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Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most visited National parks in Uganda. It is a unique Safari destination, free of crowds, and wildlife spotting is fantastic. It's spectacular waterfalls see the Nile funnel explosively through a narrow cleft in the rift escarpment to form a plume of foaming white water so loud you can barely hear yourself think. You’ll love it!

Mark E.

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8 Ways to Explore Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most attractive places in Uganda. It was established in 1952 and continues to be one of the most popular wildlife tourism destinations in East Africa. The National Park attracts tourists from all over the world and is famed for being a key location in the filming of ‘The African Queen' starring Humphrey Bogart. There have been notable visitors to Murchison Falls including Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and several British royals. Murchison Falls National Park is also the largest protected area in Uganda, covering more than 4000 sq km. It is now home to many species of wild animals, over 450 species of birds, and Uganda’s largest population of Nile crocodiles. Here are 8 Things to Do at Murchison Falls National Park:

Take a guided Game drive: Although renown for its eponymous waterfall, it is home to a large variety of wildlife. If you are a box-ticker, you could tick the Big 5 with the 5th at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, so there are all your boxes ticked. But there is so much more to see, including the largest number of Rothschild Giraffes in East Africa.

Go view The Murchison Falls: The waterfalls are an incredible sight to behold. As beautifully stated in a famous local travel blog Diary of a Muzungu, “There is no Murchison Falls National Park without Murchison Falls.” At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through an 8-meter wide ravine and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow. What a sight!

Enjoy a relaxing Boat cruise on the Nile: A launch trip upstream to the falls is one of the great experiences in Africa. Elephants, hartebeests, giraffes, buffalos, hippos, crocodiles, countless antelopes, and birds can be admired at the water’s edge as the boat glides along.

Hike along the Waterfalls: The hike starts at the top of the falls and down to Bakers Point, named after the British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker. For an average level of physical fitness, the guided hike takes 45 minutes. You will walk through the countryside, escorted by chirping bird sounds and a spectacular views of the escarpment.

Take a Birding Safari: Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best places in Africa to find the prehistoric-looking shoebill stork. The park’s impressive checklist contains more than 450 species in total. Migratory birds are present from November to April. Notable bird species include the Abyssinian ground hornbill, the African jacana, the Black-billed Barbet, and many more.

View Murchison Falls on Google Maps

Delta Cruise: It takes off from Paraa and leads you down the Nile towards the shores of Lake Albert, traveling 28km and taking between 4 to 5 hours. The morning session is best for bird spotting, particularly the prehistoric-looking shoebill stork, while the afternoon session is great to watch the sunset.

Chimp trekking: Over 600 chimpanzees live in the mahogany-lined forests of Murchison Falls National Park. Most treks last around 3 hours but can be longer. Once contact is made, you will spend an hour observing the chimps and watching how they behave in their natural habitat.

Track Rhinos on Foot: Taking a trip down to see the protected Southern White Rhinos at Ziwa Sanctuary is a great way to track the endangered Rhinos by car or foot at close range. A great opportunity to complete your Big 5 game checklist.

Our Murchison Falls Safaris

We offer affordable private and small group tours to the park. Our typical tour includes a visit to the waterfalls, gently trekking to the bottom and back to the top, a relaxing afternoon boat cruise after a scrumptious meal, and finally, a second day exploring the vast Savannah plains that host the wild animals of Africa. With more time to spare, we can engage you in more fun activities such as; Chimpanzee trekking and habituation in Budongo forest, Rhino tracking at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and also birding, with over 400 species to discover, and later, take you down to the delta on an evening Delta cruise.

We are regulated by Uganda Tourism Board and customize our trips to offer you the best experiences. With high ratings and recognition from travel partners such as Tripadvisor, we aspire for travel excellence.

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Our Popular
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Join our weekly Group Safari to meet other travelers and have fun at an affordable price by clicking the button below.
Click below to book a private tour to Murchison Falls National Park.

What people say about us.

