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Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park - Uganda Wildlife Tours

Murchison is located in the north western part of Uganda; it straddles four districts in Uganda that include Buliisa, Nwoya, Masindi and Kiryandongo.

Masindi is the nearest large town, it’s about 72 km to the Kibanda area of the Park. By road, Murchison is about 283 kilometers North West of Kampala.

Murchison Falls National Park still stands the largest amongst Uganda’s top ten National Parks. This is backed by its total area covered, approximated to 3898 square kilometers.

From East to west, Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the Victoria Nile for a distance of 115 km. This park is renowned for its great falls that cascades with great forces into a narrow gorge.

Historically, John Speke and James grant were the first to visit Murchison Falls Conservation area in 1862. Later Samuel and Florence Baker joined the trail and explore it from 1863 to 1864. Its naming was after a geologist “Roderick Murchison”.

Part of the park’s areas totaling to 13000 square kilometers were inhabited by locals but the outbreak of sleeping sickness between the years of 1907 and 1912 forced all human beings to vacate the place.

After the establishment of the National Parks Act of Uganda, this conservation area was declared as Murchison Falls National Park.


How to get there

Murchison can be reached by two options from Kampala – You either go by road or feel comfort in the privately arranged charters.

By Road, Kampala – Masindi – Gulu high way is the best route to follow; it takes about 7-8 hours to drive from Kampala to the Park depending on the speed used and en route stop over on the journey.

If you are interested in the Rhinoceros, don’t forget to remember your driver guide for a stopover in Nakasongola up to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

After the one hour session, you can both have lunch in the Zziwa or Masindi town and later continue with the journey to Murchison Falls National Park.

Rather than Kampala, you can connect to Murchison from Kibale Forest National Park, Kidepo Valley or Queen Elizabeth National Park.

By Air – Private charters are arranged from Kajjansi airstrip up to Pakuba airstrip in Murchison. With this, there is no option of stopping over in Nakasongola for the Rhinoceros, keep it noted.

Top Activities done in the Park

Chimpanzee Tracking.

Chimp tracking is all about meeting with the Chimpanzee Primates in the Jungles for interaction, sometime approximated to one hour is allowed to be in the presence of these primates while seeing them feeding, playing and more.

During the tracking, travelers pass through hill hugging trails in the Jungles getting exposed to different Wildlife species, plant life. Distance moved and time taken in the jungle depends on where these creatures spent their last night.

While in Murchison, this rewarding activity is only done in Budongo forest reserve at a cost of $90 USD per person.

Game Drives.

One of the best ways to take in several spectacular views of different Wild animals, rolling hills, Savannah, along with sunset or sunrise.

You can easily arrive to this by use of a suitable 4×4 wheel Safari jeep with pop up roof. Drives are done following permanent trails at a low speed such that clients are able to take a lot of photos and admire the scenic views.

You can do a day or night game drive. Morning game drive is recommended to catch the early risers or evening when there are gaining accesses to their habitats for a night stay. Then a night one is perfect to behold the nocturnal species. Day game drive costs $20 USD and night game drive costs $100 USD

Boat Cruise.

Boat cruise at Murchison Falls starts from the top of the falls to the bottom; it exposes travelers to numerous aquatic species including the Wild animals like elephants which draw near the banks in need of some water.

Other species on sight include Hippopotamus, crocodiles and water bird species. It costs $30 USD per person.


Bird Watching.

Murchison Falls National Park is referred to as a paradise for bird watching for many reasons; one of them is the huge numbers of bird species including the unique ones.

Budongo Forest reserve part of Murchison thrives with its different species. The best time to encounter ever-alluring sights is either in the morning or evening time. It costs $30 USD per person.

Other activities done but not popular in the Park include White water rafting at a cost of $50 USD, along with a hike up to the top of the falls at a cost of $15 USD per person.

Accommodation in the Park.

From budget, mid-range to luxury accommodation facilities, Murchison Falls National Park has all classes of lodging facilities reserved for tourists to stay.

These lodges are scattered in different regions of the Park, some within the park and others outside but just near the suburbs of the Park.

Some of the best recommended include Paraa Safari Lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, Budongo Eco Lodge, Pakuba Safari lodge, Murchison River lodge, Chobe Safari lodge, Sambiya River Lodge and more.