Murchison Falls: Uganda’s Jewel of the Nile

by Sandy Salle on May 29, 2018

No other destination illustrates Uganda’s renaissance as a safari destination and wildlife sanctuary better than Murchison Falls National Park.

Sprawling across both sides of the River Nile, MFNP is Uganda’s largest and oldest national park — and a remarkable testament to how both the country and its creatures have bounced back since the dark days of Idi Amin.

Around the same size as Montana’s Glacier National Park, Murchison Falls centers around a raging cascade of the same name that funnels the Nile through a 23-foot-wide gorge and over a 141-foot drop on its long journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea. At peak flow, that’s about 11,000 square feet of water per second gushing through the gap.

Besides the unique ecosystem that flourishes beside the world’s longest river, the park also boasts lush tropical forest and sprawling savannas. These habitats provide a home for 76 mammal species and more than 450 different kinds of birds. Among its iconic creatures are lions, elephants, the Uganda kob antelope, rare Rothschild’s giraffes, African buffalos, hippos and Uganda’s largest crocodile population.

Among the park’s geographical landmarks are Paraa Pool (and its resident hippo), the mahogany trees and chimpanzees of the Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests, and Karuma Falls on the Nile.

Murchison Falls also has its human history. First described by celebrated British explorers Speke & Grant in the 1860s, the area was put under protection as early as 1910 before full national park status was achieved in 1952.

And the protected area continues to grow. Together with nearby Bugungu and Karuma wildlife reserves, the national park is part of the much larger Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA).

Many famous names have visited Murchison Falls over the years, from Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn (while filming The African Queen on location in and around the park).  We think you should add your name to the list, after all you’re famous too!!

Hills of Africa can give you the full lowdown on where to stay, what to do, and how to reach Murchison Falls from Kampala, Entebbe or elsewhere in Uganda.

Contact us at 1-800-940-9344 if you’re ready to start planning your African Safari Vacation.  Or email us at

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