Murchison falls national park is situated in the north western part of Uganda, the park is the country’s largest national park covering an area of about 4000 kilometers squared. The park is characterized by Savannah grasslands, riverine forests, woodland and swamps. Murchison falls National Park was gazetted in 1926 and established as a national park in 1952. The main tourists attraction in Murchison falls national park is Murchison falls in which the park derives its name it’s also sometimes referred to as “the devils cauldron”. Its a great place for Uganda safaris and tours.
The park is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority; it’s a inland from shores of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile this is up to Karuma Falls. The adjacent is about 748 square Kilometres, Karuma Wildlife Reserve, Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and 730 kilometers. Murchison falls National Park is surrounded by different districts such as Nwoya, Kiryandongo, Bulisa, and Masindi which is the biggest town in the region, the Kibanda area of the National park is about 72 kilometers.
The area is about 283 kilometers by road, North West of Kampala, which is the capital and largest city of Uganda Murchison falls National Park was explored by Florence Baker who named the falls after Murchison falls after geologist Roderick Murchison. Murchison falls National park is adjacent Budongo Forest Reserve with over 76 species of mammals as well as Uganda’s population of crocodiles,500 bird species which present ranging from easy variety of water birds, shoe-billed stork, Goliath heron, white-thighed hornbill.
Murchison falls national park is endowed with various species of wildlife and boasts with 76 mammal species some of the animals tourists can spot while on a game drive are; elephants, bush bucks, lions, leopards, waterbucks, giraffes, hartebeests, hyenas, buffalos, spotted hyenas, hippopotamus, crocodiles, Jackson’s hartebeests, Oribis, and cheetahs to mention a few.
Murchison falls national park is also a birders paradise boasting with about 450 species of birds 23 of which are Albertine endemics. Examples of birds in Murchison falls national park include; rare shoebill stork, Goliath heron, dwarf kingfisher, white thighed hornbill, great blue turaco, grey crowned cranes, bare faced go away bird, Ross’s turaco and many more.
The boat trips done at the mighty river Nile are the most famous activity in Murchison falls national park. The Nile forces itself in a narrow gauge cascading down forming the world’s strongest waterfalls flowing in a placid stream to the stunning lake Albert. There is various wildlife streaming at the river banks while hippopotamus and crocodiles can be viewed close to your boats plus various water birds to be seen.
Murchison falls national park is surrounded by different ethnical groups with each having unique cultural beliefs and customs. The Acholi people have one of the most interesting traditional dances that can be enjoyed at your lodge in the evening. Boomu women’s camp also perform local traditional dances and offer cooking lessons where you can learn how to cook local foods and also make some hand made crafts.
Chimpanzee trekking can be done at Budongo forest in Murchison falls conservation area, Chimpanzees are mans closest relatives sharing about 98% DNA with humans encountering this unique apes will make your safari to Uganda memorable. The forest is not only home to chimpanzees but various primate species as well as birds and butterflies. Tourists visiting Murchison falls national park can sleep in Chobe safari lodge, Boomu women’s camp, Bwana tembo safari camp, Yebo safari lodge, paara safari lodge, Pakuba safari lodge, Red chili rest camp and so much more. Where to sleep will always depend on tourists’ budget.
Murchison falls national park can be reached from Kampala within 5-6 hours drive, tourists can also fly into the park from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield. Most tourists traveling to Murchison falls stop over at the famous Ziwa rhino sanctuary to track the remaining rhinos in Uganda. Murchison falls national park can be visited all year round but the best time is in the dry season of June to September and December to February.