Murchison Falls National Park

Where is Murchison Falls National Park Located?

Murchison falls National park is situated in the northern part of the Albertine Rift Valley – a drive approximately 6hours from Kampala – Northwest of the country accessed via Masindi.

It’s situated in a place where the massive Bunyoro escarpment joins into the enormous plains of Acholi land. It is Uganda’s biggest National Park covering over and became the country’s first National Park in 1952.

The southern and southwestern region of the Murchison falls conservation area is occupied by Bugungu as well as Karuma wildlife reserves making it about 5,072km2. The Albert Nile corridor is on the low plains of about 612m at the delta point. The boat trip along the Nile to Murchison Falls is one of East Africa’s top wildlife spectacles.

The temperatures tend to be hot rising up to over 290C during the day and dropping to about 180C with a dry spell from December towards the end of February and June to September. It’s home to the exciting falls-The Murchison, presenting visitors to the park opportune moments to see, hear the exploding falls.

murchison falls national park

The thundering Murchison Falls and the River Nile with its hippos and ranks of crocodiles on the sandbanks, coupled with large numbers of other species coming down to drink and bathe provide the main attractions for tourists visiting the park.

The most enduring and famous safari attraction at Murchison falls national park is the Paraa launch trip to view the spectacle. A guest can run into Crocodiles, Lions, Elephants, Hippos, Hartebeest, Buffalo, Rothschild Giraffe, Oribi, and Monitor Lizards on their way to Murchison Falls.

When is the best time to visit Murchison Falls Park?

The best time to visit is during the dry seasons from December to late February and from June to September when animals are concentrated around water points. The prime time for bird watching is in January-March when tourist numbers are lowest.

Wildlife of Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls Conservation Area has 76 species of mammals as well as Uganda’s largest population of crocodiles.

The park hosts four of the Big Five; only rhino is absent. You will find many different animal species like crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes, Rothschild’s giraffes, Jackson’s heartbeats, waterbucks, warthogs, oribis, Uganda kob, grey duiker in Murchison’s Falls, and chimpanzees in Budongo forest. The Victoria Nile is a magnet for wildlife, and it teems with crocodiles and hippo.

There are several animals not present in MFNP including; zebra, wildebeest, white rhino, black rhino, cheetah, and wild dogs. Occasionally sighted animals are leopard, hyena, patas monkey.

Primates found in Murchison Falls National Park

The savanna-dwelling patas monkey is only found here. Around 800 chimpanzees live in the Kaniyo Pabidi and Budongo Forests. Olive baboons are common along the roadside. Blue and red-tailed monkeys and black-and-white colobus can be found in the forested sectors.

Other Activities

  • Game drives for wildlife viewing.
  • Boat safari launch trip to the bottom of Murchison Falls
  • Trek to top of Murchison Falls
  • Chimpanzee trekking in Budongo
  • Nature walks
  • Bird Watching
  • Sportfishing
  • Hot Air Balloon


  • Paraa
  • The Nile
  • Karuma Falls
  • Budongo Forest
  • Rabongo Forest
  • Kaniyo Pabidi
  • Buligi Area
  • Hot Springs
  • Mining and Salt Processing

Accomodations at Murchison Falls Park

There are so many cheap accommodations at Murchison falls national park that you can choose from during your safari to the Murchison. These lodges provide showers, toilets, and various amenities. If you want a luxurious stay you can also choose from a range of luxury lodges and hotels around the national park.

The most notable lodges for your stay are;

  1. Bakers Lodge
  2. Chobe Safari Lodge
  3. Paraa Safari Lodge
  4. Murchison River Lodge

There are also campsites and bandas for those who like a more traditional or wild experience. These include;

  1. Boomu women’s group bandas
  2. Uganda wildlife campsite
  3. Ziwa rhino camp

And many more.

Getting to Murchison Falls Park

The Nile River is crossed at Paraa using a vehicle ferry that runs roughly hourly intervals throughout the day.

Southern Entrance Gates:

  • Kampala through Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to Masindi town- 4hours drive -305km
  • Shorter route—Masindi to Murchison falls through Kichumbanyobo Gate to pass through Kaniyo Pabidi Forest to Paraa (85km).
  • Longer route- Masindi to the Bugungu gate, through Budongo Forest, the descent of the rift valley escarpment over Butiaba with views across Lake Albert towards the Congo’s mountains.
Northern Entrance Gates:
  • Kampala-Pakwach road, at Karuma Falls Bridge via the Chobe, Wankwar, Mubako, and Tangi gates north of the Nile. 260km from Kampala.

These gates are convenient for a visitor traveling to/from Gulu town and Kidepo Valley National Park. The Pakwach gate covers an area of about 25km2 to Paraa in addition to Wankwar Gate close to Purongo.