Uganda's largest park - Murchison Falls

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Murchison Falls, wildlife on the shores of the Nile

by Emmy van Kleef

Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest park and one of the most exciting. It protects a large area of African Savannah intersected by the River Nile. In this travel blog, Roadtrip Uganda provides you tips about what to do and where to stay in Murchison Falls, how to organise a bush camping experience on the delta, and how to get to to the park on your self-drive safari in Uganda. 

Murchison Falls, a highlight of your visit to Uganda 

The park is named after the dramatic Murchison Falls, where the Nile river explodes violently through a narrow cleft. The park contains large herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and lions. In the southeast, Budongo Forest is home to chimps while the banks of the Nile host one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile population. It remains to be seen though, how the game population will behave some time from now, as massive oil explorations have started in the park and animals have already started migrating southwards.

In the park, you can enjoy a boat trip from the Paraa jetty to the Top of the Falls, whilst a smaller boat trip cruising downstream to the Lake Albert Delta provides the best chance in Africa of sighting the rare shoebill.

Best places to stay in Murchison Falls 

There are many nice places to stay in Murchison Falls and many new lodges and campsites keep popping up. Roadtrip Uganda's favourite spots are bush camping at the Delta, Murchison River Lodge and Fort Murchison Lodge. To get an overview of the best places to stay in Uganda and Murchsion River lodge,  check our favourite campsites & lodges here. 

Go bush camping on the delta!

Highly recommended for those road trippers that look for a true wilderness experience - bush camping at Delta. You get yourself a ranger and camping permit at the park entrance ( $40pp) stock up food and drinks supplies and off you go with the camp gear from Roadtrip Uganda. The ranger will find a spot for you to pitch your tent and takes you on a night and early morning game drive. Your ranger is well equipped with a tiny Nokia phone (a ka-torch in Luganda) to spot those lions as the night sets in. He can help you make a camp fire and appreciates if you share some of your dinner with him. 

How to get to Murchison Falls on your self drive safari

Murchison Falls Park can be reached via different routes. Many people enter the park via the southern Masindi gate, as it is the closest to Kampala (in kilometres), and you pass Budongo Forest where you can go chimp trekking. But the road is often in poor condition, and it's a long drive from the park entrance to the Paraa jetty where the centre of the action is. 

Murchison Falls can be reached via different routes. Many people enter the Park via the southern Masindi gate, as it is the closest to Kampala. But it's a long, dull drive from the park entrance to the Paraa jetty where the centre of the action is. Moreover, it's a challenging road due to the rocky surface with washboard ribbons and notorious for single vehicle roll-overs. Drive slowly (25km/h) otherwise it is easy to loose control. A better route is entering the park via the Northern gate (either Purongo or Takigate-Pakwach), passing Karuma Falls. The distance is longer,  but you get there faster and you enter the interesting section of the park straightaway. An off-the-beaten track alternative is via Lake Albert. After Masindi, the road is unsurfaced, so this greatly adds to your travel time, but it is one of the most scenic routes in Uganda.

Interested to explore Murchison Falls National Park on your self-drive holiday in Uganda? Secure your 4x4 with camping here, and Drive Your Own Adventure. 

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