Murchison Falls National Park Safari

Murchison Falls is home to a variety of birds, some of which are uncommon, common, and only appear on occasion. Murchison Falls National Park is widely renowned for the Shoebill stork, a prehistoric bird that is much sought for.

An East African adventure must include a visit to Murchison Falls National Park, a natural wonder in northwest Uganda. The Falls are a renowned tourist site not just in Uganda, but throughout the African continent. During his nineteenth-century explorations of Uganda, Sir Samuel Baker established the moniker Murchison. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest park, is home to practically every major wildlife in Africa. It is a lion conservation unit with one of Africa’s greatest Roskilde Giraffe populations. The parks have vast savannah grasslands as well as spectacular woodlands like Budongo forest where you can get a chance to trek habituated chimpanzees.

There are many of activities to keep you busy during your Uganda safari at Murchison National Park, but by far the most popular is a guided safari. The park’s wildlife includes elephants, hippos, chimpanzees, and crocodiles. White rhinos may also be seen at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which was established near the park.

When you arrive at Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, you’ll realize why the entire 1,500-square-mile park is named for the tumbling waterfall. The water comes from the Victoria Nile River, but not in the way you might expect. The water rushes through a 6-meter-long earthen gap, pushing forward before plummeting down a massive drop.

Murchison Falls is sometimes compared to the waterfalls in Canada’s Nahanni National Park, yet Murchison is considerably more impressive. Ugandans think that “these falls are characterized by an exterior struggle between the rock and the water.” When you consider the enormous force necessary to force water through the Earth, you’ll completely agree with us that Murchison Falls National Park is a must visit safari destination in Uganda.

The waterfall may be seen in two ways. The first stage is to ascend to the peak, from which you can see where the water falls down the valley known as the “devil’s cauldron.” The trek from bottom to top takes around 45 minutes and is acceptable for anyone with two functional legs. In other words, it is not strenuous.

Another option is to take a boat safari to get as close to the falls from below as possible. It is recommended that you view the falls from both sides since each provides an entirely different experience. If you must choose one, it is recommended that you make the short hike to the peak.

What can I expect to see on my Safari to Murchison Falls National Park?

Visit Murchison Falls.

One of the delights of a Murchison Falls National Park Safari is the magnificent water falls. The falls are distinguished by forcefully rushing waters down a tiny canyon, resulting in a constant rainbow. Visitors may see the famed Nile River split into lesser Uhuru Falls from Baker’s Point on the southern border of the national park. The Uhuru falls were formed after the river breached its banks in 1962.

The 5 Days Murchison Falls
15-Days Uganda Safari and Rwenzori Hike


Murchison Falls National Park is the place where you want to be for the finest wildlife viewing safari in Uganda, as every visitor who has visited this national park can confirm. The park is home to over 76 animal species, including elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, impala, Topi, waterbucks, bush pigs, and baboons, to name a few. The park also includes 451 bird species, including the Giant Kingfisher, Giant Heron, Marabou stork, Nightjars, and the much sought after Shoebill stork.

Explore the Nile River

Your Murchison falls national park safari will entail you exploring the famous Nile River. The boat trip leads you to the foot of Murchison Falls, where you are rewarded with beautiful views. A boat ride on the northern bank provides you with breathtaking views of various species such as mammals, birds, and reptiles. Hiking and nature hikes along the Nile’s north and south banks, as well as sport fishing and white-water rafting, are also available to visitors

The Nile Delta.

The Nile delta is where the Victoria Nile empties into Lake Albert. This section of the national park is popular with birders due to the abundance of birds, including Goliath Herons, Great Egrets, African Fish Eagles, and the uncommon Shoebill stork. For bird enthusiasts, this is the place to be. Visitors may also see wildlife species like as elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, and even lions if they look closely.

Budongo Forest

The famed Budongo Forest is located south-west of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area, near to the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. After a game drive at Murchison Falls National Park, guests may go monkey trekking here. Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo Forest is a fascinating and daring sport that has gained in popularity in recent years. Budongo Forest also supports 24 animal species, 465 plant species, 289 butterfly, and more than 360 bird species.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:

Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary is situated about 125 kilometers from Murchison Falls National Park. The rhino sanctuary is Uganda’s sole area where visitors may see rhinoceros. Visitors can stop at the rhino refuge on their way to the national park.

3 Days Murchison Falls National Park Safari

What can I do during my Murchison Falls National Park Safari?

