Murchison Falls is the largest national park in Uganda. The falls are stunning, notable not so much for their size as for their immense power caused by the 50m-wide River Nile. Here, the world’s second longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the rocks before falling into a pool 43m below. Several elephants, buffaloes, giraffes and a variety of antelopes are also encountered on game drives, while lions are a common sight.
In the south-east. Budongo forest is home to chimps and other rainforest creatures. The Nile itself hosts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations. Measuring 3,893 sq km.
ACTIVITIES IN MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK.
The famous launch trip from Paraa along the river Nile up to the Murchison Falls (17 km), to see elephants, buffaloes, waterbuck, hippos, crocodiles, water birds like cormorants, pelicans, herons, fish eagle, shoebill stork. Hike to “top of the falls”, to see closer from the top the exciting and spectacular Murchison Falls. Game drives north of river Nile and at Lake Albert Delta (Buligi, Albert and Queen’s tracks). Sport fishing (Nile Perch and tiger fish), on the river Nile above and below the fall. “Chimpanzee trekking and filming” and bird watching in Budongo Forest and Kaniyo Pabidi Forest Reserve.
Accessibility to Murchison Falls National Park.
Murchison Falls Conservation Area with the adjoining Karuma and Bugungu Wildlife Reserves can be accessed through different routes by road to reach Paraa Park headquarters. It can also be reached by air using the daily flights from Entebbe International Airport or chartered aircrafts from Kajjansi airfield to Pakuba airfield, 19 km Northwest of Paraa and south at Bugungu, 13 km from the park headquarters.
The most commonly used route is Kampala via Masindi town and Kichumbanyobo Gate which is about 300km long and takes an average of 4.5 hours. This route is currently considered the shortest and most convenient with 175 km of it being tarmac and 125 km of fine murram. This route takes you through Kaniyo Pabidi Forest famous for the chimpanzee tracking before encountering the rift valley escarpment that offers a spectacular view of the national park landscape.
The alternative route is via Biiso and Buliisa which enables the visitors to enter the park through the Bugungu Gate. Although a bit longer than the Kichumbanyobo Gate corridor, this access route leads through Budongo Forest ,down the rift valley escarpment with a fascinating view over Lake Albert onto the Blue Mountains in the Democratic Republic of Congo and over the wide open spaces of the massive national park. The adventurous route also leads the visitors through the chimpanzee packed forest before descending to the rift valley escarpment where one can explore the remains of the historical Butiaba Port as well as Wanseko a popular spot south of the Nile delta.
Once in the conservation area, the Nile river crossing at Paraa in the heart of the park is approximately 5hrs drive from Kampala (305 km). Paraa is 85 km from Masindi town by the direct route. A longer (135km) alternative route passes through Budongo forest and provides scenic views across Lake Albert from the rift valley escarpment above Butiaba. Paraa can also be approached from the north, via Chobe Gate near Karuma Falls and Tangi Gate near Pakwach (25km to Paraa), and Wankwar Gate near Purongo. A vehicle ferry crosses the Nile at Paraa operating hourly between 07.00 and 19.00 with the exception of 13.00.
Murchison do provide wide variety of accommodation facilities like the Paraa safari lodge, Chobe safari lodge, Nile safari lodge (Luxury), Budongo Eco lodge, Sambiya River lodge, Murchison River lodge, Fort Murchison lodge (Mid-range) and Red chill rest camp (Budget accommodation).