Murchison Falls National Park – Uganda’s Best All-Around Wildlife Park
The Top Things to Do and See in Murchison Falls Park – Uganda’s largest National Park-The River Nile runs through it-the most powerful waterfall in the world is here.
Things to do and see in Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda is the largest wildlife reserve in the country. It is home to more Rothschild Giraffes (aka Nubian, Uganda, Baringo Giraffes) than anywhere else in Africa. Vast herds of Elephants, Buffaloes, and Antelopes. This is also a Carnivore country, and you can see lions, leopards other cats here.
Murchison Falls Park has the unique distinction of having a River flow through it, not just any River but the historic River Nile which you cross via a safe Ferry, one of Africa’s Natural Wonders- Murchison Falls is also the Most Powerful Waterfall in the World.
Murchison Falls was named so by the British explorer Sir Samuel Baker in 1864 after Sir Roderick Murchison, then President of Britain’s Royal Geographical Society. Idi Amin, a frequent visitor to Murchison Falls, changed to the name to Kabalrega Falls but after his downfall, it reverted to Murchison Falls.
Murchison Falls became a movie star when the movie “African Queen” was filmed here with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart starring. Winston Churchill visited here in 1907, a journey he wrote about in his Book “My African Journey, published in 1908. The American Conservation President Theodore Roosevelt shot his ways through this park, killing everything in sight in 1909. Ernest Hemingway crashed here while flying over Murchison Falls as his plane hit a telegraph wire. Royalty and Commoner have all flocked to Murchison Falls. In 2018 Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, the rapper Sean Paul all visited Murchison Falls Park
For Over 70 Years and longer Murchison Falls has been a Must Visit Ugandan Destination and it remains that way until this day.
Why do Tourists and Visitors to Uganda choose to visit Murchison Falls Park?
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest wildlife reserve – 3,840 square kilometers in size. Murchison Falls National Park is a must-see and does wildlife park for the visitor to Uganda. Located at the northern end of the vast Albertine Western Rift Valley where you find the mighty River Nile river tumble-down the Bunyoro escarpment onto the Savannah plains, and then continues its journey peacefully South to North to the Mediterranean Sea.
Murchison Falls is the best park for a short Wildlife Safari. It offers visitors more things to do and see than other wildlife parks.
There are many things to do and see in Murchison Falls National Park, something for everyone, most of all you experience the African Wild, the African Bush, Forest, Wildlife, Birds, Primates, and the River Nile.
Murchison Falls is more than square miles, more than 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds.
Along the River Nile, you will see enormous Nile Crocodiles and a vast number of Hippos – advice – keep your camera ready.
Murchison Falls Park has been declared one of the best birding locations in all of Africa with 451 recorded species such as the Shoebill Stork, the Goliath Heron – the largest heron in the world – and pairs of elegant Grey Crowned Cranes – Uganda’s national bird.
Murchison Falls Park, the best all-around Park, in recent years it has become one of Uganda’s most visited park. It is no wonder that Rough Guides included it in Best Travel in 2020 List.
The Top Things to do and see in and near Murchison Falls National Park:
Wildlife Game Drives:
Game Drives take a Uganda Wildlife Authority Ranger on board – between our driver-guide and the UWA Ranger there is not much that you will miss on a game drive in Murchison Falls Wildlife Reserve
You will find large herds of buffaloes and elephants here, the endangered Rothschild Giraffes in high numbers, the stealthy leopard (usually alone except during mating season and of course of the king of the beasts – lions, there are many antelopes such as Jackson’s hartebeest, Bushbucks, Uganda Kob, Waterbucks, and Warthogs.
Game Drives are about three hours in length – not too long if you are on a family safari with small children. Unlike in other African Park, the distance to the Game Drives is quite reasonable.
Game Drives in Murchison Falls Park are simply a great way to experience the African Wild in Uganda.
Nocturnal Game Drives:
This is one of the highlights that are not to be missed. On Nocturnal Game Drives, you can see the predators of the night out on the prowl such as Lions, Leopards, Hyenas, and serval cats.
The Nocturnal Game Drive is about two hours in length, and it takes place at dusk or after darkness has set in This is something we suggest not to miss. You might have a hard time taking pictures but the pictures and images in your mind.
Spotlights are used for the Night Game Drives in Murchison Falls Park – this way there is not much you can miss.