Game Drive Safaris in Murchison Falls National Park.

During a guided game drive at Murchison Falls National Park, you will see a variety of wildlife animals. The delta, where you have a better chance of sighting Lions, the Buligi Peninsula, and the southern sector are also popular destinations for game drives in the park. Hippos, elephants, antelopes, duikers, impala, zebras, hartebeests, leopards, the side striped jackal, and Nile crocodiles are among the various natural creatures that tourists can see during game drives.

Boat Cruise Tours in Murchison Falls National Park.

Boat excursions on the Nile River in Murchison Falls National site are a must-do for any visitor to the site. All launches in the national park begin at the Paraa landing point. You may expect to see elephants, buffaloes, Nile crocodiles, hippos, and waterbucks while on a boat trip in the park.

If you enjoy birds then you may take advantage of this opportunity to spot birdspecies such as the shoebill stork, cormorants, and kingfishers, among others. The launch trips in the national park begin at 9 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. The boat rides are three hours long.

The national park provides boat tours downstream to the Nile Delta, increasing tourists’ chances of seeing the rare and highly sought after Shoebill stork as well as other creatures such as hippos, elephants, and crocodiles. A round trip to the Nile delta and return takes around 4-5 hours. Sundowner boat rides depart at 5.30 p.m., affording guests iconic views of a tropical sunset reflected in the river.

Entrance Fees for Murchison Falls National Park

Sport Fishing Tours on a safari in Murchison Falls

Sport fishing is hard for the faint of heart at Murchison Falls National Park. This activity awards visitors with the largest Nile River catch. Visitors may capture a variety of fish species, including Nile Perch, Cat Fish, Tilapia, Tiger fish, Electric cat-fish, and Ngara, a local delicacy in northern Uganda. The heaviest Nile Perch ever taken in Murchison Falls weighed 113kgs, while the largest catfish weighed 45kgs.

If you want to go on a spot fishing tour at Murchison Falls National Park, then you will have to purchase a fishing permit for USD $50 per day or USD $150 for four days. These charges do not include park admission. You are recommended to bring your own fishing gear.

Hiking and Nature Walks

Depending on your length of stay in the park, you can also take part in hiking tours and nature walks that have been arranged by your tour operator company. The park provides guided nature treks to the top of the falls, as well as to the Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests. Visitors who want to explore Rabongo Forest can do so by visiting the Rabongo Forest Ecotourism Centre, where you will be provided with a guide.

Guided nature excursions in the forest allow you to see animals like as red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, chimps, birds, tree species, and medicinal plants, among others. You will also witness the endangered Shoebill stork, do chimp trekking in Budongo forest, and see several bird species in Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo woods.

Murchison falls National park- African wildlife safari

Bird watching

Birdwatching is one activity that you cannot miss out on during your Murchison Falls national park safari. Birding in the park is best done during the dry season, which runs from January to March. Notable bird species seen by birders include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Widow Bird, Open-billed Storks, Black-bellied Bustards, and Secretary birds.

Other bird species that may be seen near to the river, thickets, and forests are the Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, the Francolin Hornbill, the Grey Heron, the Hamerkop, Flycatchers, woodpeckers, Cuckoos, the Crombec, and Warblers. The sighting of the uncommon shoebill stork is the highlight of any bird watching excursion in the national park.

Cultural/ Community Tours

Cultural Tours allow tourists to learn more about the numerous ethnic communities that live inside and surrounding the national park. During these cultural tours, guests get the opportunity to mingle with the locals, learn about their customs, see performances by local dance groups, and explore local craft stores. Cultural experiences at Murchison Falls National Park include visits to Mubako Community and Boomu Women’s Group.

A sample of a murchison falls national park safari

If you are a first-time tourist looking for a Murchison Falls National Park Safari, here is what your itinerary may look like;

Day 1: Transfer to Murchison falls national park

Depending on your location in Kampala or Entebbe on the first day of the 4 days Murchison falls safari you will be welcomed by your driver guide who will be assigned to you by your tour operator company. Your driving guide will educate you on the safari before departing for Murchison Falls National Park in northeastern Uganda. The drive takes roughly 5 to 6 hours, including a halt in Masindi town for lunch before continuing on to Murchison Falls National Park. Upon arrival, you will go on an optional game drive to see different animal species before driving to your choice resort for supper and an overnight stay.

