About Murchison National Park

The area around Murchison Falls was established as a national park in the year 1952 covering great expanse of land that justifies it as the largest national park in Uganda. Positioned in the north western side of Uganda on the tip of the western arm of the great East African rift valley, Murchison Falls National Park is 311km about 5 hours’ drive from Kampala, the Uganda s capital city. It extends to cover 3,440km2 of land it is always incorporated with Bugungu and Karuma Wildlife Reserves to form the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area covering 5,308km2. The nearest town is Masindi located at 80km approximately 2 – 3 hours to the south of the park. The world’s longest river, River Nile traverses the park for 115km while making its way from the gigantic Victoria Lake to the Mediterranean Sea in the far north of Africa. The River leaves a permanent natural landmark in the middle of the park named Murchison Falls which is the most powerful water fall in the world always encountered on Uganda safaris and tours.

Victoria Nile Traversing Murchison Falls

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Its nomenclature emerges from its encounter with the first European explorer in the names of Sir Samuel Baker on 14th March 1864 who named it after the then president of the Royal Geographical Society Sir. Roderick Murchison. The world’s powerful Murchison Falls is among the prime Uganda safari tour products and it is an amazing encounter to views of the splendid Nile River as it squeezes itself to pass through an 8m ravine before falling 43m below to what has been termed as the Devils Cauldron forming a plume of spray surrounded by a thunderous roar marked by a trademark rainbow.

The Murchison Falls National Park contains four of the big five of the land animals including buffaloes, elephants, Lion and Leopard. The Rhinos also existed in the park before they got extinct in 1983 following excessive poaching. However, the rhinos were later re-introduced and put in the adjacent Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary 135km about 2 -3 hours’ drive from Kampala. Murchison Falls National Park is also a home of other wildlife species including; giraffe, Uganda Kob, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck among others.

Elephants grazing at Murchison Falls National Park

elephants at murchison

The Uganda safari destination of Murchison Falls National Park is positioned on a relative low-lying landscape rising to an elevation of 619m and 1,292m. It receives average rainfall of 1,085mm which is a bit low compared to the rain forests of south western Uganda though it is within the same range with other savannah areas of East Africa. Murchison Falls National Park which is the second most visited park in Uganda after Queen Elizabeth National Park is marked by rolling savannah combretum dotted with borassus palms, acacia woodland and riverine vegetation along the Nile River banks. The southern end of the park is marked by thick forest cover including the forest tract of Rabongo with canopy. The park is a home to 76 species of mammals including; bohor reedbuck, defassa buck, side-striped jackal, oribis, warthog not forgetting olive baboon and vervet monkeys.

The savannah plains of the park are a home to spotted hyena, localized patas monkey and leopard. The forest of Rabongo contains populations of chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys and a range of other primates. Murchison Falls National Park is a home to 460 species of birds and other 19 species that are not yet confirmed. The Nile River banks contain the vulnerable Shoe bill stork which is the most sought after bird by birders on birding safari tours in Uganda. The raptors count to 53 species.