If you are on a family safari with us in Murchison Falls Park, your children will have the time of their lives on a Nocturnal Game Drive. Nocturnal Game Drives must be arranged in advance with us and conducted by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Nile River Boat Safari:
Another highlight of any safari visit to Murchison Falls National Park is the boat ride up to the falls, almost a scene out of a National Geographic Special on TV, only better because you there see hippos frolic in the water (they do not swim but bounce off the bottom of river or lake),
Nile Crocodiles mouths wide open sunning themselves along the banks. Murchison Falls has some of the largest Nile Crocodiles in all of Africa.
The Elephant herds are coming to bathe and water, Buffaloes in numbers, various species of antelopes and many water birds, one cannot imagine the scenic shoreline you will see on a boat safari up the River Nile.
On the Murchison Falls Boat Safari up to the falls, you have the choice to disembark at the bottoms of the falls and hike up to the top of the falls or return on the boat downstream for more wildlife viewing.
One of the Highlights of your Time here.
Murchison Falls is the world’s most powerful waterfall. One can take the boat safari up to the falls and disembark at the bottom of the falls.
Take the 45-minute hike up to the falls and be refreshed by the mist, feel the ground shake and vibrate under your feet – a most fantastic experience.
The waterfall hike is a guided hike, and the very path you are taken up, Winston Churchill came down and boarded a boat for Sudan.
The trail is also part of the famed Baker Trail, named after Samuel and Florence Baker.
There is another fall in the distance, and that is Uhuru Falls, which means in English – Freedom Falls. The Falls hike has become a favorite with visitors to the park.
This has become a favorite with most visitors.
Nile Delta Boat Ride:
Most take the boat safari up to the Falls each day. Fewer take the boat ride down the Nile to the Nile Delta where the Nile River merges into Lake Albert.
This is undoubtedly a not to miss event if you enjoy birds, and birds, wildlife, hippos, crocodiles you will see on this boat safari down the River Nile to where it drains into Lake Albert and where it is commonly referred to as the Nile Delta
This stretch of the River is also one of the best spots in Uganda where you can spot the shoebill stork along the banks of the river, sometimes even in pairs.
Experience both the River Nile and Lake Albert on this boat safari. This Boat Safari is a must for Birders and for those that want to see the Shoebill Stork in the Wild.
This is a half-day Activity – best done in the Morning
Hot Air Balloon Wildlife Safaris:
Hot Air Balloon Safaris can now be taken in Murchison Falls Park. This is the only park in Uganda where you can take a hot air balloon wildlife Safari.
Rise at dawn over the savannah – watch the sunrise and then glide over the park above the tree-tops where you can see the most wildlife below.
The park is filled with vast herds of buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, antelopes. Watch the predators below as they come home from a night’s hunt.
Afterward, it is a one of a kind champagne Bush Breakfast prepared by Paraa Lodge chefs that you will enjoy and as most long remember.
Hot Air Balloon Safari – a one-of-a-kind-experience in Uganda.
Birding at Murchison Falls National Park:
Birding can be done from a safari vehicle or on a nature walk along the Nile or through one of its forest. The possibilities are endless here, and there are numerous spots where with a guide you will make some rewarding discoveries and see why Murchison Falls Park is one of the best birding locations in all of Africa.
Murchison Falls Park includes various landscapes such as Savannah, Riverine Forest, the vast Budongo Forest, all areas where the avid birder will spot a wide of variety of Bird Species by boat, vehicle or on foot.
Murchison Falls Park is a must visit for birders. Birders will delight in the wide variety of birds found here – Savanna Birds – Water – Birds and various species of Forest Birds – all in one Park – Murchison Falls Park.
Hiking in Murchison Falls Park:
One can go on a variety of nature walks and hikes in Murchison Falls National Park and choose from a variety of areas to do so.
There is Rabongo Forest, which is a birders paradise and also an area where you can spot chimpanzee and other primates as you walk along with your guide.
Budongo Forest is one of the best areas to hike when it comes to Murchison Falls National Park, and you can see a variety of wildlife, monkeys, and birds. You can also go on guided walks in the Chobe area of the park.
The new Baker Trail will also go through the park as you can hike from South Sudan to Lake Albert and follow the trail of the Discoverers Samuel and Florence Baker. If you an avid hike take a look at our hiking advice and tips for Africa.
This is the scenic route and snakes along Lake Albert where you see the Blue Mountains in the Congo and see the Western Rift Valley Escarpment which will give you many photo-opportunities.
See Fishing Villages along the Lake, where also smugglers and poachers hideout. One of the highlights is a stop in Butiaba, once the halfway stop for Seaplanes that flew from Cairo to Capetown.
