Murchison Falls National Park Simple Guide

Murchison Falls National Park Simple Guide

How to get to Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is the largest of all the national parks in Uganda.

It’s found in the North Western part of Uganda. It takes about 5 to 6 hours to get to Murchison Falls thus very easy to access.

Your trip could start from Kampala or Entebbe International Airport. Either way, you will find that Murchison Falls is easily accessible. It’s on Masindi road.

Getting to Murchison falls is easy. You can use public transportation or book through a tour company – StarMount Safaris.

Flying to Murchison Falls from Entebbe International airport to Pakuba or Chobe airfields.
The safest way to get there by public transport is by bus or a taxi.

You can jump on to one from the city centre. At the bus park or taxi park. Due to unstable fuel rates, the fares may differ from time to time.

As a result, the bus fares range between $5 to $6, while the taxi which is a faster option charges about $7 to $9 for a one-way trip.

Public Transport 

The bus and Taxi are don’t take you inside the National Park. They will drop you off in Masindi and you will hire a special hire Taxi to the National Park at a fee of $40 to $55 for a one-way trip. These take a maximum of 5 people.

I recommend that you book through a tour company, all you have to do is show up and they will do all the heavy lifting for you.

The tour always includes transportation from when you arrive at the airport up until the day you leave. So getting there is way easier when using a professional.

Accommodation inside and outside the Park

Accommodation in and around Murchison Falls National Park may vary from budget, mid-range to luxury. This accommodation can be found inside and outside the national park.

Inside accommodation is highly recommended as it is cheaper and it reduces on the time you spent in the car.

However, if you can’t find accommodation inside the park as it gets booked out fast, the outside accommodation too is good and gives you an opportunity to see the locals in their natural settings.

Once your there and checked in, Murchison Falls is yours to explore there’s is a variety of things that you can do in the National Park;

Game drives

With the help of a tour guide or a ranger, you can go for a game drive either in the morning or in the evening.

You have higher chances of seeing animals in the morning or evening but not in the afternoon.

A game drive is $ 20 per day, you could decide to do two game drives if you have time. One in the morning and one in the evening.

While in Murchison Falls National Park you will be able to spot a variety of animals. These will include Giraffes, Elephants, Buffalo, Lions, Kobs, antelopes, warthogs, bushbucks, reedbuck, duikers, kobs, oribi and the unusual-looking hartebeest. The guides or rangers know where you can spot the lions and if you’re lucky you may spot a leopard.

Boat Ride

The boat ride usually takes place twice a day at 9 am and at 2 pm. You could use a private boat or a shared boat. Either way, they all charge $30 per person.

While on this boat ride you will see schools of Hippos and a variety of birds. If you’re a birder, this boat ride is a piece of heaven for you. If you’re lucky you may see the elusive Shoebill.

The waterfall is Murchison Falls National parks biggest attraction. The boat ride will take you closer to the falls. You can hear the gushing sounds of the waterfalls.

For those that would like to take a nature walk, they can be dropped off and take a hike to the top of the falls. A level of fitness is required for this activity. Once you’re at the top, the hike is so worth it.

This ride takes 4 to 6 hours. And if you’re on the 2 pm boat ride, you may enjoy views of the sunset as you return back the mainland. And for those that hike up to the top of the falls, a vehicle picks you up and transfers you back to your lodge.

Chimpanzee tracking

Chimpanzee tracking is done in Budongo forest which is next door to Murchison Falls National Park. Budongo forest is the biggest forest with mahogany trees in the East African region. It’s also a habitat of the largest number of the chimpanzee population in Uganda.

The major tourist sites within this forest are the Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site, Busingiro Ecotourism site and Kaniyo Pabidi Ecotourism site which are located at boundaries to Murchison Falls National Park and dominated by Mahogany and Iron-wood trees.

Rhino Trekking

This is must activity for anyone on a safari! Get the opportunity to watch these endangered, magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

As these rhino are free to move around on 7,000 hectares of land, it is often necessary to drive to the areas where the rhinos are, before taking the bush trek. Recommended time for the tour is 8 am to 10 am and 4 pm to 6 pm.

Other activities that you can partake are cultural dances, fishing, nature walks in the National parks, Hot air balloon safaris and community activities with the locals.

Activities are arranged on request through a tour company or through the hotel.

When to go

Pick season is January, February, March, July, August, September & December. Low season is April, May, June, October and November. However, anytime is a good time to take a safari.

Cost

They vary the depending on your requests and what you would like to do.

The cost will be given to you in 3 categories, budget, midrange and luxury. Accommodation and type of vehicle use for the safari determine the cost.

Bugs

Beware the Tsetse flies, they bite! These painful and annoying flies are attracted to dark colours – especially blue and black. This is one of the reason everyone on safari wears white or tan clothing!

Photography – if there’s one place where you’ll want to splurge on a zoom camera lens, it’s on safari in Africa. I would recommend something at least 200mm, but 400mm is even better.

What to wear

Keep it casual and comfortable with tee shirts, long-sleeved shirts, shorts, hiking boots, and hats.

Travel Insurance

Don’t forget travel insurance! Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad.

Any questions about going on safari in Murchison Falls? Are you planning a trip? Drop us a message in the comments below!

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