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How To Get To Murchison Falls National Park? | How Do I Get To Murchison Falls National Park?
Are you wondering how to get to Murchison Falls National Park? OR asking yourself, how do I get to Murchison Falls National Park?
Well, Murchison Falls National Park has situated Northwest about 305km from Kampala, and this park can easily be accessed easily by road and air. When flying from abroad, you’ll arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB).
It is located 40km from the capital (Kampala). Your local Uganda safari operator will usually arrange for you to be picked up at the airport. Furthermore, he will take care of all further transportation as part of your Uganda safari package.
How To Get To Murchison Falls National Park By Uganda Road Trip
Northern And Eastern Approaches To Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park can be reached on the north side of the Nile via the;
- Chobe gate on the Kampala-Gulu road,
- Wankwar gate about 10 kilometers south of Purongo, and
- Tangi gate, 3 kilometers from Pakwach
Accessing Murchison Falls National Park Via Chobe Gate
Chobe gate is the easterly entrance to Murchison Falls National Park located 2 kilometers north of Karuma Bridge on the surfaced Kampala-Gulu road. It is the quickest entrance to the park from Kampala which is 260 kilometers (162 miles) drive that takes around 3 hours.
From Entebbe, to reach Chobe gate there is a distance of 300km which about 3-4 hours drive.
This gate is aimed mainly at people overnighting at Chobe Safari Lodge. This lodge lies 15 kilometers (10 miles) further into the park along a well-maintained dirt road.
From Chobe Safari Lodge it is possible to continue west to Paraa following the 95 kilometers (59 miles) on Chobe Track.
Getting to Murchison Falls National Park Via Wankwar Gate
Wankwar gate is about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Purongo. This gate is particularly convenient for visitors traveling between Paraa and Gulu or Kidepo Valley National Park.
It is then followed by the well-surfaced 65 kilometers (40 miles) Gulu-Olwiyo road which connects to Karuma-Pakwach road 4km east of Purongo.
It is also a useful access point for those coming from Kampala. Drivers can always follow Kampala-Gulu road for 200 meters past Chobe Gate. Then, turn left on the tarmacked Arua road following it for 58 kilometers (36 miles) to Purongo.
The total distance from Kampala to Wankwar gate is 324 km. Allow at least 5 hours to the gate driving directly from Kampala and another 1 hour to reach Paraa. From Entebbe, it is 370 km to reach Wankwar gate which is about a 5-6 hour drive.
Once there, the Wankwar gate is about 45 kilometers (28 miles) northeast of Paraa along a well-maintained road that offer excellent wildlife viewing.
Accessing Murchison Falls National Park Via Tangi Gate
Tangi Gate is situated about 3 kilometers from Pakwach, a small town set on the western bank of the Albert Nile.
This gate has become popular with visitors in recent years due to the opening of several nearby mid-range and upmarket lodges. These are on the western bank of the Albert Nile opposite Pakwach.
Tangi Gate is just only an hour’s drive from Paraa and the Buligi Game Viewing Circuit.
Coming from Kampala it is about 317 km with a drive distance of about 5 hours and 11 minutes. From Entebbe, it is 354 km and has a travel time of 5-6 hours. Visitors from Kampala and Entebbe use the Kampala-Gulu highway and then follow the direction to Wankwar gate as far as Purongo.
Instead of branching south on a dirt road, you need to continue for another 50 kilometers (31 miles) west along the Arua road towards Pakwach for about 1 hour.
Tangi Gate is almost 1 kilometer south of the main road along a turn-off signposted 700 meters before Pakwach Bridge crosses the Albert Nile.
Southern Approaches To Murchison Falls National Park
The main approach to Murchison Falls National Park is in the south through the Masindi district. This district is situated about 215 kilometers (134 miles)/5 hours northwest of Kampala on a surfaced road.
And, Masindi district is northeast of Fort Portal which is 260 kilometers (162 miles)/7 hours via Hoima along the unsurfaced road to Kyenjojo.
The route through Masindi remains the best option for those traveling between Fort Portal and elsewhere in southwestern Uganda.
Coming from Kampala, the route through Masindi is also the most direct option to Paraa and most safari lodges south of the Nile.