This is also the town where you will find the wreck of the SS Croydon that used to make its journey across the lake. Butiaba was also the starting point for wildlife cruises to Murchison Falls Park. Sadly no longer, a great storm destroyed the harbor, ships, technology changed, Butiaba, however, is still the same. Time has stood still except for a smartphone here or there.
This is a steep hike down and up the Western Rift Valley Escarpment that requires that you are in reasonable shape. On the lake, you enter the Fishing Village where also Salt has been made for the local Bunyoro Kingdom and beyond.
This is a look into another world, life as it used to and still is today. Most everything is carried in and out on the path you just came down on making you think why people would go through the hardships of living here.
The Village and Salt Gardens are off the Beaten Tourist Path, this is Authentic, Cultural Africa.
Visits can be arranged for you as you take the scenic route from Murchison Falls Park, overnight would be spent in nearby Hoima.
Budongo Forest is an excellent area for Chimpanzee Tracking, it is a Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Research Station, and you have an excellent opportunity here to track Chimpanzees.
During the off-season, you can even do an all-day Chimpanzee Habituation here. Lodging and food is available at the reasonably priced Budongo Eco-Lodge
Budongo Forest an excellent place for chimpanzee tracking and chimpanzee habituation experience, birding and hiking and nature walks from a few hours to all day hikes on the trails of Budongo Forest.
Chimpanzee tracking is best done by adding a day to your Safari to Murchison Falls Park, or as an add-on to your safari on the first or last day in Murchison Falls Park.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is not a part of Murchison Falls Park but can be easily visited on the way to or from Murchison Falls National Park. Here you track Rhinos on foot with guides which is a most exhilarating experience.
What most people do not realize is that you can also do various nature walks and hikes, seeing wildlife and birds. You can do a swamp boat ride here, and it is one of the better areas to spot the Shoebill Stork and other water-birds.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is on a large estate that is similar to Murchison Falls where eventually some of the Rhinos will be released to when the numbers of them reach over 20.
You can stay overnight here at either the upmarket Amuka Lodge or the Ziwa Guest House.
Boomu Village is a cultural experience and is near the Murchison Falls Park Area. Here you can visit an African Village either for a few hours and take a village walk, or you can stay overnight in a traditional African Banda.
Go into the gardens to pick the things for lunch and dinner, and work alongside African women, sit with a storyteller of old.
There are a variety of activities that you will learn here, and Boomu is an excellent place for a family on safari with children – they love Authentic Africa.
Learn how dyes are made from plants and flower and see them used as the loom is used to create a cloth fabric, learn how to make traditional crafts such as baskets and more.
Murchison Falls Park is home to a variety of lodges both inside and outside of the park – from budget to 5-star luxury lodging.
There is a lodge that fits your budget and wishes, just right for you. Choose a lodge, and we will include in your itinerary for Murchison Falls Park.
Murchison Falls National Park has many choices for lodging -the question is where to stay, and best places are on the game drive side of the park instead of having to take the first ferry to the game drive side at 7 am
Some of the lodges are right along the River Nile while others are in some other scenic spot – the choice is yours.
Murchison Fall offers excellent mid-range and luxury lodging choices to visitors.
Here are the best Murchison Falls Park Safaris for you. They have not stripped down versions but include full-board lodging, all activities, entrances fees into the park and activities in nearby places.
These private safaris are offered at the lowest price, yet they are not inferior in quality, but full service-safaris for you.
They begin with a one night stay to more in the park. Murchison Falls Park is the only park in Uganda where a Big-5 Safari is a possibility. Another reason that the park is now the number one Park in Uganda. We love to show you the park with a river running through it, not any River, but the River Nile.
This Park can also be included in a 5-day Safari with Kibale Forest and Chimpanzee Trekking or 10 days or longer in a safari that provides for most of Uganda’s parks.
A proposal has been submitted to dam Murchison Falls. Someone thinks it is a good idea to extract 365 megawatts and destroy the falls as we know them today. The most powerful waterfall in the world.
Such an idea should have never been even considered. Murchison Falls to us is a natural, national treasure that people from Uganda and around the world come to visit. There already is a Lake Murchison in Australia. We do not need another one in Uganda. Ask President Museveni to say no to a dam at Murchison Falls.
A dam is a short-sighted investment with little long-term return. Tourism, on the other hand, is long-lasting and sustainable, and eco-friendly.
One is told that the dam will not interfere with tourism nor will it hurt Wildlife. We know the reality, and for us, it is an ecological disaster that is not welcomed.
Murchison Falls National Park – not to be missed with its abundant wildlife, the proliferation of birds, the River Nile, the most powerful waterfall in the world and the best Fishing for Nile Perch in Africa.