Murchison Falls, at a glance
The park, known by locals as Kabalega National Park, is based in northwest Uganda, 285 kilometres from Kampala.
Situated at the end of the Albertine Rift Valley, and split by the Victoria Nile, the park contains woodland, riverine forest, and savannah.
Murchison Falls National Park is the oldest and largest safari park in Uganda. First founded as a wildlife reserve in 1926, people travel from all over the world to witness 76 species of mammals and 451 species of birds.
What will I see at the park?
Murchison National Park is now considered the largest conservation area in Uganda.
The diverse wildlife is an example of their success in protecting species and habitats from poaching since it occurred heavily in the 1980s.
The population has recovered well, and now you’re able to spot a large variety of wildlife through game drives and boat cruises, making the park an epic safari location.
Home to 4 out of the 5
The park is home to four out of the “Big Five” – elephants, buffalo, lions, and leopards, though leopards are rarely spotted.
Rhinos lived at the park when it was first opened, however, the last one was killed by poachers in 1983.
There are huge herds of both elephants and buffalo, and though there’s a healthy pride of lions, there’s no guarantee you’ll spot them.
What else congregates by the water?
The Nile is a magnet for wildlife. Down by the water you may find hippos, hartebeests, waterbucks, warthogs, oribis, Uganda kobs, and grey duikers.
Crocodiles are an easy spot, as the park is home to the largest population in Uganda.
Hyenas live at the park, but are only occasionally spotted.
Chimpanzees & Monkeys
Beyond the game viewing, the park is renowned for chimpanzee trekking.
Over 600 can be found in Kaniyo Pabidi and Bundongo forests. As well as chimpanzees, Red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and black-and-white colobus are also found in the forests.
If you’re lucky, you may see Patas monkeys, which are endemic to Murchison.
If you’re a keen bird watcher, it’s worth bringing a notepad with you to remember the array of birds found in the park. 451 species of birds live at Murchison Falls National Park. Birds can be spotted on a game drive, nature walk, or a boat cruise.
Taking a boat cruise up the Nile is a fantastic opportunity to see water-associated birds. The sightings may include the shoebill stork, goliath heron, grey crowned crane, Abyssinian ground hornbill, black-headed lapwing, and Senegal thick-knee.
You will be able to see birds throughout the year, however, it’s best to visit the park from January to March, which is a low period for tourists, but a brilliant time to spot many birds.
The park is known for the critically endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, a subspecies of the northern giraffe.
Murchison Falls National Park has been successful when it comes to conservation. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation has stated that in the last two decades, the Rothschild’s giraffe has increased in Uganda.
Approximately 1,450 can be found north and 45 south of the Nile. The park is home to around 50% of the population.
When should I visit?
Murchison Falls National Park is equatorial, so has a tropical climate and is hot throughout the year. However, during the wet season there can be light showers. The dry season runs from December to February and the wet season from March to November.
While the park is worth visiting all year round, you’re most likely to spot wildlife from June to September, and from January to March. They tend to congregate around the Nile and other water resources during that period.
Discover Murchison Falls
Accommodation in Murchison Falls National Park
From luxury lodges on the banks of the Albert Nile, to eco-lodges nestled deep in the Budongo Forest, there’s no shortage of great accommodation in Murchison. Our favourites are …
Attractions in Murchison Falls National Park
Game drives, boat safaris, hiking, chimp trekking. Murchison Falls provides unforgettable experiences. Combine them to create a monumental 4-day safari adventure.
How to Get to Murchison National Park
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest national park can be easily accessed from Kampala and Entebbe via road or flight. The process is relatively uncomplicated due to …
Murchison Falls Chimpanzee Trekking
Murchison Falls National Park is one of the best places to trek chimpanzees in Uganda, second only to Kibale Forest National Park a little further south.
Murchison Falls Boat Cruise
Drift gently down the Nile, discovering wildlife on the riverbanks during a sunset cruise. Or, work your way upstream to see the powerful Murchison Falls up close.
When to visit Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park has an abundance of wildlife, and is one of the most popular safari destinations in the country. When you choose to visit will have a big impact on …
Ready to explore Murchison?
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
Discover the exceptional bio-diversity of Uganda by combining the beautiful savannah grasslands of Murchison Falls National Park with chimpanzee trekking in the forests of Kibale National Park. Connect the dots with epic road trips looping through northwestern Uganda.…
Light adventuring and charming safaris in Lake Mburo National Park coupled with lakeside retreats and days of reflection and exploration around Lake Mutanda. Close out the trip with a few days canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking and more in Jinja, Uganda's…