the largest volume of animals and almost all animal viewing occurs here. The banks of River Nile hosts many water animals and birds and also attracts a lot of big game which can be observed during a boat safari on the Nile and the southern area of the park spans a big chunk of Budongo Forest which harbors many primates including Chimpanzees.
With the varied habitats in the park, variety of birds inhabit it and upto 451 species recorded including the Shoebill Stork, the Goliath Heron, elegant Grey Crowned Cranes. Along the banks of the Nile are the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silverbird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quailfinch.
Things to do in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most frequented game reserves in Uganda, the Murchison Falls that split the park into two is the major attraction alongside various activities including;
Game drives are one of the famous activities at Murchison Falls National Park, with 86 mammal species including; Buffalos, elephants, warthogs, giraffes not found in the famous queen Elizabeth, hartebeests, hippopotamus, crocodiles, Ugandan Kob, reed bucks, bush bucks, water bucks, antelopes, lions, hyenas, leopards and so much more.Game drives at Murchison falls can be done early morning, afternoon and late afternoon hours.
Murchison falls national park boasts with over 450 species of birds some of this are endemic to this area while others are migratory birds. Some of the examples of birds at Murchison falls are rare shoebill,the Goliath Heron, elegant Grey Crowned Cranes. Along the banks of the Nile are the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silverbird, Weaver Birds, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quailfinch.
Chimpanzee trekking at Murchison falls can be done at the famous Kaniyo Pabidi forest where you can have a beautiful encounter with these unique apes, while trekking chimpanzees tourists can view other primates like the black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys and over 300 species of butterflies.
Boat cruise to the “Bottom of the falls”
Launch boat cruise is one of the main tourists activities at Murchison Falls National Park, tourists can cruise to the might Murchison Falls where the Nile river dramatically forces itself in a 7 meter gorge falling down into a 45 meter rift valley escapement to form a waterfall. Tourists can disembark from their boats at the bottom and hike up the falls and enjoy scenic views.
Top of the Falls Hike
Murchison Falls is the world’s most powerful waterfall, one can take the boat safari up to the bottom of the falls and disembark and take a 45-minute hike up to the falls and be refreshed by the mist, feel the ground shake and vibrate under your feet.
There is another fall in the distance and that is Uhuru Falls which means in English – Freedom Fall which has become a favorite with visitors to the park.
Boat Ride to the Nile Delta
On this boat cruise, you will experience both the River Nile and Lake Albert . This Boat Safari is a must for Birders and for those that want to see the Shoebill Stork in the Wild.
This stretch of the River is also one of the best spots in Uganda where you can spot the shoebill stork along the banks of the rivers, wildlife, hippos, crocodiles. You will enjoy majestic views on this boat safari down the River Nile to where it drains into Lake Albert and where it is commonly referred to as the Nile Delta.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
This is the only park in Uganda where you can take a hot air balloon wildlife Safari, rise at dawn over the savannah and watch the sun rise and then glide over the park above the treetops where you can see the most wildlife from below.
Accommodation in Murchison Falls Park
Establishments in Murchison Falls National Park carter for every traveler in accordance to their preferences and how much they are willing to spend on their accommodation. Being the largest game reserve in Uganda, attracts many visitors with availability of lodges ranging from budget to midrange to 5-star luxury lodging. Some of the available lodges include;
- Paraa Safari Lodge
- Chobe Safari Lodge
- Murchison Tree House
- Murchison Safari Lodge
- Kabalega Wilderness Lodge
- Parkside Safari Lodge
- Bakers Lodge
- Nile Safari Lodge
- Amuka Safari Lodge
- Budongo Eco Lodge
- Murchison River Lodge
- Nile Safari Lodge
- Bwana Tembo Safari Camp
- Fort Murchison Lodge
- Red Chilli Rest Camp
- Ziwa Rhino Camp
How to get to Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park can be accessed from Kampala with 5-6 hours drive, standard chartered flights can also be taken from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba airstrip and Bugungu at Murchison falls.
The drive to Murchison Falls National park takes approximately 5 hours on a smooth tarmac road with a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary along the way adds to the excitement.
The park can be accessed by air as you can fly from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba airfield and connect with a driver / guide to begin your activities. Fly Uganda and Aerolink offers scheduled departures to Murchison falls National Park and there is also an option of Charter flights landing at airstrips north of the Nile at Pakuba (19 km from Paraa) and south at Bugungu (13 km from Paraa).
Best Time to visit Murchison Falls Park
The best time to go to Murchison Falls National Park for game watching is in the dry season of December to February and June to September when the animals are concentrated on the water holes in the park and the vegetation is not thick making it easy to view wildlife
Though the park can be visited all year round though some seasons are more convenient and interesting that others as you will be able to enjoy all the activities without any interference. Game viewing safaris in Uganda are best arranged for the dry season, while bird watching is best done in the rainy season.