Complete guide about Murchison falls national park in Uganda

Giraffes in Murchison falls national park

Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda


This complete guide about Murchison falls national park in Uganda will in depth give you a clear picture of the entire park, Murchison Falls National Park is 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 seats on an area of about 5072 square kilometers 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 kilometers (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 spot 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 fowl 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 Moose bird, Spotted Morning Thrush, Northern Crombec and so many anthers.

What to do in Murchison Falls National Park

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.
Hiking top of the Murchison 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.
River Nile
River Nile is Africa longest river in the world and its starts its journey from Jinja town flowing. River Nile bisecting the park into two the north and south sector the Nile flows from east to south and is home to many aquatic birds, the giant Nile crocodiles and the hippopotamuses. Source of the Nile a boat ride along the Nile to the foot of Murchison Falls is a rewarding experience for nature lovers, as the northern bank teems with a variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Guided nature walks along both the north and south banks are another refreshing activity, and sport fishing is also possible here.
Nile – Lake Albert Delta
Lake Albert Delta is calm stretch of water, where the tranquil Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert, is a key area for bird watchers. Its papyrus-lined banks are bursting with bird life, including Goliath Herons, Great Egrets, and African Fish Eagles. The most sought-after species here is the rare Shoe bill.
Buligi Game Tracks
Lions in Murchison Falls National Park
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 savannah grassland, woodland, acacia, and riverine vegetation and such animals including warthogs bush bucks, elephants, lions, giraffes, Rothschild’s, 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.
Paraa
Paraa is the starting point for boat trip to the falls and the Delta and the sites of the Vehicle ferry cross. The word Paraa comes from the local Luo language meaning, “home of hippos,” and this is where all the park’s access roads converge as the northern and southern banks are connected by a passenger ferry. A number of hotels and safari lodges are located nearby. There is also a museum and gift shop, which can be found on the northern bank. It also happens to be where most of the game drives launch trips and nature walks take place.
Karuma Falls
Visit Karuma Falls Karuma Falls is found in the north eastern side of Murchison Falls National Park in the Chobe region. It is a great location for sport fishing in Murchison Falls. Karuma Falls is one of the most stunning attractions while visiting the Murchison falls National Park, The Karuma Falls comprise of a sequence of natural good locking rock formations all the way at the base of the Victoria Nile, within this place, and these result into the waters of the great River Nile to ripple, offering the Nile an appearance of stunning white foam. The falls are situated at the place where the main road of Masindi-Gulu crosses the great river Nile, about 110 km northeast of the town of Masindi and only 70 km south of the town of Gulu. The name Karuma was derived from a local word to mean “great spirit” the locals believe that a strong spirit positioned the rocks and the water to flow. The best accommodation in this area is Chobe Safari Lodge.
Fishing in Murchison falls national park
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.
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest
Kaniyo Pabidi Forest is located in the south of Murchison falls conservation area and is home to habituation chimp group that can be trucked with experienced guides and is also home to black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and olive baboon troops. Other wildlife that visits include elephants, buffaloes, lions, and leopards. Kaniyo Pabidi Forest is also a place of paradise for bird watchers including the chocolate-backed kingfisher, white thighed horn bill and Puvel’s illadopsis, which cannot be found anywhere else in East Africa. Kaniyo Pabidi has a campsite, cottage accommodation, forest walks, and excellent bird watching.
Rabongo Forest
Rabongo Forest Murchison Falls National Park Uganda Safari takes beneath the jutting Murchison stone ledge, we drive through the Savannah plains for one and half hours from the lodge in the Park to the place that was marked and explored by the great explorers John Speke and James Grant. Tree Species in Rabongo Forest Surrounded by savannah and covering just 4km2, Rabongo Forest is considered a birding paradise, mostly owing to the diversity of endangered species found here. Rabongo is ideal for educational tours as it provides opportunities to identify animals, birds, medicinal plants, and trees. For relaxation, visitors can camp and enjoy picnics by the Wairingo River.
Budongo Forest Ecotourism
Budongo forest ecotourism
Budongo Forest is one of the key areas that lie southwest of Murchison Falls Conservation Area bordering Murchison falls with a link to the community, which is contiguous with the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, known for chimpanzee tracking. The forest – Budongo is overwhelmingly bio-diverse, with 24 species of mammals, over 360 birds, 289 butterflies, and 465 plants. All the forest’s tree species are on display along the “Royal Mile,” a beautiful stretch of road highly regarded for its bird watching. Budongo is also known for its primate population, which includes around 800 chimpanzees. Forest walks are possible at the Busingiro Ecotourism Site on the Masindi – Bugungu route to Murchison Falls National Park.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Murchison falls national park
Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest
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 do 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 in Murchison falls national park Uganda
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.
Night Walks in Murchison falls national park Uganda
The guided night walk will introduce to you night sounds and sensations you did not know existed! This is an experience you cannot exclude from your activities on the sanctuary. There are many nocturnal animals and who knows what you might bump into. Recommended times: 20H30 to 23H00. How much time you need: Approximately 2½ hours. What you need: Closed shoes, water, long pants, insect repellent and a flashlight
Game Drives in Murchison falls national park
The park is also composed of woodland, wetland, savannah as well as the tropical forest that is well known to be a habitat for different bird species and mammals. Among the mammals, many can be spotted including the lions, hippopotamuses, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda Kob, 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 in Murchison falls national park
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.
Boat Cruise in Murchison falls national park
Boat cruise in Murchison Falls National Park
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 3 hours. Cruise from Paraa to River Delta is 28km and takes about 4-5 hours. 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.
Birding watching in Murchison falls national park
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: Verraux’s owls, Night jars such as long tailed and Pennant-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, Grey Crowned crane, Goliath Heron and more

