Murchison Falls National Park locally known as kabalega falls the Uganda’s oldest and largest safari park located in the northwestern Uganda about 350km north of Kampala in Masindi district. It sits on the shores of lake Albert around the Victoria Nile up to the karuma falls. Murchison falls connects to Bugungu wildlife reserve which is 748 square kilometers. The park straddles the Uganda districts of Bulisa, Nwoya, kiryandongo and Masindi. The distance from Masindi to reach the park is about 80 kilometers.
Murchison falls measures approximately 3,893 square kilometers in size. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from East to West which is about 200 kilometers. The water flow through a narrow gorge of only 7 meters wide before plunging 45 meters. The park is adjacent to Masindi- Gulu highway, karuma falls a home to the karuma power station center of the 600 megwatts. This will be the future Uganda’s largest power station.
Murchison falls national park was first gazzetted as a wildlife in 1926 and is also adjacent to Budungu forest reserve which inhabits over 76 species of mammals as well as the Uganda’s largest population of Nile crocodiles and 500 bird species including the rare shoebill stork, Goliath heron, White-thighed hornbill, Dwarf kingfisher and great blue turaco and many others. Murchison falls national park has a large number of wildlife species which can be encountered during the game drives and on the boat cruise. While on the game drive you will have a chance to view lions, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, warthogs, antelopes, bushbucks, elephants and many others.
Activities in Murchison falls.
Enjoy the morning game drive which takes approximately 3 hours a chance to spot wild animals like the hyenas, warthogs, giraffes, elephants and many others.
Nocturnal game drive.
In Murchison falls national park one can engage in nocturnal game drive where you get an opportunity to view the night predators such as leopards, lions, hyenas, serval cats and many others. The game drive takes about 2 hours to see the animals in their habitats.
Boat cruise along the Nile River.
Boat cruise along the Nile River provides the most exciting way to view game in Murchison falls national park. you will spot hippos, water birds, elephants, antelopes which gather on the banks of the River to bathe. After the boat cruise you can choose to hike the top of the falls for great wildlife viewings.
This birding safari tour is another activity to encounter during the nature walks, where you will enjoy the views of the landscape of riverine forest and spot a variety of bird species.
Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo forest:
Budongo forests inhabits a number of chimpanzees that already habituated and therefore makes it a good place to do chimpanzee tracking.
Hiking in Rabongo forest.
Rabongo forest is the one of the best birders paradises as well as to view chimpanzees and other primates.
While on the way to Murchison falls national park, you can have a stopover at Ziwa rhino sanctuary for rhino tracking, on foot to spot one of the big five animals.
Access to Murchison falls national park.
From Kampala to Murchison falls national park it takes about 4-6 hours and 305km drive to reach the park. However, the most direct routes to the park from Kampala is through the southern gates Kichumbanyobo and Masindi south gate. It has also got the Northern gates including purongo or Takigate-packwach are also great option though longer in distance. Here tourists will experience great views of the beautiful scenery, landscape, country side, road markets among others and also take you straight to the most interesting places of the park.
It is also possible to fly to the park by chartered domestic flights or daily scheduled flights from Entebbe international Airport or kajjansi Airfield to land at Pakuba, Chobe or Bugundu airfields and then transfer to the park headquarters or to your accommodation. The scheduled flight to Murchison is just under one hour.
When to visit Murchison falls national park.
Murchison falls national park can be visited all year round, but is recorded that December to February is considered to be the best time to visit the park and June to September. In these months there’s little rainfall, so it’s easier to spot wildlife during the game drives.
Accommodation in Murchison falls national park.
Murchison falls national park has a variety of lodges, campsites and hotels inside and outside the park. It offers accommodation ranging from budget, midrange and luxury facilities.