Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best game parks to visit while on your safari in Uganda. The national park covers an area of 3,893 sq.km, bisected by the Victoria Nile and it is endowed with several attractions including over 76 mammal species with four members of the big five, the leopards, the elephants, the lion, and the Buffaloes. Other species include warthogs, giraffes, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and Jackson’s hartebeest, hyenas etc. The Nile harbors a number of animals such as hippos and crocodiles among other and also many at the shores. There also several primates in the Murchison falls national park including baboons and several monkey species.
The Murchison falls, Uganda’s largest national park is also home to over 450 recorded bird species including the rare shoebill stork. The park also harbors 23 Albertine rift endemics given its position in the western arm of the east African rift valley. Murchison falls birding safaris allow you view many of these species of birds with the help of our expert guides.
In 1862, Murchison falls national park was first visited by James grant and John Speke. It was more exhaustively explored by Samuel and Florence Baker in 1863-1864. The name ‘Murchison Falls’ originated from a geologist Roderick Murchison, the president of the Royal Geographical Society and it was named by Samuel Baker.
Between 1907 and 1912, the inhabitants of an area of about 13,000 sq.km, were evacuated due to sleeping sickness spread by tsetse flies. The Bunyoro Game Reserve was initiated south of the River Nile in 1910. That area roughly corresponds to the part of the MFNP that is in the districts of Buliisa, Masindi, and Kiryandongo. In 1928, the boundaries were extended north of the river into the modern-day Moya District. The British administration acknowledged the National Parks Act of Uganda in 1952 and became Murchison Falls National Park.
Activities in Murchison falls Park
Games drives. These last for 2-3 hours and can easily be guided by Tour company safari guides. It is advisable to go for two games drives to have better results and expect to see Buffaloes, antelopes, lions, Giraffes, Elephants, leopards, warthogs, Savannah birds and more. The game drives are morning game drive, evening games and nocturnal game drives; nocturnal game drives are carried out at night, several cats can be spotted here like lions, leopards, among others.
Launch cruises on the Nile River. The 2 hour UWA boat cruises/launch cruises are a high light Activities in Murchison Falls Park which operate twice a day i.e. mid-morning and afternoon. The hippos, Nile Crocodiles, elephant, Buffaloes in numbers, antelopes and many water birds.
Top of the falls hike. This is an adventurous trek which is 45-minutes hike up along the falls and be refreshed by the mist, feel the ground shake and vibrate under your feet – one of the most amazing experience in Murchison Falls Park.
Nile Delta Boat Ride, most take the boat safari up to the fall each day; fewer take the boat ride down the Nile Delta where the Nile River merges into Lake Albert. Enjoy birds, and wildlife, hippos, crocodiles you will see on this boat safari down the River Nile.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris, it is the only park where you can take a hot air balloon wildlife Safari.
Spot Fishing is provided by Katona tours Sport fishing permit in Murchison falls. Expect to catch the Nile Perch, Tilapia among others
Birding watching is done on a nature walk along the Nile or through in the forest. The chances are endless here and there are numerous spots where with a guide you will make some rewarding discoveries and see why the Park is one of the best birding destination in all of Africa.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Budongo Forest is another exciting activity carried out in Murchison falls national park
Best time to visit the park
Are you planning a memorable wildlife safari in Uganda to this park? It is advisable that you first get to know the ideal time for you to take a trip. That said, you need to pay keen attention to seasonality of Uganda if you are to have the memorable and enjoyable safari holiday.
Generally, the Park is best visited from December to February, the high season starts from June to September while the low season starts from March to May and between October and November. The best weather conditions at this park are experienced between June and July while the worst weather is realized between April and May, between August and October.
The dry season entirely features as the most ideal period for one to pay a visit to Murchison Falls National Park while on safari in Uganda. During this season, most routes that lead to the park and wildlife tracks remain dry making it ideal for you to conduct game drives. Its dry season kicks off from June to September and this is usually considered the longest dry season at this park and the second dry spell is realized from December to February and it is a short one.
The park can be accessed by road and the journey takes 5hours drive about 282km from the heart of Kampala city. The road to the park is muddy and slippery and therefore, it need to be accessed during dry season.
Alternatively, you can take a flight from Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba which is approximately 19 kilometers away from Paraa and Bugungu that extends for over 13 kilometers off from Paraa.