Attractions & activities in Murchison falls National park

Murchison Falls National Park

Formerly known as Kabalega National Park, Murchison Falls National Park is one of the leading wildlife tour destinations in Uganda. This is where the world’s most powerful waterfall exists and emits huge volumes of water estimated at 300 cubic meters per second. Murchison Falls NP is the largest of all 10 National Parks, measuring up to 3840 sq. km.

Murchison Falls National Park is a beautiful wildlife safari park in East Africa, located in Northwestern Uganda. Its boundaries extend covering different districts within and beyond the Bunyoro Escarpments. The park’s boundaries stretch covering the Northwestern districts including Buliisa, Masindi, Kiryandongo and Nwoya. It also extends to the Albertine rift valley and it is separated into 2 by the Victoria Nile River.
Murchison Falls NP was gazetted in 1952 and holds a huge profusion of wildlife species. The park covers a vast area and its landscape is characterized by woodlands, savanna grasslands, wetlands and open plains. Murchison Falls N/P lies within the wider Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA) which encompasses Budongo Forest, Kaniyo-Pabidi, Rabango Forest, Karuma Wildlife Reserve and
Bugungu Wildlife Reserve.

Attractions in Murchison Falls National Park
Wildlife/animals of Murchison Falls Park
Murchison Falls National Park Uganda holds a huge profusion of wildlife species including 76 species of mammals, 451 bird species, amphibians, and reptiles. The different wildlife or animal species that are commonly spotted on Uganda safaris include leopards, cape buffaloes, elephants, the Rothschild giraffes, lions, side-striped jackals, Nile crocodiles, spotted hyenas, monitor lizards, hippos, Bohor reedbucks, Defassa waterbucks, bushbucks, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, & oribis, etc.
Primates to encounter living within Budongo and Rabongo Forest include patas monkeys, olive baboons, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.

Murchison Waterfalls
Murchison Waterfalls is where the park takes its name. It is a powerful waterfall, known for its thunderous roar as the water squeezes itself into the narrow rock measuring 7-8 meters before plunging 43 meters. Adjacent to Murchison Falls, there is a scenic Uhuru waterfall.

Bird species
Murchison Falls NP is an incredible birding location in Uganda, holding up to 451 bird species. The park supports a variety of birds including the African darters, Abdim’s stork, African skimmers, Abyssinian ground hornbills, African fish eagle, black crakes, black-billed barbet, Africa quail-finch, bar-breasted fire-finch, black-headed gondola, black-billed wood dove, black scimitar bill, black-lored babblers, blue-napped moosebirds, black-headed gonoleks, double-toothed barbets, dark chanting goshawks, Denham’s bustard, pied kingfishers, Eastern grey plantain eaters, fawn-breasted waxbill, malachite kingfishers, goliath herons, long-tailed nightjars, Northern carmine bee-eaters, secretary birds, grey-headed bush shrikes, martial eagle, long-toed plovers, pennant winged nightjars, Hugli’s green-winged pytilia, rock pratincole, red-winged grey warblers,
Speckled-fronted weavers, bluff-bellied warblers, Senegal thick-knee, saddle-billed storks, shoebills, sulfur-breasted bush shrikes, swamp flycatchers, squacco herons, white-backed night heron, white-rumped seed eaters, white-faced whistling ducks, spur-winger geese, spotted mourning thrush, sandpipers, sacred ibis, white African fish eagle, yellow-throated greenbul, veracious dove, white-rumped seed-eaters, yellow fronted tinker birds.
Exciting safari activities to do in Murchison Falls NP

Visit the top of the falls (Murchison Falls)
The top of the falls is often the first place tourists visit on the Murchison Falls National Park tour. The Nile River squeezes itself into a narrow gorge of 7-8m before it makes its way to Egypt.

Launch cruise to the base of the falls
A boat cruise or launch cruise excursion offers a great chance for you to explore the Victoria Nile River for 2-3 hours. This comes with an amazing view of the falls and aquatic life including the Nile crocodiles, hippos, and birds like goliath herons, saddle-billed storks, kingfishers, fish eagles, bee-eaters, and others.

