Murchison Falls National Park
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Four of the big five. Shoebill stork!
What YAS members think
- Big four, no rhinos, but Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is en route back to Entebbe and Kampala
- Trekking inside Kaniyo Pabidi forest to track chimpanzee and other primates
- River rides
- Bird watching
- Shoebill stork
About Murchison Falls National Park
Also known as Kabarega falls; Murchison Falls National Park is the largest park in Uganda. The National park is managed by Ugandan Wildlife Authority. The park covers an area of 3,840 km² (1,480 mi²). Together with Karuma Wildlife Reserve and the Bugungu Wildlife Reserve that are adjacent to it, Murchison Falls National Park form the Murchison Falls Conservation Area that has an area of 5,308 km² (2,049 mi²).
The park lies in north western Uganda stretching from Lake Albert shores spreading inland around the Victoria Nile. The park wildlife is improving tremendously from the poaching menace it faced during the era of Dictator Idi Amin.
Wildlife of Murchison Falls
Murchison Falls National Park is home to four of the big five that include elephants, buffalos, leopards and lions. Also in the park are wild animals such as hippopotamus, giraffes, crocodiles, antelope, Uganda Kob, hartebeest, oribi, amongst other wildlife. The park has an amazing variety of water birds that include shoe-bill stork.
The park offers an astounding experience from its activities such as trekking into the forest to get a good track of the chimpanzees and other primates in the Uganda’s biggest mahogany forest. Also there are great bird watching sites and an amazing waterfall view.
When is the best time to visit Murchison Falls?
The best season to visit the Murchison National park is from December to February, as the weather tends to be drier and the animals easier to spot. he months of June through August also sees drier conditions and lower temperatures. These months are considered peak time for tracking gorillas. January to March is the best time for bird watching.
Woke up with morning coffee before setting off for a great game viewing that started with leopard, lions, elephant, great jackal, kob, Hartebeast, giraffe, warthog, hippo, monkey, baboons and lots of birds, all in the space of an hour and a half. Murchison Falls boasts a wealth of very beautiful scenery. Combine that with an afternoon trip up the Nile to the bottom of Murchison Falls, and it makes for an incredible day. We hiked to the top of the falls and this was amazing and stands out as a must-do activity for me in this park. Our guide picked us later for the ferry crossing back to our beautiful Lodge for dinner and breakfast. Ideally 3 days/ 2 nights would be a good length of visit.
Murchison Falls is a great feature in the national park with boat cruise to the bottom of the falls and hikes to the top only to see the magnificent falls.
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest conservation area in Uganda. It covers an area of over 3,840km. The park derives its name from the famous waterfall, the Murchison Falls on the Victoria Nile. A boat trip to the base of the falls is always the highlight of your tour to this park. On the boat trip expect to see many animals like hippos, crocodiles and elephants by the river bank and of course lots of water birds. The falls make a stunning sight, seeing the Nile squeeze through a narrow gap before dropping down 42 meters below, with a thunderous roar is simply magical. On a day we were there, we saw a rainbow!! Can a place be more beautiful? Game drives here are also very exciting as animals are easy to spot. Elephants, buffalos and giraffes are very common. Lion sightings here are occasional but they are there. We also spotted the elusive leopard (lucky us!), warthogs and lots of antelopes like Uganda kob, Jacksons hartebeest and waterbucks. The park is also home to hundreds (451) of birds species like the shoebill, Abyssinian ground hornbill, secretary birds, black bellied bustards, and a lot more. Murchison Falls National Park offers the best game viewing safari!!
Had a three days stay in the park and the wildlife was amazing. It was my first time to see a lion in the wild. Now I offer safaris to Uganda and it is the most amazing park you would wish to visit. What to do in the park Photography, Murchison falls, game drives, boat cruise to bottom of the falls and to the delta, bird watching, nature walks, sport fishing, hiking.
Murchison Falls National Park is one of Africa's remarkable safari destinations, it offers complete safari experiences to travelers such as wildlife viewing/ game viewing, adventure for those that make it to the top of the roaring water falls. I love the top of the falls, it is an "epic moment of greatness" while here. The wildlife is superb, watching the hyenas hunt, the Rothschild giraffes pacing away majestically into the acacia trees, African elephants drinking from the Nile.....is a great experience. The Launch cruise along the NILE all the way to the bottom of the falls is all great. What an encounter!, My Easter holiday well spent.
Our 2-day visit to Murchison Falls National park transformed our lives and honestly makes me wanna go back and make another visit again and again. The beautiful scenery and impressive wildlife in the park, the hike to the top of the falls is yet another great activity you wanna try. The park visit was much greater than we expected.
Murchison Falls the biggest national park in Uganda. It is locally refereed to a Kabalega National Park. It can be visited throughout the year for activities like game drives, boat cruise on River Nile, hiking to the top of the falls, community visits among others. The park is strategically located not far away from other tourist destinations such as Budongo Forest and Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where chimp and white rhino trekking can be done, respectively.
I really enjoyed the high numbers of hippos and Nile crocodiles thriving in the river waters and seeing the wild game including elephants, waterbuck, buffalo, kobs and the rare giraffe tending to gather on the banks in search of drinking water. The bird species such as rare and vulnerable shoebill stork, saddle billed stork, goliath heron, African fish eagle, African Jacana, pied and malachite kingfishers, African skimmer and piac-piac among other species also made me generate ultimate safari memories at the park.
