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Home » Uganda National Parks » Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park

Established in 1952, Murchison Falls National Park is the largest national park in Uganda. Positioned in the north west of Uganda at the tip of the Albertine rift, Murchison falls National Park is 311km about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala city.

The park covers 3,440km2 of land while the greater Murchison Conservation Area that incorporates both Bugungu and Karuma wildlife reserves stretch to 5,308km2.

The nearest town to Murchison falls National Park is Masindi 85km about 2 – 3 hours’ drive. The Nile River which is also the longest river in the whole world bisects the Murchison Falls National park leaving a permanent landmark the Murchison falls which is considered to be the greatest natural thing to ever happen on the Nile.

Named after Sir Roderick Murchison the then president of the Royal geographical society by an early British explorer Sir Samuel Baker, the Murchison Falls is a natural wonder that every traveller on safari in Uganda should not miss to encounter.

Squeezing its self to pass through an 8m gorge before falling 43m below, the Nile River splashes out in a plume of spray forming a thunderous roar marked by a trade mark rainbow.

Regarding wildlife, Murchison Falls is a home of the Big five land animals namely; Lion, elephant, leopard, Buffaloes and Rhinos in the neighboring Ziwa rhino sanctuary.

The white rhinos got extinct in 1983 following excessive poaching for several years. However, they were re-introduced in 2005 in the neighboring Ziwa Rhino Sanctury135km 2 – 3 hours’ drive from Murchison for reproduction with the aim of reintroducing them to the wild after the desired multiplication. The sanctuary is open for visitation by Uganda safari undertakers.

Murchison Falls National Park Uganda Murchison Falls Safari in Uganda Wildlife Tour Attractions

Murchison Falls National Park has 76 species of mammals alongside the Big Five of land animals. The sights of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopard and rhinos in the adjacent Ziwa Sanctuary are very interesting to encounter.

Populations of Jackson hartebeest, Uganda Kobs, giraffe, topis, water and bush bucks, warthogs, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, patas monkeys, Chimpanzees in the nearby Kaniyo Pabidi forest, alongside aquatics of the Nile like the Nile crocodiles and Hippos can be encountered while in Murchison falls National Park. The giraffes are only found in Murchison and Kidepo in the whole of Uganda.

Murchison Falls National Park has varied ecosystem featuring savannah, forest and swamp environments which forms a ground for existence of a wide range of birds.

The bird list features 451 species of birds in the national park of Murchison. These include among others; the rare shoe bill stork, pairs of elegant Grey Crowned Cranes – the national bird of Uganda and the Goliath Heron – the largest heron in the world.

Other species on the banks of the Nile include; the Blue-headed Coucal, Swamp Flycatcher, Squacco Heron, African Jacana, Sandpipers, Denham’s Bustard, Abyssinian Ground-Hornbill, Black-billed Barbet, Black-headed Gonolek, Weaver Birds, Pied, Eastern Grey Plantain-eater, Piapiac, Silver bird, White-browed Sparrow Weaver, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Red-throated Bee-eater, Speckle-fronted Weaver and African Quail-Finch.

The hike to the top of the falls is such a thrilling encounter in Murchison Falls National Park. After taking a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, you have an opportunity to get off boat and hike to the top of the falls.

The site offers great scenic views as the Nile River squeezes itself to pass through an 8m ravine before falling 43m below the Devils cauldron marked by a plume of spray producing a thunderous roar marked by a trademark rainbow.

The top of the falls offers great opportunity for photo taking and picnic encounters. Alternatively, this site can be visited on a drive following 15km road that branches off from the main Masindi – Paraa road about hundreds of meters from Sambiya River Lodge.

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