Murchison Fall National Park

At the Northern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley (ARV), Northwestern Uganda lies Murchison Falls National Park, the largest National Park in Uganda. It takes its name from sparkling Murchison Falls, one of the world’s powerful waterfalls located right at its central area.

Formerly known as Kabalega National Park, the present Murchison Falls National Park is one of the oldest parks in Uganda. The park was created in 1952 and it is bisected into 2 by the spectacular Victoria Nile creating the Northern and Southern sectors. In terms of area coverage, Murchison Falls National Park spans on the land area of over 3840sq.kms.

the-murchison-falls in Murchison Fall National Park

Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) encompasses the extensive Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP), Karuma Wildlife Reserve, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and Budongo Forest Reserve. It is at Murchison Falls N/Park where you can the powerful Murchison Falls and observe it as it forces itself through a narrow rock of 8m and plunges with a powerful roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron. In the process, it creates a trademark rainbow.

The Northern section of the park mainly consists of a lush borassus palms, savannas, acacia, riverine woodland etc. The woodland and rain forest patches dominate the Southern section of this Uganda safari park. Interestingly also, The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart was shot right on Lake Albert and the Nile- Murchison Falls National Park.


Over 144 mammals, 51 amphibians, 556 species of birds, 51 reptiles all reside within the park. It comes with a huge concentration of elephants, buffaloes, the Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, lions, leopards, antelope families including Uganda Kobs, oribis, hartebeests, waterbucks, bush bucks and others. Additionally, there are hippos, Nile crocodiles, primates such as chimpanzees, red tailed monkeys, olive baboons, patas monkeys, blue monkeys and more.

Bird species

A checklist of over 556 bird species all exist in Murchison Falls National Park including the red winged grey warblers, white crested turacos, shoebill stork, swamp flycatchers, Northern red bishops, papyrus gonoleks, red throated bee-eaters, giant kingfishers, squacco herons, grey crowned cranes, Abyssinian ground hornbill, etc.

Murchison Falls National Park Safari Activities

Game drive

Game drive is the leading Uganda safari activity or experience that pulls majority of nature lovers to Murchison Falls National Park. On a game drive, the main target of every traveler is watching the big game and 4 of the big five game all exist here- the African elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes and you can make it a complete big five safaris with rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

In a 4×4 tourist vehicle with pop up roof, enjoy a morning or afternoon/night guided game drive. Besides the big game, the park will have you exposed to lots of warthogs, antelopes, birds, giraffes etc.

Boat cruise

Boat cruises toward the bottom of the falls are mesmerizing, offering you an ultimate view of hippos, crocodiles, riverine forests, water birds etc. This is done in the morning taking 2-3 hours or go during the afternoon session.


A total of about 556 bird species thrive in the park making it one of the top Uganda birding safari destinations. The park’s interesting birds to search for include the papyrus gonoleks, shoebills, squacco herons, kingfishers, Abyssinian ground hornbills, Northern red bishop, grey crowned crane, red throated bee-eaters etc.

Sport fishing

For anglers on Uganda safari, Murchison Falls National Park still has you sorted too with its remarkable sport fishing excursions. This recreation experience is enjoyable right at the bottom of Murchison Falls along the Nile and at Karuma waterfalls.

Trek to the top of the falls

Hiking to the top of the falls is another most rewarding experiences awaiting you at the park. This takes you to witness the powerful Murchison Falls, take pictures as it forces itself into an 8m rock before plunging 43m below.

Other things to do on Uganda safari in Murchison Falls National Park.

You can also embark on chimpanzee tracking in Budongo Forest a home to about 800 chimpanzees, chimpanzee habituation, forest or guided nature walks, community or cultural safaris etc.

The favorite nature walking spots in Murchison Falls NP include Rabongo Forest also ideal for camping, Kaniyo-Pabidi Forest which is 112ks from Masindi Town, Budongo Forest- one of the few natural rain-forests that have existed for centuries in Uganda the pearl of Africa and a great birding safari spot.

When to travel to Murchison Falls National Park for a Uganda tour

Tour activities in the park are enjoyable at any time of the year. But, the park is best to visit during the dry season either during the extended dry months from June to September or during the short dry months of December to February. Safaris can still be enjoyed even during the wet/rainy season that is from March to May and November to November.

Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park

The Park comprises of all accommodation type- budget, mid-range and luxury. The luxury choices include among others Chobe Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge, Baker’s Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge. Mid-range options such as Fort Murchison Lodge, Sambiya River Lodge, Pakuba Safari Lodge and budget ones include Red Chilli Rest Camp, Budongo Eco-Lodge, UWA Campsite, Yebo Safari Camp, Shoebill Campsite, Boomu Women’s Group Bandas.

Accessing Murchison Falls National Park from Kampala

By road: Accessing Murchison Falls NP for your Uganda safari is possible in 4×4 vehicle through Luweero route and takes about 6 hours to drive up to this park. The park’s main gate is Kichumbanyobo gate located in the southern side, 85kms from Paraa and accessible from Masindi side. Bugungu gate is the longest route yet very scenic and this is about 135kms.

To the North, the gates to access Murchison Falls National Park include Tangi, Mubako gate, Wankwar and Chobe gate. By air, flights can be arranged from Entebbe Airport/Kajjansi airfield to any of the nearby airstrips such as Pakuba Airfield or Chobe Airstrip. Flights are the quickest options to reach the park in Uganda.