Murchison Falls national park has the most beautiful water falls ever. The site of the water flowing down is so amazing and eye catching you cant stop staring. I recommend that the water falls are a must see to anyone who is visiting Uganda. It's the ultimate experience.
Budongo forest is one of Ugandas still proudly-conserved rain forests with an affluent biodiversity of over 49 tree species, various birds, and primates like the chimps with some areas being occupied by the locals. Base your visit from Kaniyo Pabidi, which is the main park road to the forest. A forest guided walk, takes approximately 2 hrs through East Africas remaining Mahogany forest with great views of the largest specimen, 60 m tall and 400 year old Mahogany tree. Also, do note that Budongo Forest management was the first place to employ a female ranger, Sauda, therefore when you are at Budongo, do ask for Sauda, you will have a wonderful time with her as she offers you a wide overview of the flora in the forest and all the believes connected to every plant. Black and white colobus monkeys and duikers are commonly seen in the forest also; the 4 hrs walks climb Pabidi Hill from which you can see most of the landscapes of Murchison falls National Park and Lake Albert. Remember to hug the largest mahogany tree on your forest walk.
The drive from Kampala is relatively long (almost seven hrs) although we made a stop over at Masindi for lunch. We are headed to Murchison falls National Park, one of the oldest in Uganda. The road stretch from Masindi to the park is not so smooth. Am told by our driver that it can be so tricky during the rain season. This is one of the scenic parks in East Africa. The long Nile beautifully snakes its way across the vast park bisecting it. The water falls are a spectacular view. Here the mighty Nile narrows and squeezes its volume through a gorge(only 23 ft wide)! It then drops 141 ft down the cliff...what a force! Four of the big five can be spotted in the park( I did not see rhinos) and for primate watchers, this is where to go. Chimps hang precariously on the tall mahogany, as do gorillas and monkeys. Down the plains, Savanna animals are aplenty: lions, elephants, zebras antelopes and buffalo. At the river bank, most of the animals find their way there for a thirst quench. There are however the permanent residents here: huge hippos and crocodiles sun basking on the banks motionlessly. Its 5 PM and we have to make it back to Kampala by late night. We are told there is the luxurious Paraa Safari Lodge nearby but some of us are hitting the road again by day break!
Getting to Murchison Falls from Entebbe or Kampala
If you are landing at Uganda's international airport in Entebbe and looking to drive to Murchison Falls, you are looking at about five hours of driving time under normal conditions. Those who do opt to drive often combine a the trip with a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is about an hour outside of the park.
For those on a tighter time budget, there are direct flights to Pakuba (Murchison Falls) from Entebbe that currently fly three times per week. A more expensive option is to do a charter flight, which allows you to fly any day you wish, but is also more expensive.
The following airlines travel to Murchison Falls National Park
AeroLink Uganda Limited is a domestic airline offering both scheduled and charter flights into Uganda's national parks. From its base at Entebbe International Airport, AeroLink using its Cessna Grand Caravans, offers daily flights into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Kihihi and Kisoro airstrips), Queen Elizabeth National Park (Kasese and Mweya airstrips), Murchison Falls (Bugungu, Pakuba and Chobe airstrips), Semuliki National Park (Semliki airstrip) and Kidepo Valley National Park (Apoka airstrip). Effective 1st June 2019, in partnership with its sister company Airkenya Express Limited, Aerolink commenced scheduled flights from Entebbe International Airport to the famous Maasai Mara in Kenya via Kisumu International Airport for Immigration. AeroLink Uganda is affiliated to Airkenya Express in Kenya and Regional Air Services in Tanzania. Visit website
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Regional services within Kenya. At Airkenya safety and security are of paramount importance. As one of Africas leading aviation companies Airkenya aspires to reach new heights of service delivery. At Airkenya our diverse operations are looked into with eagle eyes. Our aircraft are thoroughly inspected by highly trained engineers to ensure our passengers enjoy consistently smooth safe flights. Our excellent maintenance facilities have been approved by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority in accordance with international airworthiness safety standards. This together with our dedicated ground team has secured Airkenya an impressive track record for safety. Visit website
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Based in Kampala, operates scheduled and charter services across eastern and central Africa. Eagle Air is a Private Ltd Company specialising in the provision of Charter and Schedule Air services both within Uganda and around the East & Central Africa Region. Eagle Air was incorporated as an air operator in June 1994. Visit website
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Precision Air is a publicly-listed Tanzanian airline and a leader in providing scheduled flight services to over 10 destinations within and outside Tanzania from its main hub Dar es Salaam. The company operates on the principle that quick, comfortable and reliable service is the best way to serve its customers. Through its customer-focused approach, many have become part of the Precision Air family. Precision Air started with its headquarters in Arusha - the midpoint between the Cape and Cairo, which is the entry point to many of Tanzania's world-renowned landmarks and national parks. The headquarters of Precision Air are now Dar es Salaam, the business complex of the country, which is home to a vast size of traffic travelling within and outside Tanzania. Visit website
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