What is the biggest draw to Murchison Falls National Park? Is it the remarkable population of over 73 animal species… or the renowned mighty falls? You can decide for yourself on your African safari to Uganda’s largest and most famous park. But for variety of natural wonders and rich wildlife, few places can top Murchison Falls.
Consider the iconic cascade, where the 50 m wide Victoria Nile is suddenly squeezed through the massive rocks into a 6 m channel, producing a spectacle of exploding water, foam, and mist that causes the surrounding earth to tremble from its power. The falls roar down into the “Devil’s Cauldron” producing clouds of fog and a distinctive rainbow. So spectacular is the effect that Hollywood came to film the falls in the classic Katherine Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart film, The African Queen.
From there, the waters travel in a gentler flow towards Lake Albert. The banks along this river path host numerous visits from elephants and buffaloes, while river regulars like hippos, Nile crocodiles, and many aquatic birds often join the picture.
The landscape of Murchison Park is a scenic palette of woodlands, savannah, and riverine forest dotted with the expressive Borassus palms and plentiful acacia trees. All this vegetation supports a colorful world of wildlife – you’ll be on safari to spot lions, antelope, waterbucks, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, Ugandan kob, and three-quarters of the world’s Rothschild’s giraffes.
No park of Murchison’s size and popularity could exist without a profusion of delightful birdlife. You’ll find over 450 species here such as the rare showebill stork and Goliath heron. Other bright and captivating varieties seen are the yellow-footed flycatcher, African jacana, Abyssinian ground hornbill, and malachite kingfisher.
Traveling to the south of Murchison, you’ll come upon a park within the park – the Bugondo Forest Reserve, a large expanse of tropical forest, home to 76 types of mammals, and still more bird species. Also found here are the towering mahogany trees anchoring the forest. But perhaps Bugondo’s biggest draw is the many chimpanzees you can spot in this verdant, virgin preserve.
Of Africa’s famous “Big Five”, only the rhino is no longer found in the park. However, the nearby Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was established to bring back the endangered white rhino. A visit to the reserve will bring you within spotting range of the 22 southern white rhinos now being protected in this sanctuary.
About Murchison Falls National Park
Located in northwestern Uganda, Murchison Falls is Uganda’s largest park at 3,893 sq. km (1,503sq. mi). The Victoria Nile runs through the park, east to west for 115 km (71mi).
This is a tropical area with generally warm weather. Temperatures are uniform throughout the year, with daytime numbers of around 31°C/88°F, cooling at night to 18°C/64°F. Rains usually occur from March to November. The dry seasons run from December to mid-February and June to July.
When to go:
The park is open year-round.
Best time to visit:
The dry seasons are best for viewing the wildlife as they are easier to spot and gather at the park’s water sources. However, bird watching is best during the wet season as there is more activity and migrant birds arrive during this time.
Things to do and see
Traditional African safari game drives in the early morning and evening are the best way to get close-up views of the wildlife and truly get a feel for the land and its inhabitants.
The Budongo Forest is home to many of these curious and intelligent creatures. The forest rivals any spot in Uganda for chimpanzee viewing.
The trip sets out from Paraa for a 2-hour sailing. Get ready to spot great numbers of crocodiles, hippos, and many aquatic birds during this fun and easy water safari.
Hundreds of species plus local endemic varieties, and water birds make for a rich and active bird watching experience.
Enjoy the many park trails where you can explore nature on foot through the forest. This is the best way to see birds and animals up close.
Hot Air Balloon Safari
See the park from above the treetops and take in great vistas of the forests, savannahs, and diverse wildlife below.
Cultural Tours – Meet the Mubako community in their local village and learn about their traditional lifestyle, customs, and ceremonies.
Discover Murchison Falls National Park
This large and popular park offers a delightful variety of landforms, birdlife, wildlife, and many primates. From rolling Savannah to virgin forests, explore a rich variety of Africa’s largest animals – from elephants to lions to giraffes
Explore Murchison Falls National Park with Natural World Kenya Safaris
Join us on safari to one of Uganda’s largest parks to see lions, elephants, and chimpanzees. You won’t want to miss this beautiful and diverse nature reserve. We have safaris departing Kigali, Rwanda, and Entebbe.