Welcome to Uganda’s largest conservation area and also the country’s great wildlife safari destination. When you visit Murchison Falls National Park you will never forget the sight of world’s strongest waterfalls created by the Nile as it winds through the park’s palm dotted savannah, woodlands, swamps and forests. The park is named after the mighty “Murchison Falls”- claimed to be the world’s strongest waterfall.
The Murchison Falls National park established in 1926 as a game reserve covers an area of 3893 sq km and is situated in the north western part of Uganda about 5 hours drive from Kampala city.
Murchison Falls National Park encompasses different habitats including Nile-Albert delta swamps, palm dotted savannah, grasslands, woodlands, tropical forests and river Nile.
The River Nile, which is without doubt the longest and most beautiful rivers in the world, bisects the park into northern and southern part where it forms the spectacular Murchison waterfalls.
The park supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife including 79 different species of mammals and about 451 species of birds.
Park at a Glance
The famous Murchison Falls National Park became one of Uganda’s first national parks in 1952
At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow
The northern section of the park contains savanna and borassus palms, acacia trees and riverine woodland. The south is dominated by woodland and forest patches
The 1951 film “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart was filmed on Lake Albert and the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. First gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, it is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds.
The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centerpiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the last of the river’s energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows quietly across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This stretch of river provides one of Uganda’s most remarkable wildlife spectacles. Regular visitors to the riverbanks include elephants, giraffes and buffaloes; while hippos, Nile crocodiles and aquatic birds are permanent residents.
Notable visitors to the park include Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and several British royals.
The park is also home to Murchison Falls, probably the strongest waterfalls in Africa. The waterfalls can be seen with a hike to the top of the falls walk and a boat cruise takes you to the bottom of the falls. Nile squeezes through an 8 meter gorge to create a permanent rain bow and thunder-like roar.
Things to Do in Murchison Falls National Park
The River Nile launch trips in Murchison Falls waterfalls
River Nile makes game viewing in Murchison Falls National park a unique experience. Boat trips take you into River Nile starting at the park’s tourism hub, Paara. The launch trips on the Nile starts at Para and are the best way to see thousands of hippos, reptiles including Nile crocodiles. The Nile is particularly photogenic spot in Murchison falls with the bottom of the falls, herds of elephants and buffaloes that come to drink along the shores, colorful birds.
A launch trip which takes 3 hours with snacks and drinks onboard offers front views of Murchison Falls as well photographing hippos, crocodiles, water birds and animals along the banks of River Nile.
Along with the wildlife, the Murchison waterfalls are a must visit attraction while in Murchison Falls National Park. The waterfalls are created by the Nile as it plunges over 45 meters rift valley to form what’s known as the devils cauldron beneath. Visitors can view the falls from the boat cruise or hiking to the cliff on the top of the falls. Standing on top of the falls Murchison Waterfalls offers amazing photographic opportunities. The images of the trade mark rainbow mist and placid stretches of the Nile captured here are famous all over the world.
Hot Air Baloon
Murchison falls offers many wildlife adventure activities including hot air balloon safari rides. With hot air balloon safari is simply breathtaking you will experience the scenic beauty of the Murchison falls lush savannah, the Nile waters, swamps and the waterfalls. The balloon safari lasts for 3 hours and includes a champagne and breakfast in the bush.
Sport fishing is also available. Anglers need to bring your own fishing equipment as well as obtain a permit from Uganda wildlife Authority. The Nile waters contain Nile perch and the biggest catch on record weighed up to 80 kg.
Enjoy the traditional African cultural dance experience at Boomu women’s center and explore the rural village and buy some unique souvenirs.
How To Get There
Murchison falls national park is easily accessible by 4-5 hours drive from Kampala city. Travelling by road 4 *4 safari vehicle is required. Although you can get there quickly by charter plane taking less than an hour.