Droopy voyageur 86
Droopy voyageur 86
February 27, 2023
Verified
Belle rencontre Ce fut un moment formidable la visite de ce village. Les enfants au début réticents et timides nous escortaient avec de rires et bousculades pour être sur les photos. Nous avons traversé ce village entourés d enfants joyeux et c est inoubliable. Tres bon moment passé avec eux et sommes répartis émus pour tant de joie et de sourires et de ce village typique qu on n oublie pas.
Emily A
Emily A
January 31, 2023
Verified
Awesome safari! We had such an awesome safari experience! May and her colleagues at murchison backpackers were lovely and helpful, and our guide Nicholas was great. We were really lucky and saw so many animals. Overall it was a really special experience that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
hanno
hanno
January 6, 2023
Verified
24h overnight visit to Murchison NP We took a 24h guided Safari with Nicholas from Murchison Backpackers and it has overall been a beautiful experience. Murchison Backpackers is an excellent stay (with pool!) and Nicholas a very experienced, kind, knowledgeable, calm and well-organised guide. Highly recommended!
jas125
jas125
September 20, 2022
Verified
Excellent Safari experience; clear communication I went on a 2-day Safari to Murchison Falls National Park, organised by Murchison Backpackers. I emailed Murchison Backpackers as they had been recommended in the Lonely Planet guide for East Africa. Nicholas reverted with reasonable pricing for both group and solo safaris, with customisation options, and then proceeded to patiently answer my multiple queries. As there was no one else joining on my dates, I opted for a solo safari.The safari was impeccably organised with an experienced forest ranger accompanying me as guide in a safari vehicle with a pop-up roof. The package included a hike to the top of the falls, a boat cruise to the falls and evening and morning game drives. The experience of Kwezi, the guide, really made a difference on the game drive - he knew the best places for sightings and we ended up seeing quite a few animals including lions at very close range. He even showed me a lion sleeping on a tree in the distance - a rare sighting. Accommodation was arranged in a popular camp near the boat jetty/Paraa bridge.Overall a very good experience. Highly recommended!
MarkusW
MarkusW
September 4, 2022
Verified
Murchison Falls 2 days (1 night) from Masindi Had a great time and saw more than I thought - it was just amazing! Wonderful views at the beautiful landscape and the many wild animals in the area! I have been lucky, saw a lot of elefants and giraffes, but with a lot of help of my very helpful guide (thanks Kwezi) also a few lions and even a leopard! Boat cruise was also fun!
Iam L
Iam L
July 15, 2022
Verified
A phenomenal 2 day guided tour The Murschion backpackers team did a great job at organising my trip as a solo traveller in June 2022. Though my booking was very last minute, May made it seamless and easy. They were sure to accommodate my requests no matter the time of day. The itinerary is well planned out and they provide a variety of additional extras such as Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, birdwatching and chimpanzee trekking. My driver/guide Nicholas was spectacular, he made me feel welcome and ensured that I wanted for nothing throughout the trip.I have never in my life been lost for words, but over my 2-day adventure, I was able to visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, take a 3-hour cruise along the Nile, and do a safari in Murschion falls national park. During my trip, Nicholas went the extra mile to ensure that I had an amazing experience so much so I was lucky enough to see the big 5. I managed to get up close and personal to a leopard in all its splendour, on an early morning drive.I would 1000% recommend Murschion Backpackers to anyone looking for a budget-friendly, well-planned trip .
ColmmcC
ColmmcC
February 27, 2022
Verified
Great Safarai Brilliant Safarai with Nicholas. Although there's always a luck element on these trips, Nicholas made sure I saw as many animals as was possible. He did his best to accommodate me in every way possible.....I had a great experience in Murchison Falls N.P.
andreacecchi
andreacecchi
February 10, 2022
Verified
Value for Money is the best in Masindi! Nicholas has been a super professional guide and driver. He explained me in detail every aspect of the safari and the animal. Lots of interesting facts and tips Has been very careful about my needs overall. Value for money has been a GREAT tour. Thanks Nicholas I hope to see you next time!
Evelyn
Evelyn
January 3, 2022
Verified
I loved the experience Thanks Back Parkers. It was a very nice experience handling such a group of people with ease. Thank you and I will recommend more people
Soe Moe
Soe Moe
December 7, 2021
Verified
Budget friendly adventure trip to Muchison Fall National Park It was an unforgettable experience for me. I am glad that I chose this tour agency, they are highly experienced and a dedicated group to provide the best experience for the client.

