Covering a total area of 3898 square kilometers, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest Park in Uganda. Murchison is located in the north western part of Uganda, it straddles for four Ugandan districts including Buliisa, Nwoya, Masindi and Kiryandongo.
It’s home to the Murchison falls. These falls are formed by the waters of the Nile that flow through a narrow gorge.
Murchison Falls Conservation Area was first visited by explorers John Speke and James Grant in 1862. Later explored by Samuel and Florence Baker in 1863 to 1864. The falls were named after the geologist “Roderick Murchison”.
Inhabitants of an area totaling to 13000 square kilometers were evacuated between the years of 1907 and 1912 due to sleeping sickness spread by tse-tse flies.
After the establishing the National Parks Act of Uganda by the British administration in 1952, the area was declared Murchison Falls National Park.
How to get there
There are two options to reach Murchison from Kampala. You either go by road or privately arranged charters.
By Road, Kampala – Masindi – Gulu high way is the usual route. It takes about 7-8 hours to drive from Kampala to the Park depending on the speed used and en route stop overs included.
On your way to Murchison, you can have a stopover in Nakasongola for Rhinoceros in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.
Have lunch either in the Sanctuary or in Masindi town. After continue Journeying up to the Park for check-in at your lodge.
If not Kampala, you can connect to Murchison Falls National Park from Kidepo Valley National Park or Kibale Forest National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park via Hoima – Masindi road.
By Air – Private charters are arranged by aero link or any other operator from Kajjansi airstrip to Pakuba airstrip.
Things to do in the Park
This is the best way to soak up spectacular views of different Wild animals, rolling hills, Savannah, along with sunset or sunrise.
Using a suitable 4×4 wheel Safari jeep with pop up roof, drives are done following permanent trails at a low speed such that clients are able to take a lot of photos, admire different views and more.
Day game driving is done in the morning to catch the early risers or evening when different animals and bird species are preparing for night stay plus scenic views of sunset.
Murchison’s boat cruise reveals different aquatic species including the Wild animals like elephants which draw near the banks in need of water. Other species to sight on boat include Hippopotamus, crocodiles and species of water birds.
With this you meet the Chimpanzee Primates in the Jungles. It’s usually done in a group.
You walk a reasonable distance following the permanently established trails until you discover the presence of these primates.
Distance moved depends on where these creatures spent their last night. Besides Chimpanzees, visitors are exposed to a wide range of inhabited species.
In Murchison Falls National Park you can do this activity in Budongo forest reserve at a cost of $90 USD per person.
Murchison Falls National Park is a paradise for bird watching. It is home to a huge number of different bird species. Budongo Forest reserve, part of Murchison is the most perfect with different unique species. The best time for several sights is either morning or evening time. Other exciting activities to enjoy include White water rafting and hiking to the top of the falls.