Day 2: Morning game drive and afternoon boat cruise

Morning game drive

After an early breakfast on the second day of your four-day Murchison Falls safari, you will meet with your driving guide to go on an early morning wildlife drive. During the game drive, you will follow various game tracks such as Buligi, Victoria, and Albert game tracks where you will see animals such as elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeest, lions, waterbucks, warthogs, leopards, Uganda kobs, and bird species such as black bellied bustard, secretary birds, open billed stork, grey crowned crane, and goliath heron. Following the wildlife drive, you will return to the lodge for lunch.

Afternoon boat cruise

After lunch, you will be driven to the Paraa landing location for a boat ride to the bottom of the falls. The scheduled boat cruise lasts about 2 to 3 hours and allows you to cruise meters away from animals such as elephants, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, warthogs, and waterbucks that will be drinking water along the shores, as well as view large concentrations of hippos and Nile crocodiles in water, aquatic bird species such as King fishers, fish eagles, Bee-eaters, Herons, and cormorants. Following the exciting boat trip, you will meet your driving guide and return to the resort for an evening of leisure, supper, and overnight stay at your lodge.

Day 3: Game drive and relaxation

On the third day of your four-day Murchison Falls safari, after breakfast, your driving guide will pick you up from the lodge and take you to the top of the falls, where you will be able to enjoy fantastic views of the cascade, gorgeous landscape, and many animals, among other things. After the top of the falls drive, you will return to the lodge for lunch, where you will spend the remainder of the day at leisure before supper and overnight stay.

Day 4: Departure to Kampala

On the final day of your four-day Murchison Falls safari, you will enjoy a leisurely breakfast, check out of the lodge, and meet your driver guide to begin the journey back to Kampala. On the way, you will stop at the Ziwa rhino sanctuary for 2 hours of rhino tracking before continuing your adventure with an en-route lunch. After lunch, you will travel to Kampala, where you will be dropped off at any location of your choice by your driver guide.

When can I visit Murchison Falls National Park?

If you are planning your safari to Murchison falls national park, then the best time for your safari would be between December and February, and June and September. The park endures its dry seasons throughout these months. During this season, you may easily see wildlife animals since the animals spend a lot of time grouped near water pools in the national park. The greatest time to go bird watching in the national park is between January and March, when there is a large diversity of bird species and less tourists.

Where can I stay during my safari in Murchison Falls National Park?

Within the national park, there are several hotel facilities that provide will provide you with a variety of overnight alternatives during your safari and these range from budget to midrange  and  luxury lodges such as Paraa Safari Lodge, Parkside Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, Murchison Safari Lodge, Pakuba Safari Lodge Red Chill Rest Camp, GeoLodges- Nile Safari Lodge, Sambiya River Lodge, GeoLodges Shoebill Camp Site, Yebo Safari Camp, and UWA Campsite among others. Other nearby lodging options include the Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Budongo Ecolodge, Masindi Hotel, and New Court View Hotel.

How to get to Murchison Falls National Park?

Using the Southern Gate Entrance to Murchison Falls National Park.

There are two ways for you to get reach the park’s southern gate at Paraa. These two southern gates to Paraa also take you out of Masindi town, which is a four-hour trip from Kampala. If you that take this route, then you can stop at the Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary, where you will see rhinos in the wild. The primary road from Masindi enters the Murchison Falls Conservation Area by Kichumbanyobo Gate and on to Paraa via Kaniyo Pabidi Forest.

Alternatively, you can take a considerably longer but more picturesque road that goes for roughly 135 kilometers from Masindi to the national park’s Bugungu entrance. If you take this route, you will be able to see the famed Budongo Forest and a rift valley escarpment, as well as views of Lake Albert and several mountains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Using the Northern Gate Entry

You can also access by the northern entrance gates at Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako, and Tangi. You may reach these gates through the Kampala-Packwach route, which is approximately 260 kilometers from Kampala. If you are accessing the park through this route, you will be able to visit breathtaking sites such as the Karuma Falls. This route is the greatest alternative for you traveling from Gulu and Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda’s north eastern region.

How to Get to Bwindi Forest National Park for Gorilla Trekking

By Air.

If you want to avoid the long road trip, you can fly to Murchison Falls. You may be transferred to the park’s Pakuba airport through chartered planes from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airport. Chobe and Bugungu airfields, both near Murchison Falls, are also located within the national park.

All in all; Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda is the country’s most popular location for wildlife safaris. Many travelers come to this national park to see the magnificent beauty and stunning Murchison Falls. A safari in Uganda would be incomplete without a visit to this national park.

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