The magical Murchison Falls National Park locally known as “Kabalega” National Park at 3840km2 is the largest national park and conservation area in Uganda and is named after the Murchison falls where the mighty river Nile is forced through a narrow gorge of 7m into the ‘Devils Cauldron’ creating an ever present rainbow which you will experience while on the Uganda wildlife safari tour to the magical Murchison falls national park. Samuel Baker the explorer considered the Murchison falls as “the most important object of the entire course of the river” named the waterfall in 1864. Murchison falls national park is approximately 4-5 hours away from Kampala the capital of Uganda and with all the attractions is a perfect destination for a breathtaking Uganda wildlife safari tour. The habitats of the magical Murchison fall national park range from forest, savanna, riverine woodland, borassus palms, and several acacia trees.

The magical Murchison falls national park lies in the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley giving it great views of the plains and forested areas while on Uganda safari and the Victoria Nile that pours into Lake Albert. The Albert Nile Corridor is Uganda’s lowest area at 612msl at the Delta. You have opportunity to view the magical Murchison falls from the top as the Nile squeezes through the gorge and from below while on the boat safari on Victoria Nile. The Launch trip on Victoria Nile gives you an opportunity to experience the Nile like the actors of the 1951 film “The African Queen.” While on the Uganda wildlife safari tour inside Murchison falls national park


Different mammals & Animals in Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison Falls national park has 76 species of mammals that call this their home including four of the big five: buffalo, elephant, leopard & lions and to have a complete big 5 list, you would need to pass by the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on the way to Murchison falls national park for the incredible and unforgettable best of Uganda wildlife safari tour with Nungi safaris Uganda

A variety of animals are often seen while on a boat safari and during game drives in Murchison falls national park while on the Uganda wildlife safari tour with Nungi safaris. The more common animals often seen are; Elephants, Giraffes, Buffaloes, Uganda Kobs, Bushbucks, Jacksons Hartebeests, Oribi, waterbucks and warthogs to mentions but a few. The big cats of Leopards and Lions have higher chances of being seen when you go on an early morning wildlife safari game drive before the sun is too much to force then into hiding. Murchison falls national park is also home to several primates including Baboons, Patas monkeys, Blue monkeys, Red-tailed monkeys and Black-and-white Colobus monkeys and Chimpanzees are found in the forested area of Kaniyo Pabidi which is part of Budongo forest and you will have a chance to do the Uganda chimpanzee trekking safari tour in the budongo forest that borders Murchison falls national park

Different Birds in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison falls national park has varied habitats for birds making bird watching a famous activity in this national park which has over 450 species of birds. The Murchison falls national park is home to many migrant birds and those that are there all year round. The Murchison falls national park has forested, swampy areas, riverine woodland, Savannah and acacia trees which all provide habitats for the birds. You will enjoy the water birds when you take a boat safari towards the delta or towards the magical Murchison falls. Some bird species found here include; the elusive Shoebill, Swamp flycatcher, papyrus Gonolek, Goliath Heron, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Northern red bishop, Squacco heron, Red-throated Bee-eater and African-Quail Finch etc. Therefore, if you are a birder, Murchison falls national park is an ideal place for you to carry out Uganda bird watching photo safari tour while on a Uganda safari with Nungi safaris


Murchison Falls and the Nile

When the park was established in 1952, the Game Department enthused, ‘The main tourist attraction of this park was definitely the unique Murchison Falls. These Falls are a result of eternal war between rock and water where by the waters violently compress through a narrow gorge, spraying misty droplets along their wake over a 50metres radius. This creates a permanent rainbow over the battlefield and causes a continuous roar. From Baker Point on the southern side, you can also view the Nile splitting into the smaller Uhuru Falls, created in 1962 when the river burst its banks; you will be able to witness the permanent rainbow which is formed while the water is falling down the stream and also you will enjoy the clear view of the falls by taking a launch trip which starts at 09:00 and 14.00 every day which takes 3 hrs. to observe the falls well and river bank wildlife. Another boat trip goes downstream from Paraa down to the papyrus delta at the point where river Nile enters into Lake Albert. This 4-5 hr. return adventure provides a good chance of discovering the shoebill stork and different varieties of wildlife.

