Murchison Falls National Park | Uganda Travel Tips & Reviews | Africa Point
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Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
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Murchison Falls National Park

Snapshot

The sky turns from pink to purple as the dazzling ball of orange sun drops below the horizon, its reflection turning the waters of Lake Albert into a kaleidoscope of colours.  This is the end of another perfect day in Africa.  As you sip your ice-cold sun downer, Hippo grunt and blow just metres from your boat...come with us to experience it all at Murchison Falls National Park.

 

Best Time to Visit:

December to February is best for all-round game viewing, Chimp trekking and Bird watching.
 

Average Visitor Rating:

5 out of 5 'Pawprints' Based on 0 Review(s)
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The Marvels of Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls National Park (aka Kabarega National Park) occupies the north-western corner Uganda, in one of the most beautiful parts of this equatorial country.  The name of the Park derives from the magnificent Murchison Falls on the mighty Nile River, which is one of the highlights of the Park.   There is plenty of wildlife here, including 4 of the Big Five (only Rhino are absent in the park but can be viewed at a nearby sanctuary), lots of primates, big herds of Giraffe, Elephant and Buffalo and a huge compliment of Hippos and large Nile Crocodiles.  Come with us to explore Uganda’s largest National Park.

 

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The Waterfalls, the Victoria Nile, the Big Four and other Highlights

The Murchison Falls, Uhuru Falls and Karuma Falls

The beautiful and dramatic Murchison Falls occur almost in the centre of the Park, at a point where the powerful Nile River is channelled through a narrow gorge in the rift valley, dropping almost 50mt into the “Devil’s Cauldron” and creating a wide spray with a signature rainbow.  A walk to the top of Murchison Falls is a must!  From Baker Point on the southern side of the river you can also catch a glimpse of the smaller Uhuru Falls, which were created in 1962 when the river burst its banks. At the north-eastern border of the Park you can find the Karuma Falls, where the waters of the Victoria Nile encounter a series of natural rock formations which cause some impressive rapids.

 

The Victoria Nile

The Victoria Nile bisects Murchison Falls National Park from east to west, and is one of the greatest attractions of this Park where you will enjoy some of the best game viewing and bird watching.  The section of the Victoria Nile above the Murchison Falls is an 80km stretch of river alive with rapids, which is a great area for sport fishing.  Once the waters crash over the falls they lose much of their energy, and spread out into a wide and placid body of water.   This part of the river gently flows west to Lake Albert, forming a large delta area which is populated by very large numbers of Hippo, the ever-lurking Nile Crocodiles and hundreds of birds.  

 

The Big Four

A great deal of the wildlife here was lost to poaching during the infamous Ida Amin era, but has gradually recovered and today the Park boasts huge herds of Elephant and Buffalo, a healthy population of Lions (which are regularly spotted on game drives) and an unknown number of Leopard which are less easy to spot.  Rhino were completely driven to extinction here, but are now being bred in a Rhino sanctuary near-by. There are plans to start releasing them back into the Park in the near future.

 

The Primates

Olive Baboons are commonly seen (and will steal your lunch if given half a chance...), while Blue and Red-tailed Monkeys and the Black- and-white Colobus are common in the forested areas.  There are around 800 Chimpanzees in the Budongo Forests region where you can do some Chimp tracking in the fabulous Mahogany forests.

 

Zebra, Hippo and Crocodiles

Zebra, Hippo and Crocodiles are present in very large numbers and the Park is also known for its Giraffe.  Bird watching is also particularly good in this Park with 451 recorded species to be seen.

 

 

Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park

You will never have a dull moment on a Murchison Park Safari – there is plenty here to see and do and you need to give yourself at least 4-5days to enjoy all the exciting attractions.  The Park is large and composed of several habitats and it is a good idea to stay in a couple of different areas and Lodges to enjoy all the game on view.  Your Tour Operator can put together an itinerary that will include all the Highlights of the Park according to your personal interests, be it Bird Watching, Primate Tracking or Sport Fishing.

 

 

Other Activities

With the exception of a couple of Cultural encounters with the local people and White Water Rafting expeditions on the upper Victoria Nile, all activities at Murchison Falls are centred on the spectacular waterfalls, the River and the wildlife that it sustains.  The most popular activity is without doubt the Launch trips on the River.  One trip which takes you upstream from Paraa (around 3 hours) will give you incredible game viewing opportunities along the river banks and culminates with a remarkable frontal view of the Murchison Falls.  A river trip downstream from Paraa towards the Albert Lake delta is very rewarding for birders, in particular, who will have wonderful photo opportunities in this pristine bird haven.  Also at Paraa (which is the Park’s tourism hub) you can take a cross-river ferry to the North bank and join an early morning or evening game drive.  There are also guided nature walks, visits to the Bat caves at the top of the Murchison Falls, wonderful Sport fishing and Primate tracking in the pristine Budongo Forest.

 

 

Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park

There are several Lodges and hotels in the National Park and several more that are situated nearby with easy access to the Park. The Lodges around Paraa are probably the most convenient and offer easy access to the Falls, the Nile boat trips and the Game Drives on the North Bank.  There is also a great Eco Lodge inside the Budongo Forest if you decide to go Chimp tracking here.

 

 

How to Get There

The Park is situated about 5 hours by road from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, but a quicker and easier way is to fly in by charter plane to one of the three airfields in the Park.

 

 

Best Time to Visit

Game viewing is at its best during the two dry seasons, December to late February and June to September.  The animals tend to gather close to the water making them easier to spot.  Bird watching is best from January to March, while the Chimpanzee tracking only takes place from October to January when food is in short supply and the Chimps are moving around more widely and are thus easier to spot.



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