Named after the majestic Murchison Falls – also known as Kabalega Falls – Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest protected wildlife sanctuary. Found in North-West Uganda, this 3,840km2 park is roughly a 5-hour drive from Entebbe.
Ancient fate created Murchison Falls. After leaving Lake Victoria, the Nile River flows at around 300 cubic meters per second and squeezes through an 8m wide gorge. In one of nature’s most dramatic displays, the river plunges 43m (141ft) over a precipice and lands in the “Devil’s Cauldron” below, creating a rainbow alongside the thundering roar of the raging river.
A waterfall cruise to the bottom of the falls at sundown is a memorable way to soak up the majesty of this powerful, natural feature. While crocodiles lie soaking up the last of the sun’s rays, great pods of hippo get ready to emerge for their nocturnal feasting.
The Paraa area of the park is found close to the banks of river Nile. Paraa means the ‘home of hippos’, and is an apt description for this wildlife-rich area. Despite the cute cartoons we see of hippos, they’re fiercely territorial are actually the world’s deadliest land mammal. Antelope, zebra, warthog, Cape Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Hartebeest, elephants and the rare Rothschild giraffe might be spotted as they quench their thirst at the water’s edge – ever wary of lion, leopard and spotted hyena who drink from the same source.
The park’s wooded areas provide a perfect habitat for primates. Over 800 chimpanzees, olive baboons, black & white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys and many others species can be found in Kaniyo Pabidi, as well as the Budongo forest.
Murchison Falls National Park – along with Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and Karuma Wildlife Reserve – forms part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area. It’s home to the country’s largest population of crocodile. Within the park you’ll find 450 species of birdlife and over 76 species of mammals.
The Buligi game area offers some of the best game viewing in the park. Early morning or late afternoon game drives offer visitors the best sighting opportunities. The varied landscape, made up of savanna grasslands, riverine vegetation, woodland and acacia trees, creates a beautiful backdrop for the animals and birds who live within the park.
Buligi is found between the Victoria Nile and the Albert Nile, and offers breath-taking views across the Western Rift Valley, beyond Lake Albert and onward to the DRC.
A guided walk may take you to visit the native Luo people. Here, you can learn about the local Luo culture and way of life.
Whether you choose to explore the park by foot, on the water, or on game drives, you’re guaranteed to see abundant wildlife and birdlife within the boundaries of this pristine national park.