Situated in northwestern Uganda with in the Albertine rift, Murchison falls national park s the oldest national park in Uganda with Queen Elizabeth. By road the park is about 300 Km northwest from Kampala city stretching in both Buliisa district and Nwoya district.
At the Murchison falls , the world’s longest river Nile vigorously forces through a narrow cleft in the rift valley escarpment to pour into the pool of 43m below.
The stretch of the river Nile is home to Uganda’s best wildlife views including large populations of elephant, giraffe and buffalo while hippopotamus and Nile crocodile are permanent residents. The park’s vegetation is characterized by savannah, riverine forest and woodland.
The park boosts over 460 bird specie including a number of raptors and the shoebill stork
Access Murchison Falls National Park:
By Road: A 3 hour drive from Kampala to Masindi, 217 km on tarmac and 40 km on high grade murram. The Masindi-Paraa road through Kichumbanyobo gate is the direct road to Paraa Rest Camp. All the roads in Murchison Falls National Park have been recently upgraded as have the park access roads. The scenic approach from Masindi to the park is to use the escarpment road along Lake Edward.
For those proceeding to Murchison Falls without their own transport, there are a number of people now offering vehicle hire with driver from Masindi. Contact Yebo Tours, New Court View Hotel or the Masindi Hotel.
By Air: Bugungu airfield is located only a few kilometers from the park headquarters at Paraa on the Southern side of the River Nile to cater for safari tourists visiting the park and staying at Nile Safari Camp, the Red Chili Rest Camp and Sambiya River Lodge. It is the second major field in the park after Pakuba airfield, which is partly tarmacked located on the North bank providing access to Paraa Lodge.
Kampala – Paraa via Kichumbanyobo gate 303km, via Bugungu gate 353km
Masindi – Paraa via Kichumbanyobo gate 86km
Masindi – Paraa via Bugungu gate 136km
Paraa – Top of Falls 35km
Paraa – Kichumbanyobo gate 65km
Paraa – Bugungu gate 13km (Rift valley)
Paraa – Tangi gate 25km (North bank)
Access to the north bank is possible through Tangi gate. From Kampala proceed to Karuma Bridge on Gulu road. 1 km after bridge is a left turn direction Pakwach. This is a very poor marum road. This road has a curfew after 16.00hrs. Do not leave Karuma or Tangi gate after 13.00 on this route. Camping is not permitted at Tangi gate. Basic accommodation and camping is available in Pakwach. Allow 3 hours to complete the distance between Karuma and Tangi Gate.
MFNP Best time to visit:
Any time of the year is good, the rainy seasons are April to May and October to November. Long grass in the wet season is a problem for game viewing and Tsetse flies are a constant hassle. Include a game drive to Victoria Nile Delta on the north bank in your visit.
The Nile River:
The River Nile is the most prominent feature of the park, bisecting it from east to west for 115km in the northern most part of the park. The area is extremely well watered and fertile.
The Murchison Falls:
A boat cruise upstream to the falls from the Paraa Rest Camp provides an unforgettable experience. The falls can also be viewed from their top which gives a completely different impression.
Elephants, buffalo’s giraffes, lions, hippos, crocodiles, several antelope species including Uganda Kob, Oribi and Jackson Hartibeast. Leopard is also present especially in the Delta area.
Shoebill Stork may be seen on occassions on reed islands in the Nile during the launch trip to the falls. Regular sightings of Shoebill are more common on special request boat trips to the Victoria Nile delta. Other Murchison specials include Red Fronted Bee Eater, Silverbird and Blue Mantled Coucal.