The Ultimate Guide Of Murchison Falls National Park

Nestled in the heart of Uganda, Murchison Falls National Park is like this hidden gem that’s just waiting for curious travelers like you and me to explore.

In this guide, I’m super excited to share with you all the must-knows and must-dos of this magical place. Whether you’re an avid animal lover, a waterfall chaser, or just someone looking for a memorable trip, Murchison Falls National Park has something special in store for you.

nile river

Murchison Falls National Park

Did you know that Murchison Falls is the largest national park in Uganda? Yep, that’s right! Spanning a whopping 3,840 square kilometers, it’s home to over 76 different types of mammals and a bird-watcher’s dream with 450 feathered species fluttering around. That’s a whole lot of nature to explore!

Now, who takes care of this vast treasure trove? Well, it’s looked after by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the superheroes behind many of Uganda’s pristine parks. They ensure that places like Murchison Falls remain a haven for animals and a joy for us travelers.

The park’s landscape is pretty unique too! It stretches all the way from Lake Albert to the mighty River Nile, right up to the stunning Karuma Falls. And guess what? It’s not just about nature; this park is rooted deep in local culture, encompassing regions like Bulisa, Kiryandongo, and Nwoya, with the charming town of Masindi nearby.

falls in uganda

But wait, there’s more! Uganda is bursting with other fantastic spots to explore, like the regal Queen Elizabeth National Park or the mysterious Kibale Forest. So, if you’re itching for an African adventure, Murchison Falls and its neighboring gems await your discovery.

Read more: The Perfect 2 Day Kampala Itinerary – How to Spend 2 Days in Kampala

How To Get There

If you’re up for a bit of a road trip, you can drive from Kampala. It’s about 305km, which means around 4.5 hours of singing along to your favorite tunes and playing “I spy” games. There are different entrances to the park, whether you’re coming from the north or the south. Some of the popular gates are Kichumbanyobo, Bugungu, and Chobe.

But if you’re more of a “let’s get there fast” person, catch a flight! There are chartered planes you can hop on from Entebbe International Airport. You can book these flights with different airlines Like Aerolink Uganda or Eagle Airlines. The park has a few airstrips like Pakuba and Chobe. And the best part? Once you land, a guide will usually be there to whisk you away to start your adventure or chill at your lodge.

Honestly, both ways have their perks. By road, you get to see lots of cool stuff along the way, and it feels like a real journey. But by air, you’re in for a quick and scenic trip above the beautiful landscapes of Uganda.

Best Time To Visit Murchison Falls

While you can pop by any time of the year, December to February is pretty awesome. Why? Because it’s drier, and guess what? The animals are on the move looking for water. So, it’s like a live-action movie where you get to see all these cool animals up close!

Oh, and another popular time to visit? Between June and September. It’s like the park’s “in” season. Loads of people visit Uganda then.

How Many Days Should I Spend There

For a first-time visit, I’d suggest spending at least 2-3 days there. That gives you enough time to see the majestic falls, spot some amazing wildlife, and maybe even take a cool boat ride. But if you’re super into nature and animals, you might want to hang around a bit longer, like 4-5 days. It all depends on what you want to do and see.


There are so many cool things at Murchison Falls National Park:

Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls is a truly incredible sight nestled in northwestern Uganda. Here’s the deal: The Victoria Nile River, after flowing calmly for miles, suddenly faces a big decision. Instead of taking the wide route, it challenges itself and flows through a super narrow 20-foot gap. Once it pushes through, it doesn’t stop there! The water takes a breathtaking drop, divided into three cascading falls. The biggest and most magnificent drop among them is known as the Murchison Falls.

murchison falls

Karuma Falls

Karuma Falls is a hidden gem nestled within Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest national park. This stunning waterfall, overshadowed by the renowned Murchison Falls, is unique in its own right. It features a series of natural rocks at its base, creating a mesmerizing ripple effect as the waters of the Victoria Nile cascade over them. The locals believe that the spirit named Karuma strategically placed these rocks, giving the falls their iconic appearance and name.

