Activities or what to do in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda is what makes a tour to the park worth undertaking while on any Uganda Safari. There are many attractions at Murchison Falls National Park ranging from the world’s most powerful waterfalls to the big four wild animals.
Murchison Falls National Park is one of Uganda’s safaris park popularly visited by many international and domestic tourists each year because it’s closer to the country’s capital – Kampala about 4 hours on a road drive. The park is crossed by the Nile River that forms the mighty Murchison Falls.
The park borrowed its name from the falls. Murchison Falls also referred to as Kabalega falls is formed as the Nile River water forces its way through a seven-meter gorge and tumbles 43 meters below to what is referred to as the devil’s cauldron.
This is the world’s most powerful waterfalls referred to as so because the outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second (11,000 ft³/s) of water over the falls squeezed into a gorge only almost 7 meters wide. The strength from the falls creates a thunderous roar with a spray of mist that creates a beautiful view of the rainbow above.
Murchison Falls was named so by Sir Samuel Baker who named them after Roderick Murchison the then president of the Royal Geographical Society. During the reign of Idi Amin, the waterfall was referred to as Kabalega falls named so after the Omukama (king) of Bunyoro; Kabalega.
However, the name Kabalega Falls was never promulgated and after the downfall of Idi Amin, the falls to date are referred to as Murchison. The mighty Murchison Falls is one of the top attractions for tourists who take Uganda wildlife safaris along with the wildlife in the national park.
The park is part of the Murchison Falls Conservation area which is also home to other tourist sites like Kaniyo-Pabidi and the adjacent Budongo forest that is home to chimpanzees and the closest place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Some of the activities that can be done in Murchison Falls National Park include a boat cruise/Launch trip from Paraa jetty along the Nile River up to below the Murchison Falls, a hike to the top of the falls very very spectacular views from the top of of the rushing Murchison Falls, Game drives, Sportfishing (Nile Perch and tiger fish) and bird watching. Here is more information on each of the activities;
Launch trip or boat cruise is such a perfect way to experience the Nile River. The boat cruise takes off from Paraa jetty to the bottom of the mighty falls. The trip takes about 2 hours and during this time you can see several wildlife species quenching their thirst at the shores of the river.
You can also see several bird species and hear the sound of the roaring falls. For birders, the Delta cruise is such a perfect way to spot several bird species. A boat cruise can be undertaken as a group or book a private boat for your excursion.
Game drives North of Nile River and at Lake Albert Delta (Buligi, Albert, and Queen’s tracks) is the best way of seeing wildlife. A game drive is perfect on an open roof safari vehicle that offers an all-round view of the park.
During the game drive, you can see several wildlife species up close and take as many photos as you can. Depending on your schedule, you can take a morning or evening game drive through the trucks of the park.
There are 76 mammal species, including giraffes, elephants, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, kobs, bushbucks, waterbucks, oribi, jackals, and many more that can be seen in the park.
The park is home to the African big four which include Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions, and Elephants. The Rhino that completes the big five can be seen in the nearby Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary on your way to tour Murchison Falls National Park.
Hike to the top of Murchison Falls is the best activity to experience the flow of the Nile River through the 7-meter gorge. The hike starts from below the falls after the boat cruise and lasts about 1 hour.
The walk takes you high up where the river squeezes through the 7 meter gorge with perfect photography options.
Sportfishing (Nile Perch and tiger fish), on the Nile River above and below the Falls, is perfect for world Anglers. Avid anglers have great opportunities to land on the large Nile Perch or catfish.
The recorded largest Nile Perch ever landed in the river was 113 kilograms found at the water gauge opposite the crocodile pool and the largest catfish was 45 kilograms.
There are experienced guides to help anglers through the fishing experience at Murchison Falls National Park. To go for a fishing trip in the park, ensure to communicate early to your tour operator such that a fishing permit is secured.
Birding: The list of birds counts 450 species making it a good Uganda birding safari spot. Bird watching can be done even during short trips or on long tours. Birds can be seen during any other activity including the delta boat cruise or just on a trip planned specifically for birding.
Adjacent to the park is the Budongo forest where you can have a chimpanzee trekking experience. This place is also good for bird watching. On a tour to Murchison Falls National Park, you can add in a visit to Budongo forest for a chimp tracking experience.
Murchison Falls National Park is one great destination to visit on any Uganda tour and can be visited alongside other national parks. Other tours include Uganda gorilla safaris, white water rafting, adventure trips, and cultural tours.
Safaris to Murchison Falls National Park Uganda and other Uganda packages