Murchison falls/ Kabalega Falls, “The World’s Greatest Waterfall” is a waterfall along the mighty river Nile where the Victoria Nile breaks and forces its way through a seven (7) meter gorge toppling 43 meters below with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron” which forms a residue water stray that forms a beautiful trademark rainbow; the view is really breathtaking.
After forming these falls, the Nile continues westwards into lake Albert as it makes its way to the Mediterranean Sea. They are found within Murchison Falls National park, which is named after the Falls. It lies in the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley where the sweeping Bunyoro Escarpment merges into vast, palm dotted Savannah.
The falls were gazetted as a park in 1926 and elevated to park status in 1952; one of Uganda’s oldest and largest protected area covering an area of about 3840 square Kilometres. The Nile transverses this wilderness, diving grasslands roamed by big game on the northern bank from bush and forest inhabited by birds and primates in the southern side.
Murchison Falls National park has almost all of Africa’s major animals, four of the big five are residents here i.e. the lion, leopard, elephant and buffaloes. A safari will give you chance to see over 70 African mammal species and a variety of bird, birding and chimpanzee trekking can also be done here.
The falls have been visited since Winston Churchill wrote about them and among the millions of visitors that have come to visit the falls, the most notable ones are Humphrey Bogart, Prince Edward VII of Wales, Queen Mother, Ernest Hemingway and a number of British royals. The movie, “The African Queen” was shot within the Park’s vicinity.
Murchison Falls tour can be combined with a visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a safe haven for the Rhinoceros populations in the country located along the way from Kampala and a visit to Karuma falls as well.
Activities and attractions
Boat/ launch cruises are done upriver to enable visitors see Murchison Falls exploding through the cliff. On this cruise, one gets to see a wealth of riverside wildlife such as hippos, crocodiles, elephants, buffalo, among others. Also common is the delta boat cruise where a mosaic of papyrus island chokes the river’s entrance into Lake Albert and shoebill is a common resident here.
Climb to the top of the falls through Fajao Gorge to the view point to see, hear and feel the Nile’s thunder as it forces its way through a seven-meter-wide gorge. For those who can hike here, the site can be accessed by vehicles.
Game viewing is a major activity here, explore the plains of the north or west para in either a vehicle or hot air balloon. The southern part of the park is covered by bush and forest with some savannah, offering you a great opportunity to see Uganda kob, lions, buffalo, antelopes and giraffe.
Chimpanzee tracking and forest walks can also be done in the park in either Kaniyo Pabidi Forest or Budongo Forest. These are a home to habituated chimp groups that can be tracked with the help of guides.
Birding activities are done in Kaniyo Pabidi forest, Budongo Forest and on the mosaic of papyrus island near lake Albert to see thrilling shoebill, the chocolate baked kingfisher, white thighed hornbill, Puvel’s illadopsis, among others.
A number of routes can be used to reach Paraa, the park’s main tourism hub. The major route from Kampala is through Masidi town to Kichumbanyobo Gate through Budongo Forest, the heart of Murchison game viewing area and Murchison Falls.
Or Masindi to Paraa via Bulisa through Budongo forest, descend the rift valley escarpment, Lake Albert and enter through Bugungu or Mubako gates.It is also accessed on the northern side of the Nile via Chobe, Wankar and Tangi gates accessed from Kampala- Pakwach road which crossed the Nile at Karuma.
You can also link to Pakuba Airfield using a Chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajansi airfield. The park has other airfields in Chobe and Bugungu.
Murchison Falls National Park has a number of lodging facilities that suit your preferred budget.
SunTrack Adventures organizes 3 Days Murchison Falls National Park Safari with guaranteed daily private and weekly group departures. Have fun and memories as you visit the World’s Greatest Waterfall.