Overview – Murchison Falls NP

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Murchison Falls NP, part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA), offers excellent wildlife viewing. The Victoria Nile bisects the park and boat trips to the spectacular Murchison Falls 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 & Cons

  • Top wildlife viewing
  • Very scenic park with East Africa's most spectacular waterfall
  • One of the few places to find the shoebill
  • Boat trip to the falls and the Lake Albert delta available
  • A long drive from Kampala and far away from the other parks
  • Some roads may become impassable during the Wet season
  • Some areas have high densities of tsetse fly

Murchison Falls NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Four of the Big Five can be seen, but rhino are absent. Huge herds of elephant and buffalo are common and lion are quite easily spotted. Antelope include Jackson's hartebeest, waterbuck and Uganda kob. Large herds of Rothschild's giraffe are a specialty. 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 Falls NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

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...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Barbara Osmundson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 13, 2019
5/5

This was our favorite park. Scenery is stunning. Wildlife incredible. This was our favorite game drive. We went with the sun rise, and lighting was incredible for photographs of the great herds of wildlife that occur here.

Full Review