Murchison Falls National Park is a popular wildlife viewing destination and Uganda’s largest national park covering 3,893 square kilometers. Because of the parks’ proximity to the country’s’ capital Kampala and the abundance of attractions to see, the park receives lots of visitors each year. It is a top destination for short tours in Uganda for wildlife sightings.
The park gains its name from the popular Murchison Falls which forms when the Nile River forces its waters through a 7 meter (23 ft.) gap of rocks then later tumbles 43 meters (141 ft.) below.
The water pours into what is referred to as the devil’s cauldron then continues to flow westward into Lake Albert.
The falls were named by Sir Samuel Baker after Roderick Murchison the then President of the Royal Geographical Society an organization in the 17th Century that was sponsoring the African exploration. The park was also named Kabalega falls, the title of the cultural leader in the area, and is still referred to as so by the local people.
To get to Murchison Falls National Park, tourists can reach there by road or by air. There are several airfields within the park that travelers interested in using air transport can land at from either Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield in Kampala.
Accommodation at Murchison Falls National Park caters to all kinds of travelers and these include luxury, midrange, and budget lodges. These can be found in all sectors of the park to accommodate all budgets.
Attractions and Activities at Murchison Falls National Park
When planning to visit Murchison Falls National Park, here are the different attractions and activities that one should surely include in one itinerary. Most of these activities can be done during short tours and therefore making trips to the park very affordable. Below are the attractions and activities that can be done at Murchison Falls National Park;
Being a host to numerous wildlife species, Murchison Falls National Park is a great game viewing destination in the vast park. The park has several wildlife species including buffalos, rhinos, a big number of the Rothschild giraffes, lions, baboons, and many more.
To view wildlife, tourists undertake game drives in open-roof 4×4 safari vehicles that enable good viewing of wildlife and photography. Game viewing is possible all year round since the animals are available.
The best time to have a wildlife game drive in Murchison Falls National Park is during the dry season which is from July to September and December to February. However, the park is generally good for game viewing all year round.
A launch trip or boat cruise is a great activity to do at the banks of the Nile River of Murchison Falls. A boat cruise to the bottom of the falls sets off from the Paraa jetty towards the falls for an up-close view of the wonderful falls. On a boat cruise, you see the falls clearly and experience the strength of the rushing waters as they tremble down to the devil’s cauldron.
Hike to the top of the falls:
To have a great insight into what is at the top of the falls, a hike offers the best experience. The hike starts from the bottom of the falls especially after the boat cruise, though a visit to the top of the falls can also be done without hiking.
During the hike, you have a chance to walk through the trail that Sir Samuel Baker used and a spot he stood at as he named these falls after Murchison. The hike isn’t very strenuous and takes about 45 minutes.
The Murchison Falls are the main feature of the park. Sending around 300 cubic meters per second of water from the outlet in Lake Victoria, squeezing through a rock gorge only 7 meters wide and pouring below into what is referred to as the devils cauldron, Murchison this is the world’s most powerful falls. The falls form a water spray that forms a beautiful rainbow when the sun shines on it making such a spectacular view to sight from below or as you hike to the top of the falls.
With the fact that the park is easily accessible with much to appreciate in the wild, planning a trip to Murchison Falls National Park is a great option when planning to visit Uganda.