The Nile below Murchison Falls offers exciting challenges to anglers coupled with a chance to land a huge Nile Perch (the record is 108kg). Fishing is prohibited to designated sites & places are limited so advance booking is recommended. A number of boats could be hired for sport fishing by early booking which will require one to carry their own fishing equipment.

Thought the most spectacular view of the waterfall is on the top of “where the sight & sound of the Nile crashing through”, wide chasm makes a memorable assault on the senses site and this can be reached either by car / a 30 minutes’ climb, leaving the Paraa launch but your guide will advise you to take a hike to the top of the falls because it one of the best and adventurous activity to do while at Murchison

Flora and Fauna (Plants and animals)

Murchison national park is subdivided by woodland, wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest that are well known to be a habitant for over 76 mammal species and over 450 different bird species. Among the big mammals include hippo, Rothschild’s giraffe, warthog, Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, hartebeest, lions and elephants which all these have pulled a number of tourists to the park because they give the best experience while here! The Nile corridor of the Murchison has a big collection of water birds such as rare shoebill stork and also has a large concentration of Nile crocodile. Kaniyo Pabidi forest is a home to primates, chimpanzees and over 360 species of different birds.

Buligi game track
The Park’s superior savanna game viewing aspect, this grassland wilderness is located between the Victoria Albert Niles with excellent views towards the western rift valley beyond Lake Albert in the Congo. A drive from Paraa passing Delta Point takes 3 to 4 hours and this is always either morning & late afternoon are the best times for sight game drives and a ranger guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority is recommended to help you in most of your game drive because they know most routes of the park. While on this drive you will be able to see various animals like elephants, giraffes, lion’s warthogs and if you’re lucky enough you will see the four of the big five which is the best and one of the spectacular experience in Murchison national park game drives. However, you will not be able to see the rhinos at Murchison because they got extinct in 1983 but the government under its body of Uganda wildlife authority reintroduced the rhinos in 2005 at Ziwa rhino sanctuary which is located 70km south of the park on the Kampala- Masindi high way, so you will make a stopover at this sanctuary

Worlds Big five

  • Buffalo
  • Elephants
  • Lions
  • Leopards
  • Rhinos

Rubago site

Birder are also not left out, because they have the best spot to carry out the activity from and this is the Rubago site which is surrounded by savanna and covering just 4km2, this forest is considered a birders’ paradise because of the endangered species found here. More so of the forest, it is used as an educational tour as it provides opportunities to identify animals, birds, medicinal plants and trees and also for relaxation, visitors can camp and enjoy picnics by the Wairingo River. However, this is not the only area to carry out bird watching in Murchison national park because this activity can be carried out at Nile -Lake Albert delta; this wide calm stretch of water where the Victoria Nile flows into Lake Albert and its papyrus-lined banks are bursting with birdlife, including Goliath Herons, Great Egrets, and African Fish Eagles. The most sought-after species here is the rare Shoebill and many other species can be seen



Karuma falls

These roaring waterfalls found on the beautiful Victoria Nile are among the most impressive and one of the tourist attractions in Uganda.  Locally called the Karuma Falls, the name was derived from a notion that Karuma, a great spirit, positioned the stones which break the waters of the river. The stunning Karuma Falls are located on the eastern border of the Murchison Park and just an hour drive from the district of Gulu in north-western Uganda. This place is considered to be the most tourist attraction in Murchison because most of the land around these falls has a broad diversity of birds, buffaloes, antelopes, monkeys, lions, baboons, elephants, leopards, Uganda Kobs, Hartebeest as well as giraffes which gives one a round trip of the best and magnificent experience.

The Karuma Falls comprise of a sequence of natural good looking rock formations all the way at the base of the Victoria Nile, within this place, and these result into the waters of the great River Nile to ripple, offering the Nile an appearance of stunning white foam. The falls are situated at the place where the main road of Masindi-Gulu crosses the great river Nile, about 110 km northeast of the town of Masindi and only 70 km south of the town of Gulu. These 2 districts are connected by the Karuma Bridge, constructed in 1963 to assist cotton farmers within the west Nile. This bridge crosses the huge waterfall whereas the sprays of water of the white water move towards Southern Sudan in the northern part of Uganda.