Culture Encounter in Murchison falls national park in Uganda

Culture trip takes you to Mubako perform around lodge camp-fire making for magical African experience at dusk Boomu women’s group offers accommodation, a craft shop and village tours revealing the realities of the life in this rural community.

Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda

Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park, being Uganda’s premier wildlife paradise, is visited frequently each year by international and local travelers. Accommodation include as Paraa Safari Lodge, Bakers Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge and Nile Safari Lodge, Amuka Safari Lodge,Bwana Tembo Safari, Camp Fort Murchison Lodge, Heritage Safari Lodge, Kabalega Wilderness Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, New Court View Hotel and Red Chili, Rest Camp, Shoebill Campsite, New Court View Hotel, Budongo Eco Lodge, Global Village Guest, House Masindi Hotel, Ziwa Rhino Camp and Yebo Safari Camp.

Accessing Murchison falls national park in Uganda by road

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 in Uganda, the Park main tourism hub where vehicle ferry crossing the river at roughly intervals throught the day. The journey to Murchison falls takes you around 5 hours to 6 from Kampala capital of Uganda with about 305 km. Paraa covers a distance of about 85km from Masindi town by the shortest route.

Gates of Murchison falls National Park

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 Murchison falls National Park in Uganda, the Park main tourism hub where vehicle ferry crossing the river at hourly intervals through the day. The journey to Murchison falls takes you around 5 hours to 6 from Kampala capital of Uganda with about 305 km. Paraa covers a distance of about 85km from Masindi town by the shortest route.
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Chobe gate
Chobe gate is located in the northern sector of the park accessible from Paraa and Karuma falls, it’s also near Pakwach and just about 2 kilometers north of Karuma Bridge.
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Wankar gate
Wankar gate is also in the northern sector near Purongo just about 10 kilometers off the main road.
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Tangi gate
Tangi gate is situated in the past region of Murchison falls national park, people going through Paraa will cross the Nile with a vehicle ferry working throughout the day. Tangi gate is 110 kilometers from Kara Bridge.
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Mubako gate
This gate can be accessed by crossing the Nile River from the Karuma falls bridge along Kampala Pakwach road.
Southern Sector
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Kichumbayobo gate
Kichumbayobo gate can be accessed through Kaniyo Pabidi forest from Masindi town which is about 85 kilometers
Murchison falls national park in Uganda Bugungu gate
This gate can be accessed through Budongo forest giving you striking views of the Great Rift Valley, ranging Congo Mountains and the splendid Lake Albert. The gate is about 135 kilometers from Masindi town though it’s a longer route, but it’s the most magical with scenic views.

Accessing Murchison falls national park in Uganda by Air

Pakuba Airfield is located in Nwoya District of north-west of Uganda serving Pakuba and Murchison Falls National Park. Pakuba Airfield is about 275 kilometers by air from Entebbe International Airport of about 1 hour which is 19 kilometers by road south of Pakwach and 95 kilometers Northwest of Masindi town.
Chobe airstrip is located in North western Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park around Chobe safari lodge and is private and owned by Chobe safari Lodge. Chobe Airfield is about 2735 kilometers by air from Entebbe International Airport of about 1 hour where Air Port shuttles are arranged for Chobe safari lodge visitors and it’s for those who are looking for a luxurious experience.
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 kilometers (162 mi), by air, and 333 kilometers (207 mi).

MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK ROUTE MAP