Murchison Falls National Park is the largest of Uganda’s ten national parks, covering over 3800 sq. km and it is one of the most spectacular parks in all of Africa, bisected by the Victoria Nile
What to see & do in Murchison falls
Renowned for its scenic beauty and the spectacular falls from which it gets its name, this park and the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area support an abundance of flora and fauna – boasting 76 species of mammals, 10 species of primates, more than 465 species of plants, 250 species of butterflies and 450 species of birds. The diversity can truly boggle your imagination. From rolling savannah and tall grasslands to thick bush and woodlands, the bio-diversity of this park never ceases to amaze visitors and residents alike. A visit to Murchison Falls national park is incomplete without seeing the magnificent falls. They are best viewed from the top where the Nile River narrows dramatically to crash through a 7-meter gorge, falling 45 meters to the rocks below. Enjoy a walk around the Top of the Falls with many different viewpoints, and visit the bat caves, which house thousands of Egyptian Fruit Bats. Best viewing of the bats is at sunset, when these flying mammals set out in search of the insects that make up some 25% of their diet.
Game drives to spot out the Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Uganda kob, hartebeest and water buck are amazing. You may also spot oribi, bush buck, Bohor reed buck, the shy sitatunga, bush duiker, warthog and bush pig. Large carnivores found in the park include lion, leopard and spotted hyena
Another must do activity is the three-hour cruise to the base of the falls; it is truly unforgettable. You will experience the majesty of the Nile while on board for the 19km trip up river, viewing abundant wildlife along the banks. You will see Hippos, Crocodiles, Buffaloes, Ugandan Kob, Elephants and Giraffes, common birds including the Goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill, cormorant, saddle-billed stork and the rare Shoebill stork are regularly sighted along the River banks
Special boat cruises can be organized to travel down the Nile River from the park headquarters to the Delta, where the River Nile briefly enters Lake Albert before proceeding North to Khartoum in Sudan. The marshy channels of the delta and the interspersed islets are the perfect nesting place for the prehistoric looking Shoebill Stork.
The more adventurous traveler may want to hike the trails around the falls, including a 45 minute walk up from the bottom to the top – a real “Road Less Traveled.” The avid birdwatcher will want to look out for some of the 450 recorded species seen in this park.
Chimpanzees trekking in Murchison
This occurs in several wild populations within or near the park. Visit Kaniyo-Pabidi Eco-tourism Center where you can take a forest walk in search of Chimpanzees and some of the other 10 primate species found in this habitat. See Black-and-white Colobus, Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Vervet monkeys, Red-tailed monkey, Olive Baboons and several species of pottos and bushbabies. Walks start in the morning or the afternoon, but the morning walk is usually more reliable. Walks can take from 1-4 hours, with 2 hours being the average. The terrain is composed of gently rolling hills with small streams and dense vegetation, but transects are cut across most of the forest, making access relatively easy.
Spot fishing activities can be arrange and test your skills above and below the falls where 20-100 kg Nile Perch can be caught, if you are patient enough for them. Huge crocodiles and hippos will keep you company at the Nile banks as you fish! Fish from the bank or hire a boat for the day. Come with your own equipment or rent on site. Other fish found in the Nile include Barbel, Electric Catfish and Tiger fish. Chimpanzees and olive baboons head the list of six species of primates found in the park.
Where to stay in Murchison falls
Visitors can choose from a variety of accommodations made available for you ranging from high end facilities, these offer first class premium serves to guest especially those that wish to spend a luxurious lifestyle while on holiday. The mid range facilities are as well available, these offer moderate service to their guest and they are very affordable. For visitors that wish to spend less on accommodation, staying at budget facilities is very ideal, these offer are very safe, clean and with good food
- Paraa Safari Lodge – up-market
- Nile Safari Camp – up-market
- Sambiya River Lodge – mid-market
- Sambiya River Bandas section – budget
- Red Chilli Rest Camp – budget
- Chobe Safari Lodge – up-market
- Murchison River Lodge-mid facility
- Fort motel-budget facility
- UWA Bandas-budget facility
- Boomu Women´s Group Bandas-budget facility