​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 National Park, 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 divided 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 that's dominated by grassland and 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 is 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 usual in the Wet season (March to November), with the occasional storm 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
Ariadne van Zandbergen  –  
South Africa ZA

Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.

Murchison Falls National Park – where the Nile tumbles down the Rift Valley escarpment
4/5

Although the wildlife viewing is excellent in this park, it is the scenery that really gets to me: the rolling grassy hills studded with borassus palms teeming with plains animals, the paparus swamps home to the sought after shoebill stork...

Full Review

Latest User Review
PI  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Sep 19, 2022
5/5

Just amazing how many elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, kobs, impalas, etc. we saw,
Even young lions were seen.

Full Review