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Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Uganda. It's a beautiful national park that offers breathtaking views of the Nile River, dense forests, and vast savannah teeming with wildlife.

The park's main physical feature is the Murchison Falls, a powerful waterfall that plunges down a narrow gorge. The falls were named after Sir Roderick Murchison, a Scottish geologist, and president of the Royal Geographical Society.

History And Geography Of Murchison Falls N.P

The park was established in 1952 and is Uganda's largest national park. It covers an area of 3,840 square kilometers and is located in the northern part of the country.

Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the Nile River, which flows through the park and is an important life force for the entire ecosystem. The park is also home to a diverse range of plants and animals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, buffalos, leopards,  hippos, and more than 450 bird species.

Things To Do In Murchison Falls N.P

Murchison Falls National Park is a perfect place for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Here are some of the most popular tourist activities that are loved by locals and foreigners alike.

1. Wildlife Safari Game Drives.

One of the most popular activities is game drives, which allow visitors to explore the park's vast savannas and see a wide array of wildlife. The park is home to lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes, and much more. Game drives are usually conducted in the early morning or late afternoon when wildlife is most active.

2. Boat Cruise Safaris.

Boat safaris (launch cruises) are another popular activity in the park. These boat cruises take visitors along the Nile River, offering stunning views of the Murchison Falls and the park's surrounding landscapes.

During boat cruises, visitors can spot crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of bird species such as the African fish eagle, the Goliath heron, and the shoebill stork. Visitors can also go sport fishing in the Nile River, which is home to over 80 fish species.

3. Bird Watching

For visitors who love bird watching, Murchison Falls National Park is home to over 450 bird species, making it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Some of the bird species that can be seen in the park include the African fish eagle, the Goliath heron, the saddle-billed stork, and the rare shoebill stork.

4. Hiking

Hiking to the top of the Murchison Falls is also a popular activity among visitors. The hike takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, and the views from the top are breathtaking.

Visitors to Murchison Falls N.P. can also go for guided nature walks in the park, and experience the park even more intimately - with feet on the ground - literally.

Getting To Murchison Falls N.P

Murchison Falls National Park is located around 300 kilometers from Kampala - Uganda's capital and biggest city. Visitors can get to the park by road or air.

Driving from Kampala to Murchison takes around 6 hours. This is on a well-paved road and the drive is comfortable. Depending on the stops made along the way, the journey might be shorter or slightly longer.

Another alternative is flying directly to Murchison Falls from Entebbe International Airport or even flying from other parks such as Queen Elizabeth or Kidepo. The daily domestic flights make it easy to fly to and from Murchison for the people who would prefer not to drive.

Best Time To Visit Murchison Falls N.P

The best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park is during the dry season, which runs from December to February and from June to September. During this time, the park's wildlife is more concentrated around water sources, making it easier to spot them. The dry season is also the best time for hiking and other activities, since the trails are dry and easier to move through.

The rainy season, which runs from March to May and from October to November, can make the park more difficult to navigate, and some roads and trails may be impassable.

Here's a climate table showing the average rainfall, temperature, and seasons in Murchison Falls National Park:

 January  29 / 84  33 / 1.3  Dry season 
 February  29 / 84  43 / 1.7  Dry season 
 March  29 / 84  91 / 3.6  Wet season 
 April  28 / 82  142 / 5.6  Wet season 
 May  28 / 82  151 / 5.9  Wet season
 June  27 / 81  85 / 3.3  Dry season
 July  26 / 79  51 / 2.0  Dry season
 August  26 / 79  68 / 2.7  Dry season
 September   27 / 81  99 / 3.9  Wet season
 October  28 / 82  134 / 5.3  Wet season
 November  28 / 82  94 / 3.7  Wet season
 December  29 / 84  42 / 1.7  Dry season

Accommodation In Murchison Falls N.P

Murchison Falls National Park has a range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. Visitors can choose from luxury lodges, mid-range hotels, and budget campsites.