It is believed that John Speke moved past it during his search for the source of the great river Nile which makes it a significant landmark in Uganda. The Karuma falls are known by most locals in Uganda for being used as a Power Station, which generates 750 Megawatts hydropower which was implemented by the government of Uganda in partnership with its other foreign partners and this power has helped to light up the country and reduced use of wood fuel

More so, these falls were designated as a black spot for the reason that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel staged several attacks within this area. These rebels would hide within the bush, and they would always attack cars, and surrounding villages. However, today it is very safe, given that the rebels were sent out of this region by the Ugandan army all the way to the rainforests within the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007 which makes the place safe and secure for visiting because since 2007 tourist’s numbers to Uganda increased and this is evidenced by the lonely planet in 2012 which published that Uganda was the top best destinations in the whole world


Paraa, meaning “home of the hippo “in the local Luo language, Paraa is the park’s tourism hub for hippos.  All the park’s access roads converge here as the northern and southern banks are linked by a passenger ferry, and several accommodations are located nearby. Additionally, a museum and gift shop can be found on the north bank, and most game drives launch trips and nature walks commence here so you cannot miss this hub of hippos while at Murchison national park.

Kaniyo Pabidi Forest

You will find this forest in the south of Murchison Falls Conservation Area; this forest ecosystem contains black-and-white Colobus and blue monkeys, olive baboons, and a habituated chimp group which can be tracked. Elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards are also frequent visitors. Many forest birds can be viewed here, including the chocolate-backed kingfisher, white-thighed hornbill and Puvel’s illadopsis which is found nowhere else in East Africa. Thus forest is well known for bird watching, camping, and forest nature walks


Safari wildlife Game drives in Murchison Falls National Park

Uganda Wildlife Authority has demarcated tracks on the northern bank of river Nile for the safari wildlife game drives. While on your Uganda wildlife safari in Murchison falls national park, you will take the game drives in the custom-made tour vehicles with open roof so that you can easily spot the animals. Everyone should have access to a window for easy viewing of the wild animals in the magical Murchison falls national park

The safari wildlife game drives in Murchison falls national park take anything from 4 hours to an entire day depending on your interests, amount of time in the park and the different activities you are interested in. Have your cameras ready to shoot photos of the different wild animals, birds and landscape but most importantly use the time to enjoy nature. The wild animals to look out for while on a safari wildlife game drive in Murchison falls national park include; Bushbucks, Waterbucks, hartebeest, Oribi, Uganda Kobs, giraffes, Patas monkeys, Warthogs, Elephants, Buffaloes, Leopards and Lions etc.

Boat cruise on the Victoria Nile while in the Murchison falls national park

The boat cruise in Murchison Falls national park are on the Victoria Nile towards the magical falls. The Nile boat cruise is your ultimate breathtaking experience of water, animals, birds, and great scenery. Here you look out for animals coming to water and those resident/semi residents in water; Crocodiles, Hippos, monitor lizards. Watch out for herds of Buffalo, Elephants and antelopes that come to drink water and take a bath in the Nile; what a way to enjoy the boat cruise while on the Nile in the Murchison falls national park with Nungi safaris Uganda

The opportunities to see water birds are high as you take this boat cruise on the Victoria Nile. The launch trip in Murchison falls national park happens twice a day with a morning trip starting at 9am and afternoon at 2pm; however, one can rent a private boat and take trip at their leisure. For those most interested in bird watching we recommend the boat ride to the delta where you have chances of sighting the Shoebill as it fishes.

Chimpanzee tracking at Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo Forest

Kaniyo Pabidi is a section of Budongo forest located in the boundaries of Murchison falls national park. You can track chimpanzees from Kaniyo Pabidi a section of Budongo forest, which is home to numerous other Uganda primates like baboons, red-tailed monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys and blue monkeys, lots of rare bird species and big game like Buffaloes, Elephants, and bush pigs with magnificent scenery.

The chimpanzee trekking in budongo forest normally takes 3-4 hours depending on where the chimps nested the previous night, once located the people are can stay in the presence of chimps for an hour watching them eat, play, rest and groom each other. This needs to be booked in advance with Uganda wildlife authority or Nungi safaris Uganda.

There is also an opportunity for a full day Chimpanzee habituation experience which gives more time learning and watching the chimpanzees – this also has to be booked prior to your Uganda wildlife safari.