Two routes run from Masindi to Paraa and these are;
- via Kichumbanyobo Gate
- and the other via Mubako Gate
Both these routes are unsurfaced (murram) and likely require extra care after rain.
Getting to Murchison Falls National Park Via Kichumbanyobo Gate
Visitors, traveling directly from Kampala can reach the Kichumbanyoo gate at a driving distance of 235 km. This is about a 3-4 hour drive considering slight traffic. From Entebbe, it is roughly 273 km to the gate about 4 hrs drive.
However, this route from Masindi to Paraa is 85 kilometers (53 miles) passing through Kichumbanyobo Gate after 22 kilometers (14 miles). This is about 1 and half hours drive.
Practically, it is the best option for travelers heading to Budongo Eco-Lodge, Sambiya River Lodge, and Red Chilli Rest Camp. And, as well as to Paraa Safari Lodge on the north bank opposite Red Chilli.
Getting to Murchison Falls National Park Via Bugungu Gate
Tourists on Uganda safaris coming from Kampala can reach Bugungu gate after driving 290 km which is about 4 hours. From Entebbe, it is 330 km with a travel time of 4-5 hours. After reaching Bugungu gate, is only 12km away from Paraa which is a 20 minutes drive.
If you are coming from Masindi to Paraa using Bugungu gate, it is 135 km driving for about 2-3 hours.
It offers spectacular views as you descend from Budongo Forest Reserve and the Congo Mountain ranges, rift valley, and Lake Albert shores.
Visitors who have booked accommodation on the south bank west of Paraa, outside Bugungu Gate don’t need to pay entrance fees on their day of arrival. Unless when they are going to do Uganda safari activities in Murchison Falls park.
Note: Along the way to Murchison Falls National Park from Kampala is the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary Uganda. It is home to the only wild Rhinos in Uganda. You can track them on foot and support this important initiative to reintroduce Rhinos to protected areas.
Below are the distances and time from different places travelers on Uganda safaris can reach Murchison Falls National Park.
|PLACE OF DEPARTURE||DISTANCE (km)||HOURS|
|From Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary||104||1-2hrs|
|From Fort Portal Town||253||6-7hrs|
|From Kibale National Park||371||7-8hrs|
|From Queen Elizabeth NP||336||7-8hrs|
|From Rwenzori Mountains NP||308||5-6hrs|
Uganda Domestic Flights To Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park can as well be accessed by daily scheduled or chartered flights. This is the best way to reach the park as you dodge the dull drive from Kampala. And, you enjoy the breathtaking prospect of viewing Murchison Falls from the air.
There are 3 airstrips in this park where airplanes can land and these are;
- Pakuba airstrip in the northern sector
- Chobe airstrip in the northern sector; is used mostly by those visiting Chobe Safari Lodge.
- Bugungu airstrip in the southern sector
However, two airstrips are close to Paraa (Pakuba and Bugungu airstrip) though the most used is Pakuba airstrip is the most used. This is so because it is near most lodges in the park.
Daily flights to Murchison falls National Park depart from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield. These flights take less than 1 hour. In addition, flight operators are Aero link Uganda, Bar Aviation, and Air Uganda.
However, these operators offer flights in other locations in Uganda including Kidepo Valley National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
As part of your Uganda tour package, domestic flights between Ugandan parks are usually arranged by Uganda tour operators.
Precautions To Know When Traveling To Murchison Falls National Park
For travelers on safaris in Uganda, there are a few precautions you need to know when traveling to Murchison falls park, especially by road trip.
- Visitors especially those on self-drives should avoid driving at night, especially beyond 7 pm. Night time should find you at your accommodation place.
- Avoid driving when you are drunk as this leads to accidents and it is highly prohibited.
- Always read and follow the road signs that are along roadsides.
- If you are not sure of Ugandan routes, you should hire a good expert driver to guide you throughout your entire Uganda safari.
- Avoid racing each other on the road when traveling to Murchison Falls park as it can easily lead to accidents.
- Visitors should not over speed when driving as it is highly prohibited. When driving, you should not go beyond 100km/hr.
- Always drive cars in good and proper mechanical condition so that you don t cause any accidents.
- Do not use the cars hired for transporting corpses, car hire, and transporting animals.