10 Facts about Murchison Falls National Park

The Explorers John Speke and James Grant were the first Europeans to visit the Murchison Falls Conservation Area in 1862. It was more thoroughly explored by Samuel and Florence Baker in 1863–4. Baker named Murchison Falls after the geologist Roderick Murchison - President of the Royal Geographical Society at that time.

Between 1907 and 1912, the inhabitants of an area of about 13,000 sq kilometers (5,000 sq mi) were evacuated due to sleeping sickness, a disease spread by tsetse flies. In 1910, the Bunyoro Game Reserve was created south of the River Nile. That area roughly corresponds to the part of the Murchison Falls National Park that is in the districts of Buliisa, Masindi, and Kiryandongo. In 1928, the boundaries were extended North of the river into the modern-day Nwoya District.

In 1952, the British administration established the National Parks Act of Uganda. The area described above became Murchison Falls National Park.

The climate in Murchison Falls is tropical and hot. During the day, the temperature is around 25-32°C, making this one of the hottest regions in Uganda. Nights are cooler, with temperatures dropping to around 18°C. Rainfall is sparse but can fall in torrential storms during the rainy season.

Being close to the equator, temperatures are quite uniform throughout the year. Murchison Fall has two rainy seasons running from March to May and September to November. The best times to visit are the dry months of June to August and December to February.

The Murchison vegetation includes woodland, Savannah grasslands plus riverine forest. The Northern sector of the park contains savanna and Borassus palms, acacia trees, and riverine woodland. The South consists of bush and forest trees like the giant mahogany, spiky faraga trees, parasitic strangler figs, and ironwood.

There are very many birds in the park of which some are rare, common, and occasional. The park’s impressive checklist contains more than 450 species in total. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Some of the birds you can encounter include Shoebill, African Darter, Giant Kingfisher, Osprey, Long-toed Plover, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Veracious Dove, Black-headed Lapwing, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Rock Pratincole, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Black-billed Barbet, Long-tailed Nightjar, Weaver Birds, Yellow-billed Stork, Martial Eagle, Silver bird, Gray-crowned crested crane, Sandpipers, Pied Kingfishers, Standard-winged Nightjar, Malachite Kingfishers, Blue-headed Coucal, Denham’s Bustard, Swamp Flycatcher, Giant Heron, African Jacana, Secretary Bird, Read-throated Bee-eater, Saddle-billed stork, Senegal Thick-Knee, Red-winged Grey Warbler and many more.

In Africa, the “Big Five” game animals are the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and cape buffalo. A Safari to Murchison Falls National Park offers you a great opportunity to tick the Big-5 off your travel list. Whereas the Rhinos are located at the neighboring Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the rest can be found at the heart of the Murchison Falls National Park.

The Rothschild’s giraffe is one of several vulnerable species that call Murchison Falls National Park home. Others include; Uganda Kob, Chimpanzees, and the Shoebill.

  • Top Of The Falls Trail: The trail meanders along the river and atop the ravine to overlook the Murchison Falls.
  • Kaniyo Pabidi Trail: This is a nature walk through the forest of the national park.
  • Rabongo Forest Trail: This guided nature hike is a walking safari with chances to see chimpanzees, monkeys, and other wildlife.

Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park is split between three locations: the Albert Nile, Paraa, and Kaniyo Pabidi (Masindi road). These lodges cater to a range of budgets: from modest, through the mid-range, to luxury. Prices range between $35 to $900 per night for a double room. Which accommodation is right for you will depend on many factors, including your budget, group size, and duration of stay.

Yes! A 1-Day Safari to Murchison Falls National Park is a time-saving and affordable way of visiting the popular park to have a view of the great falls, along with a game drive or boat cruise.

For information on park entrance and activity fees, please refer to the UWA tariff sheet at www.ugandawildlife.org. Payments are made by VISA, Mastercard, or Mobile money. Twenty percent of all park fees are shared with communities in park boundary parishes to share the benefits of ecotourism and generate local support for conservation.