The historical significance of Karuma Falls is also noteworthy. The famous explorer, John Speke, once journeyed by these falls during his quest to discover the source of the grand River Nile. The falls, with their blend of natural beauty, history, and legend, are a must-visit spot for anyone seeking the magic of Ugandan landscapes.

The Nile

Have you ever heard of the Nile River? Yup, that super famous one you probably learned about in school! Well, guess where it makes a jaw-dropping appearance? Right in Murchison Falls National Park!

The Nile at Murchison isn’t just your regular river. It narrows down and then plunges in a roaring waterfall! It’s like watching nature’s own magic show! And if you’re up for an adventure, you can take a boat ride on the Nile and feel like an explorer, discovering new lands and spotting cool animals along the way.

Budongo Forest

This place is a secret hideaway for our primate pals, especially the playful chimpanzees! Yep, you heard that right! You can trek through the forest and maybe even spot one swinging from the trees or munching on some fruit.

And oh, for my bird-loving friends, this forest is like a paradise! You’ll spot the majestic African eagle soaring high, the vibrant Black-headed gonolek flitting about, and if you’re super lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Giant kingfisher or the elegant Goliath heron. The list goes on with so many other feathery friends calling this forest home.

The Ziwa Rhino Sactuary

Back in 2005, some people decided they wanted to help the white rhino population in Uganda. Why? Well, back in the 1990s, some not-so-nice folks went on a poaching spree, and guess what? There were no white rhinos left in places like Murchison Falls and Kidepo National parks where they used to roam freely.

But here comes the awesome part! Thanks to this project that started in 2005, they’ve been working hard to help the white rhinos make a comeback. And guess what? It’s working! Today, there are 22 happy southern white rhinos chilling at the sanctuary.


If you’re planning a trip to Murchison Falls National Park, you’re in for some serious fun. Let’s chat about the awesome stuff you can do there:

  • First up, have you ever dreamed of meeting a chimpanzee up close? Well, in the lush Budongo Forest, you can join a Chimpanzee Tracking Tour. It’s an amazing experience getting to hang out with these cool apes.
  • Oh, and do you like hot air balloons? Because guess what – you can take a ride in one right over the park! Imagine floating high in the sky at sunrise, looking down at all the animals and the stunning scenery. Just a heads up, it’s a bit pricey (around $380 to $400), but so worth it.
  • Now, if you’re into birds, this place is like a treasure chest. There are loads of different bird types, from those found near water to those chirping away in the forests. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some rare ones. You can check them out during boat rides and when you’re out and about in the park.
murchison falls
  • And speaking of being out and about, you can’t miss the Game Drives! They’re like epic road trips where you can see animals up close, especially in places like the Delta area, Buligi Peninsula, and the southern sector. Remember to set your alarm though, as they usually happen early in the morning or just before sunset.

Read more: 5 Amazing Things To Do In Uganda


For those looking to treat themselves, places like the Chobe Safari Lodge, Paraa Safari Lodge, and Nile Safari Lodge roll out the red carpet. Want something comfy without breaking the bank? Check out the Pakuba Safari Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, or Fort Murchison Safari Lodge. They’re perfect for travelers wanting a mix of comfort and value. And if you’re traveling on a tight budget? No worries! The Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Yebo Safari Camp, and Parkside Safari Lodge have got you covered. So, remember, whatever your budget, Murchison Falls National Park has a cozy corner just for you.

  • Nile Safari Lodge (+256 772 363 362 +256 757 363 362)
  • Paraa Safari Lodge
    Tel: +256 312 260260/1, +256 414 255992
  • Rest Chilli Rest Camp
    Tel:+256 414 223903
    Mobile: +256 772 709150
  • Yebo Safari Camp
    Tel: +256 465 420029
    Mobile: +256 772 637493, +256 701 637493
  • Chobe Safari Lodge
    Tel: +256 312 260260/1, +256 414 255992
  • Murchison Safari Lodge
    Tel: +256 412 74767
    Mobile: +256 772 430587
  • Boomu Women´s Group Bandas
    Mobile: +256 772 930304, +256 772 657700

Bottom Line

We’ve taken a virtual journey through the wonders of Murchison Falls National Park, from rhinos to balloon rides and chirpy birds. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or splurging for luxury, there’s something for everyone in this majestic park.

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