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Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest park spanning a vast area of forest and savannah plains. The diverse habitats are home to a healthy wildlife population, particularly the endangered Rothschild Giraffe which are in abundance on the north bank of the park!
This park is popular due to its namesake – the thunderous Murchison Falls, where the entire force of the mighty river Nile is squeezed through a small gap in the rocks! One of the best activities in the park is a river cruise up stream, past lazy hippos and some of the largest crocodiles, to the base of the falls. From here you alight and hike up to the top of the falls and enjoy the amazing views and feel the full force of the Nile.
There is a rich variety of wildlife to be found on every excursion, from hippos and crocodiles to elephants, buffalo and giraffe. With great sightings on both on land and in the water. The birds are a draw to this area, with 460 species on offer, savannah, forest and water species all in abundance. On the south bank the Budongo forest is a lush ecosystem and home to Chimpanzees which can be tracked as an additional activity.
Most accommodations are situated on the south bank on the river Nile just outside the park gate. With most of the wildlife and savannah on the north bank you do have to travel each day by the public car ferry or private boat from your lodge to meet your car and undertake your safari. However, a new bridge is in the process of being built making game drives a little easier.
In recent years leopard and lion sightings have been fantastic in this park, with swimming elephants at lunch time a common bonus from many of the lodges! The mixture of water and land safari here make a great experience and the recent launch of hot air balloon flights offer superb views from above.
Murchison Falls National Park is open year-round; however, it is better to head out on safari during dry season. The lower grass and better road conditions make for enhanced game viewing. June to October and December to March are the best times to travel here.
April & May and again in November bring rain and muddy roads. This is still a great park to visit as the banks of the Nile swell and the falls roar in the rain. But the long grass can make game viewing a bit more of a challenge.
Murchison Falls National Park has loads on offer and a journey here begins even before you enter the gates. On the way up you must stop off at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the perfect place to stop for lunch and track the re-introduced white rhino who are making a great come back with the support of this amazing sanctuary. You then continue on, perhaps making your home at Bakers Lodge, a beautiful setting right on the banks of the Nile. This intimate lodge offers direct access to the Nile, with large shady trees and views of the river. We always try to include a river cruise to the falls as well as a cruise downstream to the river delta where swimming elephants are always a great sighting. Game drives on the north bank of the river will be in any itinerary as you try see any of the wildlife that calls this area home.