Overview – Murchison Falls NP

Murchison Falls NP, part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), offers excellent wildlife viewing. The MFCA includes Kaniyo Pabidi, which is a great place for chimpanzee tracking. Most big safari animals are easily seen, including four of the Big Five. The Victoria Nile bisects the park. At Murchison Falls, the Nile is channeled through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment. Boat trips to the spectacular Murchison Falls, perhaps the most impressive waterfall in East Africa, are a highlight – especially if you hike to the top where the immense power of the Falls is best appreciated.

Best Time to Go December to February (Easier to spot animals)
High Season June to September (Peak time for Uganda)
Size 3,840km² / 1,483mi²
Altitude 615-1,187m / 2,018-3,894ft

Pros and Cons

  • Top wildlife viewing
  • Very scenic park with possibly the most scenic waterfall in East Africa
  • One of the few places to find the shoebill stork
  • Boat trip to the falls and the Lake Albert delta available
  • Relatively remote and not crowded (although boat trips do get busy)
  • A long drive from Kampala and far away from the other parks
  • Some roads may become impassable during the Wet season

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Wildlife

Four of the Big Five can be seen, but rhino are absent. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo are common, and lion are easily spotted. Antelope include Jackson's hartebeest, waterbuck and Uganda kob. Large herds of giraffe are a specialty. Similar is the case of the localized patas monkey. Chimpanzee and several other primates can be tracked in Budongo forest in the south of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

Scenery

The park is bisected by the very scenic Victoria Nile. A boat trip takes you to the base of the Murchison Falls where you can see the Nile squeezing through a narrow gorge before dropping down into the ‘Devil's Cauldron’. North of the river is a savannah habitat dominated by grassland dotted with borassus palms. South of the river, the habitat changes to woodland with forest patches.

Weather & Climate

Murchison Falls has a consistently hot climate, the minimal variation in temperature due to the park’s equatorial setting. It does, however, get noticeably hotter during the relatively brief Dry season (December to February). Light rain is the order of the day in the Wet season (March to November), with the occasional tempest blowing through. Temperatures are also affected by the wide variation in altitude across the park.

Best Time to Visit

Wildlife spotting is easiest in the Dry season (December to February), when animals congregate at waterholes and there’s little undergrowth for them to hide in. But bring a broad-brim hat and plenty of sunscreen to ward off the fierce sunshine. Most visitors tend to go in search of lions, elephants and other animals from June to September, when it’s cooler and the rain isn’t that bothersome.

Want to Visit Murchison Falls NP?

Murchison Safari Reviews

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Most Helpful Expert Review
Thundering waters and smirking shoebills
4/5

I don’t recall who it was that described Murchison Falls as the most spectacular thing to happen to the world’s longest river en route from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean, but I’d have to agree with them. This truly spectacular...

Latest User Review
5/5

Incredibly beautiful with so much wildlife! I would absolutely come back to Murchison!