Game drives
Murchison Falls NP offers incomparably remarkable game viewing experiences and takes you 2-3 hours to enjoy a morning or an afternoon game drive in this park. On a game drive, there are plenty of wildlife to be spotted at the comfort of your 4×4 safari car including elephants, spotted hyenas, the Rothschild giraffes, warthogs, leopards, lions, reedbucks, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribis, hartebeests and kobs, etc plus birds.

Fishing tours
Sport fishing excursions are conducted at the base of the Murchison Falls and Karuma waterfalls. These spots allow you to capture heavy Nile Perch that weighs more than 200 pounds. It is a challenging adventure but exciting when you finally capture your heaviest catch. For any enthusiastic anglers, Murchison Falls NP is a remarkable location to consider a must-visit for sport fishing in Uganda.

Bird watching
Birding opportunities in Murchison Falls NP are enormous. You can enjoy bird watching on a guided nature walk, game drive, and boat cruise. The park has plenty of interesting birds of birders’ interest on Uganda safaris including secretary bird, shoebill stork, African jacanas, Abdim’s stork, bar-breasted fire-finch, Abyssinian ground hornbills, bluff-bellied warblers, martial eagles, Denham’s bustards, grey crowned cranes, fawn-breasted waxbill, pennant-winged nightjars, red-winged grey warblers,
Swallow-tailed bee-eaters, white-browed sparrow weavers, yellow-billed stork, white-backed night herons, sulfur-breasted bush shrikes, Pel’s fishing owl, swamp flycatchers, long-tailed nightjars, Northern crombec, malachite kingfishers, black-headed gonoleks, silver birds, sacred ibis, pied kingfishers, and more.

Chimpanzee tracking
Budongo Forest located in the Southern side of Murchison Falls NP offers excellent and memorable chimpanzee tracking experiences. This is where more than 800 chimpanzees reside plus other primates which you will be encountering along the way. They include red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, forest galagos, black and white colobus monkeys, etc.

Hot air balloon
Hot air balloon tours in Uganda are limited to only 2 places including Murchison Falls National Park & Queen Elizabeth National park. Balloon tours offer outstanding aerial views of the park’s diverse animal species in the savanna’s grassland areas. Tourists can engage in the morning balloon session which comes with bush breakfast or afternoon/sunset.

Forest/nature walks
Nature or forest walks offer a close interaction with nature and are perfect for visitors who prefer educational experiences. The best part of Murchison Falls NP to experience a guided nature walk is the Rabongo and Budongo Forest. These are rich forest areas with primates, flora, and bird species.

Cultural experiences
Cultural visits are possible while in the adjacent communities and areas of interest include the Boom Women’s Group. This community group offers an actual rural African experience and remarkably, they have bandas in which visitors can spend a night.

When to visit Murchison Falls NP for wildlife tours
Wildlife tours in Murchison Falls N.P. can be done at any time of the day/year. The park enjoys favorable weather conditions all year round making it an ideal place to start your 2023 expedition. But the best time to visit it is during the dry season –from June to September or December to February. Being an all-year-round destination, it is possible to travel even during the wet months of the year: March, April, May or October, and November.

Murchison Falls NP safari lodges
Budget safari lodges
➢ Murchison Backpackers
➢ Boomu Women Bandas
➢ Red Chili Camp

Midrange safari lodges
➢ Budongo Eco-lodge
➢ Pakuba Safari Lodge
➢ Fort Murchison Lodge
➢ Sambiya River Lodge

Luxury accommodation
➢ Chobe Safari Lodge
➢ Nile Safari Lodge
➢ Paraa Safari Lodge
➢ Baker’s Lodge

Getting to Murchison Falls N/Park in Uganda
Access to Murchison Falls N/Park is possible by road or air. Traveling by road involves departing from Kampala via the Gulu highway about 5-6 hours drive in a full-time 4×4 safari vehicle. A flight can also be chartered or scheduled and you depart from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Chobe/Pakuba & Bugungu airstrip.

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