Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest park and one of the most exciting. It protects a large area of untamed African savannah intersected by the River Nile.
The Park is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the worlds’ longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment, to plunge into a pool some 43 metres below. The park contains herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and lions. In the southeast, Budongo Forest is home to chimps while the banks of the Nile host one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile population. It remains to be seen though, how the game population will behave some time from now, as massive oil explorations have started in the park and animals have already started migrating southwards.
In the park, one can enjoy a boat trip from the Paraa jetty to the Top of the Falls, whilst a smaller boat trip cruising downstream to the Lake Albert Delta provides the best chance in Africa of sighting the rare shoebill. Many new lodges and campsites have been established in Murchison Falls National Park. See our campsites and lodges page for an overview.
Murchison Falls Park can be reached via different routes. Many people enter the Park via the southern Masindi gate, as it is the closest to Kampala (in kilometres), and you pass Budongo Forest. But the road is often in poor condition, and it is a long, boring drive from the park entrance to the Paraa jetty where the centre of the action is. The longer alternative route is via Lake Albert. After Masindi, the road is unsurfaced, so this greatly adds to your travel time, but it is one of the most scenic routes in Uganda. A few years ago, an excellent highway was built which takes you via Karuma Falls to the Northern gate (either Purongo or Takigate-Pakwach). It is a longer distance, but you get there faster and you enter the park straightaway.