Overview – Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park lies at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where the sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna. The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which plunges 45m over the remnant rift valley wall, creating the dramatic Murchison Falls, the centrepiece of the park and the final event in an 80km stretch of rapids. It's the only park in Uganda that contains all five of the Big five animals. At present rhinos are being re-introduced as they were sadly extinguished from the area by poachers. This park offers birding, fishing, cultural tours and game safaris, as well as hot air balloon rides where you can see the majestic falls from high above.

  • Wildlife18 Animals

  • High SeasonJune to September

  • Best Time to GoDecember to February

Pros & Cons

  • Best wildlife viewing
  • Very beautiful park with East Africa's most breathtaking waterfall
  • Boat trip to the falls and the Lake Albert delta is available
  • One of the few places where you can find the shoebill
  • Roads are very bad in the rainy season
  • Some areas have high densities of the tsetse fly

Murchison Falls National Park Map in Africa

Murchison Falls National Park Safari Reviews

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Wildlife & Animals – Murchison Falls National Park

The park is home to 76 species of mammals including four of the “Big Five”, with huge herds of buffaloes and elephants, well-camouflaged leopards and a healthy population of lions. It is also known for its giraffes; in Uganda, these can only be viewed here and in Kidepo Valley. Other species viewed regularly along the game tracks include Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks and warthogs. Resident crocodiles and hippos as well as other, visiting wildlife are found along the river.

Wildlife Highlights

Murchison Falls National Park is home to all five of the big five that include elephants, buffalos, leopards, rhinos and lions. Also in the park are wild animals such as hippopotamus, giraffes, crocodiles, antelope, Uganda Kob, hartebeest, and oribi, amongst other wildlife. The park has an amazing variety of water birds that include shoe-bill stork. Chimpanzees and several other primates can also be spotted in the Budongo forest in the south of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Murchison Falls National Park can be visited round the year, but the best time for wildlife viewing is from December to February during the Dry season when animals gather around the Victoria Nile and other reliable water sources.

Birds – Murchison Falls National Park

The park's main birding attraction point is the Shoebill stork, best spotted in the dry season from January to March. The commonest species found in the plains include the Marabou Stork, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Secretary Birds, Black-bellied Bustards, Open-billed Storks and Widow Birds.

Best Time for Bird Watching

Birding can be done all year round in Murchison but it's best in January to March. During heavy rainfalls from April to May and August to October, it's difficult to bird watching. 

Best Time to Visit – Murchison Falls National Park

The best season to visit the Murchison National park is from December to February, as the weather tends to be drier and the animals easier to spot. The months of June through August also see drier conditions and lower temperatures. These months are considered peak times for tracking gorillas. January to March is the best time for bird watching.

  • Best Time

    December to February

  • High Season

    June to September

  • Low Season

    March to May, October and November

  • Best Weather

    June and July

  • Worst Weather

    April, May & August to October

December to February (Dry Season)

  • Animals are found more easily since they gather at water sources
  • Clear blue skies and most of the days are sunny
  • Mosquitoes are fewer, so there is less risk of malaria
  • The heat in January and February can be unmanageable

December to February (Wet Season)

  • April and May are low seasons, so there will be fewer people, and rates may be lower
  • The park offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year
  • Migratory birds can be found during this period
  • Chances of rainfall interference with safari are less as Murchison falls comes under dry part of the country
  • Roads are slippery due to heavy rains, difficult to drive.

Activities – Murchison Falls National Park

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