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Murchison Falls Budget Safari Tours

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda's most alluring destination for those seeking a short budget safari that doesn't include gorilla trekking. This scenic park is also a great add-on to a longer holiday itinerary that does incorporate a visit to Uganda’s gorillas. Attractions include the explosive waterfall for which the park is named and the wildly tropical stretch of the Nile River that bisects the park as it flows toward Lake Albert. When it comes to wildlife viewing, an itinerary that combines Murchison Falls with the nearby Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch and Budongo Forest provides you with a decent chance of seeing all the Big Five as well as chimps and shoebills in the course of one short, affordable trip.

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1-20 of 190 cheap tours, packages and holidays to Murchison Falls National Park

6 Questions About Murchison Falls Budget Safaris


6 Questions About Murchison Falls Budget Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

Are affordable budget trips available to Murchison Falls National Park?

“Yes. Murchison Falls National Park is a popular destination for budget safaris out of the capital Kampala or nearby Entebbe International Airport. Stand-alone Murchison Falls safaris generally range in duration from 2 to 4 days. They often include chimp trekking in Budongo Forest and/or a visit to Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, both of which can be done en route to or from the park. Also available are longer itineraries (7 to 14 days) that travel more widely in Uganda and incorporate a visit to Murchison Falls.”


How many days are recommended for a budget Murchison Falls trip?

“The most usual duration for a stand-alone Murchison Falls budget tour is 3 days, but 2-day and 4-day itineraries are also offered by many operators. Given that the drive there and back requires at least 6 hours, a 2-day safari will be very rushed and is not recommended unless you absolutely cannot extend the trip any longer. A 3-day safari will be more relaxed as it effectively doubles the time you spend in the park. In our view, 4 days is even better, especially if you want to track chimps and visit Ziwa en route.”


What animals might I see on a Murchison Falls budget safari?

“You can expect to see a good variety of African wildlife on a Murchison Falls budget safari. The national park is home to four of the Big Five, and you are almost certain to see elephant and buffalo – along with plentiful hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds – on the popular boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls. Lions are regularly observed on game drives north of the Nile, and leopards are present but more elusive. Other common wildlife includes Rothschild’s giraffe, defassa waterbuck, Uganda kob, oribi, patas monkey and olive baboon. For bird-watchers, the boat trip to the delta formed by the Nile as it empties into Lake Albert provides one of the best opportunities anywhere in Africa to see the rare shoebill. Farther afield, the main road to Murchison Falls bisects Budongo Forest, one of the most reliable chimp trekking sites in Uganda. A worthwhile short diversion en route to Murchison Falls is Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch, where rhino (the only member of the Big Five not present in the national park) can be tracked on foot.”


Can you describe a typical day on a Murchison Falls budget trip?

“Every day will be different. On the first day of your budget safari, an early start from Entebbe or Kampala should allow you to reach your lodge by lunchtime. In the afternoon, you'll probably join a boat trip on the Nile upstream to the base of Murchison Falls. The next morning it’s conventional to do a game drive, setting off as early as possible to improve your chances of seeing big cats. On a 2-day safari, you will return to Entebbe or Kampala after your game drive, possibly stopping at Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch en route. On a longer safari, you will have time to do other activities over the next day or two. These might include a visit to the spectacular viewpoint at the top of Murchison Falls, a morning boat trip to the Nile delta, additional game drives, or chimp trekking in Budongo Forest.”


What is the best time of the year for a Murchison Falls trip?

“Murchison Falls is a year-round destination and there is no truly bad time to visit. In terms of wildlife viewing, marginally the best time for a budget safari is the main Dry season, which runs from December to February. These months are also good for bird watching, as Palearctic migrants from Europe and Southeast Asia are present in Uganda from November to April. However, January and February can be uncomfortably hot, with midday temperatures routinely soaring above 33°C/91°F. The Wet season, which usually starts in March and runs to November, tends to be more comfortable climatically, and the scenery is lusher and greener from June onwards. June and July are optimal in terms of relatively low temperatures and rainfall. If you will also be tracking gorillas and/or chimps while in Uganda, you might want to factor in the best months for these activities. Gorilla trekking is best from December to February and June to August. Chimps are easiest to track from December to March and June to July.”


How much does a Murchison Falls budget safari cost?

“The typical price of a cheap 2- to 4-day Murchison Falls safari is around US$190 to US$250 per person per day. This will usually include accommodation at a simple rest camp or tented camp, meals, transport, and park entrance and activity fees. It will exclude drinks, tips and any activities listed as optional. Expect to pay slightly more for a package that includes chimp trekking in Budongo Forest.”


Murchison Falls Reviews

4.3/5 111 Reviews
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Thundering Waterfalls and Decent Wildlife

Like Kidepo, this park in northwest Ugandan is a beautiful and wild place with plenty of wildlife still remaining. In my opinion the ultimate highlight must surely be the boat cruise up Africa’s longest river to view the mighty Nile as it...

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Padraig  –  
Ireland IE
Reviewed: Sep 18, 2022

Loved - did the hike to the top of he falls which was so amazing - at one stage it was like we were being rained om we were so close.
Plus on the boat trip we got to see crocodiles and birds and hippos

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Eric  –  
Uganda UG
Reviewed: Dec 31, 2020
Nature... Close-up

This was a trip for 16 workmates for a company retreat. The first day we took a drive through a long thick forest, had a delicious local dish served for lunch as we interacted with baboons that came from the forest to steal our eggs and...

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Karen Becker  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Mar 6, 2020

The game drive was spectacular - such varied terrain and many different animals! The boat tour was lovely and the falls were majestic! I also really enjoyed staying at Murchison River Lodge - it was very nice and relaxing.

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Barbara Osmundson  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Aug 13, 2019

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.

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