Murchison Falls National Park is the crown jewel of Uganda’s natural reserves. This is not your average tourist destination – but a wild and untamed wilderness that is sure to take your breath away. From the majestic waterfalls to the lush forests and grasslands teeming with wildlife, Murchison Falls National Park is a truly unique experience that any traveller seeking an authentic African adventure shouldn’t miss.
Planning a trip to Murchison Falls National Park can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help!
Our ultimate guide will give you all the essential information you need to make the most out of your visit, from the best time to go and how to get there, to the top activities and wildlife viewing opportunities.
So, get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.
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ABOUT MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK
What is Murchison Falls National Park famous for?
Murchison Falls National Park’s most notable attraction is the mighty Murchison Falls region. Here, you’ll discover the iconic waterfall which creates a thunderous roar and a magnificent plume of mist that can be seen from miles away – an awe-inspiring sight and a true testament to the power of nature.
But that’s not all!
Murchison Falls National Park is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, which includes the iconic African Big Five: elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos. You’ll also find a plethora of species here too, from giraffes, antelopes, and warthogs to hippos, crocodiles, and over 450 species of birds.
Whether you’re a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Murchison Falls National Park has something for everyone.
WHERE IS MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK LOCATED?
Murchison Falls National Park is located in the northern part of Uganda, spanning an area of over 3,840 square kilometers. It is about 305 kilometers northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, and can be accessed by road or air.
The park is bisected by the Nile River, which is the primary source of life for the park’s abundant wildlife and the site of the iconic Murchison Falls. Its location in Uganda makes it an ideal destination for visitors to East Africa, as it is easily accessible from other popular tourist destinations like Kenya and Tanzania.
Is there an entrance fee for Murchison Falls National Park?
Yes. The entrance fee to the park is used to fund the park’s conservation efforts and to maintain the facilities.
When travelling with a packaged tour, make sure you’re aware of what’s already included in the tour fee. Alternatively, if you’re traveling independently, park entrance fees and activity fees will need to be paid separately.
Entrance fees are charged per person, and the rates vary depending on your nationality and the type of activity you plan to do in the park. For foreign non-residents, the entrance fee for a 24-hour visit is approximately $40 per person, while a 72-hour visit is $60 per person.
It’s worth noting that additional fees may be charged for specific activities like game drives, boat cruises, and guided tours. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check the park’s official website or contact the park authorities for the latest information on fees and permits.
Are there different areas within the Murchison Falls National Park?
Yes. The park is divided into two sections by the Victoria Nile River, with the northern section being known as the Murchison Falls Conservation Area and the southern section known as the Bugungu Wildlife Reserve.
The following are some of the popular areas within the park:
What is the best way to get to Murchison Falls National Park?
Getting to Murchison Falls National Park is relatively easy, and your options will depend on your preferences and budget.
If you’re flying into Uganda, the most convenient way to get to the park is by domestic flight to Pakuba Airstrip, located within the park. Several airlines offer flights from Entebbe or Kampala to Pakuba Airstrip, making the journey quick and hassle-free.
If you prefer to take a road trip, you can hire a car or use public transportation to get to the park. The journey from Kampala takes around 5-6 hours, but it’s worth the effort for the stunning views of the countryside and the chance to see more of Uganda’s striking landscapes.
How do you get around Murchison Falls?
Booking a guided tour is a popular choice for many people as it allows for a comfortable and stress-freetrip; allowing you to fully appreciate the experience.
However, the park can also be visited as a self-drive tour by those who have their vehicle. Cars can be rented in Kampala and driven to the park.
It’s important to note that some roads in the park are unpaved, so it’s recommended to have a 4WD vehicle. Once inside the park, visitors have the option to hire a guide to join them in their own vehicle for a game drive.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that driving in Uganda may be very different from driving in your home country. Traffic is generally more chaotic, and rules are more flexible. For those who are not used to driving in such conditions, it may be more pleasant to hire a driver in addition to the car.
WHAT TO DO
What Activities are there to do in Murchison Falls National Park?
There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied in Murchison Falls National Park, so you’ll never run out of things to do during your visit.
How many days do you need in Murchison Falls National Park?
It all depends on how much you want to pack into your itinerary. However, to fully experience the park’s natural beauty and wildlife, we recommend between two to four days minimum.
If you’re staying in a nearby town like Masindi or Lira, it’s possible to visit the National Park in one day. However, keep in mind that it will be a very full and lengthy day, allowing for only a short game drive or nature walk, a boat cruise, and perhaps a hike, with little time for much else.
Whatever you decide, it’s always worthwhile working with a reputable tour operator to help you plan your itinerary based on your interests and available time. A good tour operator can also help you with park permits, transportation, accommodation, and other logistics to ensure that you have a memorable and enjoyable safari experience.
Is there a minimum age requirement to visit Murchison Falls?
No, the park welcomes visitors from toddlers to teenagers and even grandmas – so the whole family can join in the fun.
However, visitors under 18 years old are usually required to be accompanied by an adult, especially during activities such as game drives and boat safaris.
The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old, while the minimum age for chimpanzee trekking is 12 years old.
Be sure to check the specific age requirements for each activity before planning a visit to Murchison Falls National Park or any other national park in Uganda.
When is the best time of day to see wildlife in Murchison Falls?
The best time of day to see wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park is usually in the cooler temperatures of the early morning or late in the afternoon when they come out to feed or drink water. During these times, the animals are typically more active and easier to spot than during the heat of the day when they tend to rest in the shade.
Boat safaris on the Nile River are also a great way to see wildlife, especially hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of bird species. The best time for this activity is usually in the morning when the river is calm and wildlife come out to play.
WHEN TO GO
When is the best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park?
The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests and preferences. If you’re a nature lover, the drier months of June to September and December to February would be best. During this time, the trails are drier and easier to hike, and there’s less growth underfoot which makes it easier to spot wildlife.
Do be aware, however, that the dry season coincides with the peak tourist season, so you can expect more visitors during this time.
If you’re a birdwatcher or interested in seeing the forest’s many plant species, the rainy months of March to May and October to November are the best time to go. This also marks the beginning of the low tourist season, so you can enjoy the park with fewer crowds.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a variety of accommodations available in Murchison Falls National Park to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are some of the main types of accommodations available in the park:
When it comes to finding a place to rest your head in Murchison Falls National Park, you’ve got plenty of options!
No matter what your budget or style, there’s a cozy spot waiting just for you. But don’t snooze on it…be sure to book in advance – especially during the peak season, so you don’t miss out on your top pick.
With so many fantastic options to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect place to call home during your stay in this amazing park.
MURCHISON FALLS IS WAITING FOR YOU!
Get ready to have a wild time at Murchison Falls National Park!
With over 1500 square miles of adventure waiting for you, this park is a playground for explorers of all types.
Whether you’re heading out on a guided tour or flying solo, make sure to come prepared with some comfy shoes and a sense of adventure.
From the roaring Murchison Falls to the lush forests of Budongo, you’re in for a treat! Keep your eyes peeled for the park’s abundant wildlife and make sure to take a boat cruise for an extra splash of fun.
Trust us, this place is a blast!