Sport fishing on the Victoria Nile in Murchison falls national park

Sport fishing is allowed on the Victoria Nile after obtaining the fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife authority through Nungi safaris Uganda. The waters after the falls on Victoria Nile provide some of the most exciting challenge to anglers with presence of Nile Perch.  The largest Nile perch recorded is 108kg.  Fishing is permitted in designated sites and places which require prior booking. You are encouraged to bring your own equipment prior your Uganda wildlife and birdwatching safari

Birdwatching in Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison falls National Park has got 450 bird species & was named No. 9 best birding spot in Africa by the Africa Bird Guide. Bird watching can be done while on the wildlife safari game drive, launch trips and nature walks with a ranger guide in Murchison falls national park. Because of the varied habitats, you have opportunities of watching forest birds, Savannah, water and a few of Albertine rift endemics while on a wildlife safari to Murchison falls national park with Nungi safaris Uganda

Birds in Murchison Falls national park are easy to find because of the its Savannah grassland. However, some woodlands and forested areas make it difficult but still possible to locate the birds.  The highlights will be the numerous birds by the waters and swamp areas like the; open-billed stork, Red-throated bee–eaters (nests in the cliff by the river), Pied, malachite and Giant Kingfishers, Grey, night, commom Squacco, Striated and Goliath herons, Egyptian ducks, Spur winged lapwings, Intermediate, Great and Little Egrets. While on the wildlife safari game drive with Nungi safaris Uganda, do not miss the Abyssian ground hornbills, Black and Northern Red Bishop etc. 

Nature and forest walks in Murchison falls national park

Most of the nature walks happen through the forests, Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo forest where you have opportunities of watching the primates such as Chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkey, and numerous bird life.

The Hike up the top of the magical Murchison falls is another exciting walk that everyone should take while on a Uganda wildlife safari tour to in the Murchison falls national park. Once on the boat cruise from Paraa toward the ‘Devils cauldron’, stop a few meters from the bottom of the falls and take hike through the vegetation to experience the top of the magical falls. The hike is fulfilling as you watch the waters of the Nile be squeezed through a 7m gorge. This hike takes anything between 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the interests of the people and their speed at hiking to the top of the magical Murchison falls

Community walks and Cultural experiences in Murchison falls national park

The Boomu women’s Group right outside the park is a worthy visit for someone who wants to engage with the local community while on in Uganda for the Uganda cultural safari tour and Uganda wildlife safari. Take the scenic village tour as you learn about the residents’ everyday lives, farming, visit the black smith, demonstration of basket weaving, cooking and visit to a local school. You can choose to stay overnight in this place or just visit for a few hours and continue to the park or when leaving for Kampala. The activities will depend on how much time you have to in the area while on a Uganda cultural photo safari tour and Uganda wildlife safari tour with Nungi safari Uganda


By road

Some of you may be wondering how to get to Murchison falls national park?  But by road, it will take you around 5hours from Kampala with about 305 km. Paraa covers a distance of about 85km from Masindi town by the shortest route however the distance can increase to 135km if one decides to takes a long and direct route but by all means you will reach the “promised land” of Murchison falls national park. Alternatively, one may decide to take on the Budongo forest route that will provide magnificent views overlooking Lake Albert from the direct position of the rift valley escarpment over Butiaba.

You can also access Paraa from the north through Chobe Gate, Karuma Falls along with Tangi. The Gate that is close to Pakwach covers an area of about 25km to Paraa in addition to Wankwar Gate close to Purongo. People with Vehicles or public means will definitely go through the Nile at Paraa. It has a fixed time from 07.00 and 19.00.


By air

Besides road, Murchison can be accessed by air and Pakuba is the landing site for the charter flights and this takes about 19kms from Paraa and Bugungu covers an area of 13kms from Paraa, so can book you flight in advance and also book with the travel company to do the ground transportation


Accommodation at Murchison ranges from campsites, lodges, hotels and guesthouse. Some of these are built on top of the falls and also they have better facilities that are eco-friendly. Budget accommodation is also available for the budget travelers.  So no matter what your income, Murchison falls national park has the best accommodation which suites your budget

Paara Safari lodge Uganda

Paara safari Lodge is also situated in Murchison falls national in the north western part of Uganda. This lodge is also well known for its luxurious and comfortable accommodation. The lodge has got over 54 rooms with the en suite bathrooms as well as balconies and some number of suits which offer a perfect view of the Nile. The location of the lodge can also be obtained by both air and road depending on the means you want to use and by road, it’s a 6-hour drive from Entebbe airport via Masindi by air, and it’s just an hour’s flight to get to the lodge.


