Murchison Falls National park is placed in the Northern part of Uganda, the largest and oldest of all the protected areas in the country, it is strategically placed along the floor of the great Albertine rift valley, The conservation area is home to wonderful wildlife, it boasts with a magnificent waterfall called Murchison after which it is named, the Fall is named among the 7 wonders of the world that you can only find in Uganda, the running Victoria Nile Squeezes itself through a 7 meter slit on the rock only for the water to fall along the cliff in the loudest roar and oozing spits on the rock sides. The National park was named Kabalega national park by one of Uganda’s presidents Idi Amin Dada who later after His downfall the conservation area regained its original name. Murchison Falls National park covers an area of 3840 square kilometers first gazette in 1926 as a game reserve and became Uganda’s first conservation area by 1952. It is placed at an altitude ranging between 615m-1187m above sea level.
The park’s vegetation is characterized by Borassus palms, Savannah grasslands, Acacia trees, and Riverine forest to the Northern bank while the south typically has forests of Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo forest, all these vegetative covers are habitats to Murchison Falls national park animals and bird species, on your African adventures, you can encounter the Big four(Lions, elephants, African buffaloes, leopards) of the wilderness, these were considered the strongest of the Animal Kingdom by hunters.
In the early 80s, the park had Rhinos which went extinct due to numerous poaching, in the present day they can only be viewed in Nakasongola district at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary. En-route stopovers to track the Rhinos will give you a complete set of viewing the Big Five! The 3840 square kilometer park is dotted with other animal species to be spotted including warthogs, bushbucks, waterbucks, Nile crocodiles, hippos, Jackson’s hartebeests, oribi, Rothschild’s giraffes, and primates like a chimpanzee in Budongo forest, and olive baboons to mention a few among the 76 Mammal species the park boasts with, there are over 450 species of birds some of which are endemic to the great Albertine rift valley region.
Murchison Falls national park activities, are the most amazing things to indulge in while on a Ugandan safari to the Northern Uganda, Game drives are not to miss, they are usually done along the Northern banks of the Victoria Nile, north of Murchison, this is because most of the park animals are concentrated around this particular area, popular sites include the Rothschild’s Giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeest, early birds can catch the lions and leopards hunting their prey, Game drives are done during the day, any time, and also the park allows night drives mostly for travelers who would like to experience the Nightlife of nocturnal animals.
Boat cruises are a wonderful way of exploring the park premises, along the Victoria Nile there are scheduled boat rides to the bottom of the falls, it is wonderful to watch this in person as the overwhelming beauty is not to miss, you will view more wildlife, the schools of hippos in the water and not forget the Basking crocodiles along the banks of the river. Hot air balloon Safari in Murchison falls national park presents a chance of viewing the park from the top, it is an arranged safari normally beginning at Para.
Along the southern bank, it’s covered by a forest of the Kaniyo Pabidi and the Budongo forest, these are key hosts to the Chimpanzee, olive baboons, and other primates, popular activities in the forest include Chimpanzee tracking and guided Nature walk. Lake Albert is a great place to have a canoe ride and Bird watching point, along with the marshy swampy areas there is a chance that you might see the critically endangered shoebill stock. The community walks are rewarding as you get to visit and interact with the local people, there are community centers like the BOMU women’s center where they do several activities, and Clients can watch or participate in them.
Murchison falls national park’s distance from Kampala is approximately 305 Kilometers, about 6 hours’ drive by road, passing via the Kampala Gulu Highway, it can be accessed by air too charter flights are organized to the conservation area landing on the Pakuba Airstrip or the airfield next to Chobe safari lodge, Murchison falls national park accommodation ranges from the best budget to Luxury, these are dotted around and within the conservation area, offering a place to stay and food for travelers. A typical Murchison falls national park safari begins with being prepared for the wilderness and having self-selection of personal items to carry on the safari, here are a few more to bring along, waterproofed boots, long-sleeved clothes, and insect repellants. In recent times the Uganda wildlife authority has increased the Murchison Falls National park Entrance tariffs from 40USD to 45USD according to its tariff of 2022 -2023.