This national park, Uganda’s largest, lies in the north west of the country some 350 km north of the capital city of Kampala. It is intersected from the east to the west by the Victoria Nile. To the west the park is bordered by Lake Albert, which the Victoria Nile flows into, and is the source of the White Nile (sometimes known here as the Albert Nile). Lying in the center of the park are the impressive waterfalls that give the park its name. Even though they are not particularly tall or wide, they are almost the most powerful. All the waters of the Nile are forced through a narrow gorge, no more than 10m wide, after flowing over the 43m high falls, which churns the surface of the river into foam, which can be seen floating on the river far below the falls. The northern and southern sections of the park are connected by a short ferry crossing to the west, and by the main road to the east of the park that crosses the river close to some smaller waterfalls on the Nile.
The park has a good network of fine gravel roads, ideal for game drives, especially in the animal rich, palm clad plains north of the river, but the river safaris that start at the ferry crossing in specially designed boats, are perhaps the park’s biggest attraction. On the cruise upstream you sail close to the falls, while downstream you can sail much further, right down to Lake Albert. No matter which way you choose to sail, the waters and banks of the River Nile are teeming with hippos, crocodiles, monitor lizards and a multitude of birds. It is also not unusual to see animals such as elephants, buffalo and waterbuck when they come down to the river to drink.
With a little bit of luck you can see the big, and rather strange looking bird, the shoebill stork, with its huge beak. For ornithologists it is one of Africa’s most sought after birds and seeing one will be a coveted record in their notebook. Amongst the birds of the savannah it is the stunningly beautiful crowned crane that is Uganda’s national bird and is represented on its flag that often steals the show in Murchison Falls National Park. Amongst the large mammals living in the park, lions, buffalo, warthogs and Rothschild’s giraffe, which resembles a cross between a reticulated giraffe of northern Kenya and the Masai giraffe of the south, and a wealth of antelope species are often seen here. Amongst the antelope the beautiful Uganda kob is a real speciality of the country.
The famous waterfalls can also be seen from the land, as a road leads to a small parking place close to them, from where you can walk to the top of the falls. The park forms the core of a larger area of protected land, and is surrounded by a number of other reserves.
High Season: January to February and June to August