MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Murchison Falls National Park is one of Uganda’s first parks established in 1952 after being gazetted as a game reserve in 1926, and is the largest national park at a size of 3840kms. Also known as “Kabalega Falls”, the park lies at the Northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley hosting 76 species of mammals and 451 birds. While here, expect to see great and diverse wildlife, various bird species, and most importantly the famous falls that plunge through the narrow 45m remnant of the rift valley.
There are a number of activities that can be enjoyed while at Murchison Falls National Park. These could be enjoyed solo or in groups with the help of experienced guides who share their knowledge of the park and its habitats and features. These include among others game drives, nature walks, nocturnal drives, launch trips as may be seen below;
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Murchison Falls National park is one of the only two National Parks with Hot Air balloon safaris. Get a new perspective on Murchison falls as you catch the sun rise as you fly high above the plains with views of features like the Great Rift Valley, the escarpments, herds of buffaloes, the great African elephants, lions and more. Crown your adventure with a bush breakfast or luncheon.
While at Murchison Falls, the game drive through the savannah and the Riverine forest is a great experience tourists ought to undergo. The main areas are the Buligi Peninsular in the southern sector famously known as the heart of Murchison, and the Delta area where there are great chances of seeing the lions in wait for prey as they go to drink oblivious of the danger at bay. See as many wildlife species as possible while on the game drive like the giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, African elephants, and bushpigs among others. A nocturnal drive gives more chances of viewing the nocturnal wildlife as they are out more then.
Murchison Falls National Park offers the greatest experience of the boat cruise upstream or downstream giving you an opportunity to explore the aquatic wildlife species and discover their hidden corners and also observe the falls from the bottom. The launch trip takes about 3hours.
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding conservation area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates like the chimpanzee; and birds like the yellow-footed flycatcher, the Ituri Batis among others, whilst around the Nile Delta, 2-4 hour guided swamp walks offer possible Shoebill sightings and various butterflies.
The chimpanzees in Uganda are habituated making them less dangerous to humans. The chimpanzee tracking experience in Murchison Falls can be done in Budongo Forest and it is most popular between October and January because it’s during this period that fruits are beginning to ripen and grass is also short making it easy to track them. Chimpanzee tracking permits are however encouraged to be booked in advance with UWA.
Others prominent activities at the park are bird watching where one can come across distinct birdlife including savannah forest birds, water birds and Albertine Rift endemics; Cultural encounters where energetic dances from Mubako perform around lodge campfires giving a true and authentic African touch to your experience, Sport fishing where one can land a large Nile perch, cat-fish, Tilapia or electric cat-fish among others.
From Kampala to Murchison Falls, it can take you about 4-5 hours while in a private car and approximately 6 hours if using public means. The longer smooth road crosses the Nile at Karuma Bridge and accesses the park at 3 entry points. Chobe gate is 2km from Karuma Bridge, Wangkwar gate is a further 40 km ahead on Arua road; turn off at Purongo trading center, while Tangi gate is a further 60 km towards Pakwach town. All park entry spots have a visible signage detailing the distance ahead. The Wangkwar, Chobe and Tangi gates are ideal entrance points for travelers coming from Kidepo Valley, South Sudan, DR Congo, northern and eastern Uganda. Travelers coming from western Uganda, Kibale National Park access Murchison falls through Hoima town and drive 130km on a dirt road.
Alternatively, chartered flights from Entebbe and Kajjansi can be used to access the park. There are two airfields at Bugungu, south of the Nile and Pakuba, north of the Nile for light aircrafts; prior booking is however is required.
COST PER PERSON (US$) FOR A GIVEN PAX ON MURCHISON FALLS SAFARI
FOR FOREIGN NON RESIDENTS 2020
|COST PER PERSON IN LUXURY
|COST PER PERSON IN MIDRANGE
|COST PER PERSON IN BUDGET
4WD safari vehicle
Park entrance fee
Tour activities as per the itinerary
Meals as per the itinerary
Accommodation for 3 nights based on BB
Bottled drinking water in the safari vehicle
Company of English speaking driver guide