The lodge is also well known for its high quality facilities which are offered to visitors, these also include; swimming pool, restaurant with both international and the local foods, full stocked bar, Lounge and the beautiful natural gardens on the landscape

Tourism Activities

There are also many activities which are offered at the lodge and some of these include; fishing, ferry cruise, game drives and also enjoying the cool breeze at the pool side.

This lodge is well designed with ancient history Architecture that will remind you of the old days. The lodge has maps everywhere to give proper directions, pictures as well as equipment’s which people used along ago. The tables of the lodge are made in a way of recognizing the strength of art.

There is also another exciting activity which is the boat cruise which will give a chance to see large concentrations of hippos, crocodiles resting on the shores of the river. There are also many bird species and these include; fish eagle, Kingfishers, beef eaters along with Pelicans. You will also enjoy the big crowds of Elephants and Buffaloes along the river cooling off the heat in the water.

Sambiya Safari Lodge Uganda

Simbiya safari lodge is also positioned in the glorious Murchison falls national park and it has got accommodation that will also favor all the tourists. The lodge is also located within the park and it takes only 15 minutes to get to Murchison falls national park.


The lodge has got 26 thatched cottages of which each is designed with en suite bathroom, self-contained along with a balcony. This lodge will give you a perfect view of the game and the beautiful view of Sambiya River. Within your room, you will hear the sweet melodies of the morning birds and enjoy the misty on the hills.

Bandas accommodation for Budget travelers

The most exciting aspect about this lodge is also the fact that they offer budget accommodation at a low price particularly for the budget travellers. This lodge has got about ten thatched bandas with good facilities. Also for those who may wish to stay in the bandas, the food is usually served at the swimming pool and those Lodge, their meal is always in the dining room.

  • Restaurant with both international and local foods
  • A well designed dining area
  • A well-stocked bar
  • Swimming pool

Nile Safari lodge Uganda

This lodge is also situated on the southern banks of the river Nile surrounded by the well to do papyrus forest Nile safari lodge which is designed with beautiful wooden chalets along with lavishness tents which are also located in a perfect place to give am amazing view of the park with the African wilderness. The most exciting aspect about this lodge is that natural feel that you receive when you get close to the environment. Experience the beauty of Africa.


This lodge was well designed with ten nice rooms, 5 wooden chalets as well as lavishness tents that are well equipped with the en- suited washrooms along with the air conditioned rooms. The lodge also has the luxury balconies that will give a perfect view of the area.


The lodge has got high quality facilities which include; a full stalked bar, restaurant with international and the local foods, the lounge along with the beautiful wilderness. Camp fire in the evening accompanied with traditional dancing. The swimming tools help you to cool off the heat of the day and after the long day’s activities.

Tourist Activities Around the camp

There are also many activities which can be involved in once you are at the Nile Safari camp. These also include; nature walks, boat cruises, bird watching, viewing hippos and crocs from your verandah enjoying the waters of Victoria Nile. Other facilities provided by the camp include swimming pool, safaris, cabins, camping, restaurants with a camp fire and natural gardens and fully stocked bar. Discover the Africa wilderness at Uganda’s best Safari lodge.

Red Chilli rest camp Uganda

Red chilli rest camp is also known to be a financial plan camp which is located within Murchison falls national park which is adjacent to the south bank of the river. The camp is mainly for budget travelers.


This lodge also targets budget travellers; the accommodation is in form of bandas and camp tents are free to all visitors who enjoy camping. The rooms also have better services and they contain single, double as well as family.  The bandas have many facilities like the en suite bathrooms, cooking area, toilets.

Bar and Restaurant

The camp also has a restaurant which serves both international and local cuisines as well as a fully stocked bar, these are designed with in the thatched house giving a perfect view of the Nile. The opening hours are usually from 6.30 am to9.30pm.The bar is open up to midnight. There is a set camp fire that will give all the warmth you need and you can enjoy your meals as well. The camp manages tours to and from Kampala at a low cost.


  • Kaniyo Pabidi camp
  • Masindi hotel
  • Court view hotel
  • Murchison river lodge
  • Budongo eco lodge
  • Chobe lodge
  • Shoebill camp site