Murchison Falls is located on the western side of Uganda just north of the midway part of the country. The park covers an area of 1,503 square miles (3,893 sq km) creating the largest national park in Uganda.
The national park is part of the larger Murchison Falls Conservation Area which includes Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and Karuma Wildlife Reserve creating over 2,072 square miles (5,366 sq km) of protected wilderness.
Although the park is renowned for the stunningly powerful Murchison Falls, it is an amazing place to take a safari and witness some of Africa’s incredible wildlife. The falls are on the Victoria or White Nile River. The park is home to the largest population of Nile crocodiles.
In addition to the large population of crocodiles, there are around 75 species of mammals. Some of the larger and more popular wildlife species include lion, leopard, giraffe, elephant, waterbuck, hartebeest, buffalo, hippopotamus, and chimpanzee. There are about 800 chimpanzees living across the national park boundaries.
Murchison Falls National Park is also a haven for bird watchers with over 450 species of birds that nest or migrate through the park. The Goliath Heron is a nice treat to see since it is the largest heron in the world. Many of the species are waterfowl, however, there are many other species such as the red-throated bee-eater.
Murchison Falls Highlights
There are many different things that people may find as highlights in the national park such as spotting lions or leopard. The wildlife is certainly a key feature of the national park, however, the waterfall is the pinnacle attraction.
Murchison Falls is also referred to as Kabalega Falls. It is located on the Nile River coming out of Lake Victoria. One of the intriguing facets of the falls is the amount of water that squeezes through the narrow gap in the rocks.
The gap measures only 23 feet (7 m) across before plunging down 141 feet (43 m). The source delivers 11,000 cubic feet per second (300 m³/s) creating one of the most powerful waterfalls in Africa.
The national park is named after the falls. A visit to the falls allows a traveler to check off seeing one of the strongest waterfalls as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa with views of the Nile River. This portion of the Nile is called the White Nile or the Victoria Nile.
Trails of Murchison Falls National Park
Although much of Murchison Falls is about safaris and wildlife, the waterfall is one of the most incredible forces of nature. There are trails to experience the falls as well as chances to see birds and other facets of nature.
Top of the Falls Trail: This is the most popular trail in the park. There are chances to see kingfisher and other bird species, but the waterfall is the pinnacle attraction of the hike. The trail meanders along the river and atop the ravine to overlook the Murchison Falls.
Kaniyo Pabidi Trail: This is a nature walk through the forest of the national park. The guided trail allows visitors a chance to see chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, baboons, and other primates.
Rabongo Forest Trail: This guided nature hike is a walking safari with chances to see chimpanzees, monkeys, and other wildlife. The grasslands do attract predator species, so it is important to pay attention to your guide.
Murchison Falls Highlights
- Murchison Falls
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- Global Conservation, Murchison Falls National Park, https://globalconservation.org/projects/murchison-falls-national-park-uganda/, retrieved July 2020.
- Lonely Planet, Murchison Falls National Park, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/uganda/northern-uganda/murchison-falls-national-park, retrieved July 2020.
- Murchison Falls National Park, park site, https://www.murchisonfallsnationalpark.com/, retrieved July 2020.
- Murchison Falls Park, national park, https://www.murchisonfallsparkuganda.com/information/hiking-and-nature-walks%EF%BB%BF/, retrieved July 2020.
- Uganda Wildlife Authority, Murchison Falls National Park, https://www.ugandawildlife.org/explore-our-parks/parks-by-name-a-z/murchison-falls-national-park, retrieved July 2020.